July 23rd 2010
India's Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal displays a low-cost tablet at its launch.
From the country that brought you the $2,000 open-heart surgery and $2,127 car comes the latest bargain – a supercheap, touch-screen computer.
India unveiled a prototype of the gadget Thursday and hopes to find a manufacturer to get the device on the market by 2011, reports the Associated Press.
The Linux-based tablet appears to do most things an $499 iPad can do - but at a fraction of the cost: Internet browsing, word processing, video conferencing and more.
And it's eco-friendly: It can be converted to run on solar power for an additional cost.
Research teams at India's leading technical institutes - the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science -developed the tablet to compete with a $100 computer developed at MIT to be distributed to children and students in developing countries.
India's new tablet would first be distributed to university students and developers are hoping to drop the price to as little as $10.
The cheap computer is part of India's initiative to modernize its schools.
So far, the country has installed broadband connectivity in 8,500 colleges and provides online study materials through YouTube and other channels