'World's cheapest tablet' launches in the UK

'World's cheapest tablet' launches in the UK

Summary: People living in the UK can buy the £30 Android tablet, the Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci, a commercial version of a tablet developed for Indian students.

TOPICS: Mobility

A device that is claimed to be the world's cheapest touchscreen tablet has gone on sale in the UK.

The £30 ($49) Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci is the commercial version of the Aakash 2 tablet originally produced for students at Indian universities.

The tablet's specs are below those of the average tablet: it runs a custom version of Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8-based processor, and has 512MB of RAM.

The machine's seven inch display runs at 800 x 480 resolution and the device offers 4GB of storage, which can be increased to 32GB via microSD.

The device is the latest in a line of budget tablets released in the UK, such as the Tesco Hudl, a £119 tablet with a 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and a 1,280 by 720 display.

Datawind also plans to start selling the next version of the device, the UbiSlate 7C+, which will feature 3G support, for £70 - and is already selling the £130 UbiSlate 3G7.

The UbiSlate tablets are available directly from Datawind's website.

The UbiSlate 7Ci. Image: Datawind


Topic: Mobility


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • Buy cheap...

    ... and you buy twice. Words to live buy.
    What are you gonna do with this thing? I can see it as a cheap e-reader or for some very basic web browsing but that's about it. But as with almost all cheap devices battery life is probably beyond crap as well.
    I had the Acer Iconia B1 before I got my Nexus 7. The Acer was an acceptable tablet for me. Not amazing but not awful either. I liked it for what it did but I didn't regret buying the Nexus.
    • What can I do with this thing?

      1. I'm an android developer, so I can use it as a cheap way of testing my applications
      2. It has internet and audio out... I can hook it up to some old speakers I have lying around and use the Doggcatcher app to get it to play educational podcasts.
      3. I can get the Duolingo app to learn some languages
      4. I could install umano on it and get it to read the news to me
      5. I can use it a cheap motion sensor alarm
      6. I can use it as a radio using one of the many online radio apps

      At least with options 1 and 3 it will buy itself back. With 1. I can sell my apps and with 3. I work in a Spanish speaking country so improving my language skills is very valuable to me. I'm sure there are plenty of other uses for something and 30GBP isn't too much of a sacrfice to make.
      • Android developer

        I'm sorry but this piece of rubbish is not aimed at Android developers. It's aimed at the parents wanting to buy a cheap tablet for their kids only for thd kids to discard if once they reach the age of 4 and realise it can't rub a decent game on it.
        If your an android developer then she'll out an extra couple of hundred and at least but a semi decent tablet.
      • Yes you can do all that

        For the price, just one or two of the things listed would be good enough to get it - for those who find those features interesting obviously.
        For the price it would be good enough to connect it to the hi-fi system and enjoy a good Christmas radio for the coming season :-)
        • Battery life

          I'm betting this has poor battery life....even with the low spec screen and processor which means which means for music you need to have it plugged in...and if you need to that then there are better options for steaming music.
  • Very interesting

    I'm curious as to how it compares, functionality wise to say the amazon kindle, as I know they use android technology. Very cool that they were able to make one for such a low price though.
    Matt Pullen
    • No, not cool.

      Kindle is the odd-ball tablet. True, it runs Android in the background, but it's not the same Android that almost every other tablet uses....it's only the core OS, with all Google services stripped away and replaced with Amazon's replacements, including an interface designed for selling Amazon content only. It doesn't run Google Play store, so everything has to go through Amazon's app store. Kindle Fire tablets have nice specs and run well, but don't mistake them for "real" Android and don't expect it to run all the same things that other Android tablets do.

      In regards to the Ubislate tablet in this article, no it's not so cool that someone made a tablet at such a cheap price...it's a shame that such trash is out there fooling some people into shelling out some money for something that will only lead to frustration. In the end, the buyer pays more because they waste money on this, throw it away because it's not useful for anything, then spend money again on a real tablet. In some cases they'll skip real Android tablets all together due to the bad taste in their mouth and overspend on a tablet with an extra $200 added to the cost to pay for the fruity logo on the back & white earbuds.
  • Available elsewhere soon?

