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Education is going to be more interactive, as the dream that of a owning a tablet which was once viewed as a corporate tool by school children has come to an end. The launch of World’s cheapest tablet for just Rs.1900 has reached India with a major revolution in the Indian Education sector.
Indian Government and Companies are investing in technology-rich environments to boost student achievement and to confer an internationally competitive advantage for students with the help of new Tablet PC Education.
Here is the list of educational tablets in India, with details on spec/pricing (if we have missed any, please let us know):
Ranked as the world’s cheapest tablet, Datawind has launched the tablet at an unbelievable price of $35 (around Rs. 1900) for students and Rs. 2999 for non-students.
The Tablet comes with a 7” resistive touch display, GPRS and Wi-Fi enabled network along with an external option to use 3g dongle, two usb 2.0 ports integrated with a256 MB ram and 700 MHz Processor with HD Video Co Processor. The tablet runs on an Android 2. The device has two audio jacks.
The device has a very good display and supports all the major audio & video formats making the student experience better. The device also supports all the major document formats which will make a student replace all the books with Aakash tablet. The tablet has two usb ports which will be very useful for students to transfer data from one device to another. The device support GPRS, 3g and Wi-Fi which allows you to browse internet smoothly.
The major drawback of Aakash Tablet is that the screen is very unresponsive; somebody who has used a capacitive screen will not be able to deal with this device. The android market place is not available to install the other 600,000 apps and games. There is no inbuilt speaker in the device. The tablet heats up very fast in an air-conditioned room and comparing it with the heat of Indian schools & colleges the device might be compared to holding lava in your hands. The tablet has only 3 hours of battery backup and requires 3-4 hours of continuous charging which might only be helpful if you are bunking most of the classes. The device doesn’t have any customer care centre even in the major metros.
It’s not a best thing that Indian student deserves but yet again, the price is unbelievable and can be used just to replace the bulgy books and basic educational requirements for school students.
With the mission to caters to the needs of students across schools and higher education institutions and provides personalized and collaborative learning, HCL infosystem has launched its tablet to bring education ecosystem all on one platform to interact at a better stage.
The HCL MyEduTab has two versions – one is a basic version and another one is MyEduTab HE(higher education) price at 11,499 & 9,999 respectively.
Both the tabs comes with 7”capacitive display, 1GHz single core processor, 512MB RAM, 4Gb of internal memory and expandable upto 32 GB, Full USB, Micro USB 2.0 slots. The MyEduTab runs on latest android OS Ice Cream Sandwich. The processor is as cool as the design; the tablet doesn’t heat up easily. The device also has an inbuilt microphone and speaker.
The major advantage with the tab as far as the education is concern; it comes with preloaded NCERT content, quizzes, solved examples, problem solver, educational applications and other curated interactive content for students. The device has inbuilt functionality for personalized learning, while helping the students to understand concepts at their own pace. With the topic revision application and a self-assessment engine on MyEdu Tab, students can self-evaluate their skills and knowledge, while parents will now be able to monitor their child’s progress in an easy and convenient manner.
Some of the cons with the MyEduTabs are that these tabs doesn’t have the support for Google App store but they are supported with the ME store and you can access it for no extra charge. The Sound output is blog average. The device doesn’t have a Bluetooth and a sim card slot too is missing.
This device is a quite good; it comes with preloaded free NCERT books which I believe would be equivalent to the price of books for two years. The device enables networking and collaboration, leading to an all-round development and employability enhancement for students. Right now MyEduTab is the perfect companion for students, allowing self-learning and making them industry ready.
Micromax Funbook is a perfect combination of ‘Edutainment’ tablet. It successfully targets the budget-minded audience and student community. The Funbook is a budgeted tablet priced at Rs. 6,490.
The Funbook comes with a 7” capacitive touch screen display, Cortex Dual Core 1.2 GHz A8 Processor & 512 MB ram which makes it unique as there is no other device in this range with a dual core processor. The device has a 0.3MP VGA front facing camera along with HD video playback which supports all the major video formats. The device has an inbuilt 4 gb memory and is expandable upto 32 GB.
The device lacks in having sim card slot but it does support 3G (via USB Dongle), WiFi b/g, USB 2.0, HDMI out. The device also doesn’t have an inbuilt
The good thing about fun book is the battery life, you can easily manage it to use for general purpose for around 5 hours.
Since the device is an Edutainment tablet, Micromax has done collaboration with a lot of content provider for Indian Education and has more thatn 500 applications for courses like Engineering, Medical, CBSE, Commerce, IAS, Bank Entrance, School Competitions, Job Preparation, ICSE and other General Education. Apart from that the Funbook comes with entertainment apps with a collection 6000 songs, 4000 videos and M clips that is powered by Bollwood Hungama and Big Flix app to watch movies. You can also play games and watch Live TV with Zega TV app.
Over all the device is great buy, it’s a budgeted device, which has most of the features that a great tablet has.
This probably is the only tablet which actually is designed keeping in mind that education content should be the first priority as compare to anything else. The device starts at Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 14,000
The Classpad comes with a Cortex A8 (1GHz) and 512 MB DDR2 memory. The display is 10.1″ TFT LCD (1024X600) capacitive touchscreen. The device has internal memory of 4 gb and expandable upto 8gb, its has Wi-Fi connectivity.
