Bleeding edge consumers may not appreciate the Aakash 2’s meagre specs, but India is betting the concept of the uber-cheap tablet is one that could legitimately change the world. Currently, the government-subsidized Android Gingerbread slate is being supplied to students for free, but it now has a launch date . It goes on sale on October 5th in India for only $35, which is a price point that makes modern computing accessible to a whole group of people who can’t afford an iPad. The Aakash 2 is the second version of the tablet, and it includes a ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, a front-facing camera, and 4GB of internal storage. Most importantly, it features a capacitive screen, which makes multitouch gestures possible, which is a huge deal at this price point. Perhaps the biggest issue will be keeping up with demand: at this price, they’ll fly off the shelves and the first generation Aakash tablet had trouble keeping up with demand. Datawind–the manufactuer of the tablet–claims they’ve already produced 5.5 million of the device, but that’s a mere fraction of the 220 million units they’re shooting for. There’s no word on availability outside of India–although some American school systems are eying the device–but at a fraction of the price of the Nexus 7, many Western buyers wouldn’t mind a buy-one-give-one-free deal like the XO Laptop.
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