    I'm sure it would be simple enough for basic browsing but how about full on work tablet?
    Would it be able to support all programs open and what is the battery life.
    Tammy Kabell
    • Yes

      Canada has it already.
    • No

      No, it's not good for basic browsing either. The screen is very difficult to type on. It's nothing but frustration.
  • Better: Brand name at sale price

    Got Dell Venus 8, 32GB, $150 on sale local store
    Specs: http://www.dell.com/us/p/dell-venue-8/pd

    Agreed with mathiasappel above. Buying crap and you will quickly regret. Too many shortcomings in quality and maintenance for not too much savings compared to a brand name Android tablet like Dell or Nexus.
    • Overpriced.

      For what it is intended for, by about $80.
  • Setup one in the garage.

    For that price, I could setup one in my garage connected to a set of computer speakers and stream music from my server. I already do this with my phone, but for ~$50.00, I'd be willing to buy one and could use it for viewing youtube video if I have a need while working on my cars.

    Cheap enough to have a couple.

    I have a friend who has a workshop where he wants each of his staff to have a screen at their workstation, so they can view detailed color photos of models they building.

    Obviously not for games, but that's not what's needed IMO.

    waiting to see if they come to the US and for how much.
  • Re: 'World's cheapest tablet' launches in the UK....

    Maybe too cheap in that there may be questionable build quality, lack of quality control and the use of sub standard components. Of course this is all conjecture but at this price there has to be compromises.

    As I say with cheap Chrome Books "If its too good to be true, it usually is"
    • Better off buying paracetamol

      Every review I saw says its basic and has a few problems, biggest of all being Datawind itself. If what I read is anything to go by, the whole of India are screaming for their money back after they didnt get theirs.

      It also costs £40 with the delivery and isnt available in stores, plus Amazon has a cheaper deal that has a camera built in, same processor, screen and storage options.
  • The better option would be to purchase second-hand, or used, tablets,

    most of which will be cheaper and better equipped.
  • Still surviving on my Tab 1

    I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 1 way back when they were dear but it had all the features I wanted i.e. slot for a SIM ran Sygic can be used as a phone (I have hands like shovels) I got the REAL car mount from Brodic and am happily still using it today, OK not as fast as its modern versions but with 16GB on board and another 16GB via a SD card I also got the Keyboards with charging slot, (Two) one down by my computers one by my armchair when I have to rest (I am disabled) but I work on a aint broke don't fix it premise and as long as it works it will do for me.

    I have noticed that the SIM slot on a lot of new machine offerings seems to be missing which I consider very short sighted of the makers
    The BarnOwl
  • Useless garbage

    First of all, this Ubislate 7ci is NOT a new tablet. My company produces a tablet management system for schools called TabPilot and we had a potential customer ask if our software would run on these tablets. We had them mail one to us for testing. They found a vendor that was importing these to the US from somewhere. This was back in FEBRUARY 2013.

    We've tested many, many tablets, including cheap Chinese knock-offs and I can say without a doubt that this is absolutely the worst tablet we have every tested. The touch screen is so bad that it's almost impossible to type -- worse than resistive touch screens we saw a couple of years earlier. Not only is the screen resolution itself low but the DPI is set so low that we would have had to re-write our interface to fit, as all our icons ran together. You can see from the image above how few even fit on the screen at that low of a resolution and dpi. Text doesn't fit on the buttons in some apps.

    I can't speak for battery life because no one here would use it for more than 10 minutes due to the frustration factor.

    I just pulled it off the shelf for a reminder. It took three tries to move an icon on the desktop. I pressed the clock 5 times trying to get the pop-up and the device froze for 10 seconds, then responded to all the attempts. Completely useless.

    This is the type of device that gives Android, and tablet in general a bad name.

    Stay away.