Aakash, which received nothing but flak from most of the media, is sailing across the Atlantic to meet some Americans. I’m not sure if this will be available for retail. In fact, I would advise, Datawind, Aakash tablet makers to not do anything fancy like launching the slate in the US.
Datawind’s Hyderabad manufacturing facility can produce 7000 tablets per day and Datawind is yet to meet its government contract. Datawind has provided 100,000 slates so far. Retail option will only open up after the contract is met.
When retail option actually opens up, Datawind will be better off selling it in India.
Now let’s get to know what American reviewers are feeling about Aakash.
In defense of Aakash
I’m no messiah for Aaakash tablet but felt a need to defend it. The reason is simple : The world is looking at it with iPad tainted eyes. And that has to stop. Aakash had a demographic in mind and it was never really meant for a consumer who is also contemplating an iPad. After all, iPad’s wireless keyboard costs more than Aakash.
I have outlined 5 sins everyone’s committing while reviewing Aakash.
Aakash reviewed in America
If you have not committed any of that sin, then it is apt for me to introduce you to a good review which also comes with some authority. The review is from VentureBeat. Yes sir. You heard that right.
The Aakash is running Android 2.2, Froyo, with the UniSurfer browser installed. Made by DataWind, UniSurfer is supposed to make webpages process faster, probably to compensate for the slower processor and connection speeds. However, while browsing the Internet and testing out apps, we couldn’t help but notice that the reaction time seemed very slow. Scrolling, for example, is a swipe-and-wait affair. However, the speed is going to be quite sufficient for someone who has never in his or her life had a smartphone or computer. It’s all relative after all. Compared with the iPhone 4s, the iPhone 3G is a “slow” smartphone, only because speedier alternatives are available. Even in a context where the market is full of smart devices, like in the U.S., speed helps us make decisions incrementally faster, but rarely are these issues of genuine consequence.
And given how slow navigating the user interface is, watching videos on the device was incredibly impressive. We used YouTube to watch a clip from a Bollywood film, and the video came through fast and clear, with no hiccups. (Venture Beat)
I like this not because it is positive. I like it because it is not a speculation.
The speed is going to be quite sufficient for someone who has never in his or her life had a smartphone or computer.
Bingo. Read that at least twice and make a judgment on the device.
If you are reading an article or review about Aakash, then press Ctrl+F and search for the word “iPad” in the article. If you find it, it’s time to move on.
Bonus tip : This post is an exception to the tip mentioned above.