|Tablet Cheaper Than a Pair of Sneakers|
|By JON M. CHANG||Dec 17, 2013, 12:18 PM|
A tablet for less than $40 seems like the kind of deal reserved for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but one company is looking to make it available year round. Datawind, a London-based company, is planning to release three different models of Ubislate tablets starting early next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said that the new tablets aren't out to compete with the iPad. "Ubislate is primarily intended for students," he told ABC News today in an email. "But it's also for anybody that is left off the Web because of affordability."
A recent study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project estimates that 15 percent of American adults don't use the Internet.
This isn't the company's first attempt at a tablet. Datawind is best known for supplying India's students with its Aakash line of tablets. Tuli added that the company has also expanded outside of India, providing affordable devices to several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Ubislate 7Ci, the cheapest tablet at $37.99, uses technology that Apple has since abandoned. The tablet's Cortex A8 processor was last seen in Apple's A4 chip, back with the original iPad and iPhone 4. But anyone who's gotten used to the HD displays may be taken aback by the 7Ci's 800x480 display.
Datawind is also offering a higher-end model with a dual core processor in the Ubislate 3G7, available for $129.99. Unlike the 7Ci and 7C+ models, the 3G7 can connect to a 3G network in addition to Wi-Fi. The 3G7 also branches into phablet territory, with its ability to make calls. Though it has an improved 1024x600 display, it may still look blurry compared to devices like the iPad mini and Kindle Fire HDX.
Tuli added that what's currently available will get some improvements before they start shipping to the United States. "There are firmware and some other basic upgrades to the entry-level product," he said. "The higher-end devices for the U.S. are bundled with local data plans and cater to the local networks."