The good thing about the Classpad tablet is that the screen size is really big which makes it a unique experience in the budgeted tablet range. The battery life is pretty good; it can run upto 6-7 hours continuously.
Other educational benefits with the Calsspad tablet are that the device is equipped with artificial intelligence, Classpad can categorise students as fast learners, average learners and slow learners. Another important aspect of Classpad in terms of education is that major part of the company is concentrated on developing content for education, so they might lack on hardware party, but their content part is really great, right now the content is focused only for students of standard 3 to 12.
The device manufacturer has decided to take the device to the market through two business models. i) The Trolley model where the device can be shared by many children by paying Rs. 100 each. This is mainly used for group studying where one tablet will be enough for all students. ii) One Tablet per Child (OTPC) model where the full amount has to be paid by the parents and this serves as each student must have the tablet. The first method is really an interesting deal if you are not looking to invest in the whole device.
The major disappointment with the device is that it doesn’t have any connectivity option for GPRS or 3g conncetivity, which makes it limited just to Wi-Fi enabled areas and nothing apart from that. Secondly it doesn’t
This device is another pretty good if it’s for 3rd to 12th standard kids but if you are really buying a device for educational + other entertainment purpose, this device is a big disaapointing.
iProf was the first company to launch personal educational tablet in Indian and set the revolution to change the way education is presumed in India.
iProf has currently offers content software integrated with key tablet manufacturers to facilitate your purchase. Simply choose from the range of iprof tablets available, bundle that with your choice of course subscription and you are ready to go. The tablets are priced between Rs. 8990 to Rs. 19,450.
The basic device which is priced at Rs. 8990 is running on Android 2.3 OS with a resistive display of 7” TFT screen. The device has a 8gb internal memory upgradable upto 32GB, 512MB DDR3 ram. The device is wifi enabled.
iProf is similar to Classpad, they run their own content apps and have content available for engineering, medical, management, civil service programs, english, study abroad and icse/cbse (class Xth) related courses.
The major advantage with iProf is, it can also be integrated with any of the android based mob.ile or tab and then you can subscribe to the courses that you want to study.
As far as the device powered by iProf are concern, they are priced at a bit high range but you can consider installing there app in your android based phone and subscribe to the content.
Ira and Ira Thing
This is another ultra-low cost tablet available in the market. Launched by Wish Tel Pvt. Ltd, the two tablets are priced at Rs. 4000 and Rs. 5000 respectively.
The Basic model, Ira comes with 7” resistive screen with 800 by 480 resolutions, 2800 mAH battery, Android 2.2.2 integrated on a VIA WonderMedia ARM SoC 800 MHz processor. The device has a 256 MB ram, 2GB internal memory and expandable upto 32gb, WIFI, built in 3G, SIM card functionality, USB port.
The device also has a good support for media and you can play MP3 and other popular Audio formats along with 720p HD video playback and streaming. Another good feature is the language support, you can easily switch between English and all Google supported languages along with a wide number of INDIAN languages.
The major drawback with the device is that it doesn’t come with preloaded educational content, it only comes with office suits and other apps which support the content. But if you really like the device you can install apps like iProf for content.
This device is a great buy if you don’t want preinstalled content on the phone; the screen is really great as compare to price.
BSNL – Penta IS701R tab
BSNL, the major telecom giant has launched a tablet in collaboration with Pantel Technologies, the company has always come up with very low cost products and this time it’s a tablet. The tablets are designed keeping in mind about the student needs and requirements. The device is priced at Rs. 3,200 and company is still looking to make it cheaper with enhanced features.
The tablet comes with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with a 7-inch resistive touch screen (800 x 600 pixels). The processor inside is ARM11 IMAP201 running at a clock speed of 1GHz and 256MB DDR2 RAM. Penta comes with 2GB internal memory and expandable upto 32GB. The device also has Wi-Fi connectivity.
The good thing about the device is that it comes with Android Market, so that you can download apps on the device like all the other Android phones., other devices in the similar range doesn’t have support for android market place and you have to root them for this feature. Also Penta plays all the popular audio video formats, even including 720p HD movies.
The disappointing thing with the device is that BSNL being a telecom company, it didn’t bother to add sim card slot in the device and takes it behind with the internet and 3g support. The device also has pretty slow response and not the best experience. The major feature that is missing is the volume control button, you have to go back to home menu and change the volume from there.
The device is not a great buy, we don’t suggest that don’t buy the device, if you find it useful you should definitely buy this but it’s better to look at other similar tablets and then make your final judgement.
AcrossWorld Education in association with Delhi-based Go Tech is planning to launch a tablet named as ATab for Rs.5,000. This tab would most probably be a successor for akash and bsnl’s Penta.
The tablet would have a 7″ screen with 1.1 GHz processor with 512MB of Ram and 2GB inbuilt memory which is expandable upto 16Gb. The device will also have Wi-Fi connectivity along with external 3g dongle support.
The major stake of the tablet company is holded by AcrossWorld Education which develop content for Indian Education. The company “EducationBridge” education technology platform will be freely available for buyers for 3 years.
The company already own two other tablets priced at Rs. 17,000 and Rs. 8,000 which are a great success so this device is again expected to have some interesting features.
We can probably comment on this once the device is out in the market.
Tabtor, named as a combination of Tablet and Tutor is promising to bring personalized tutoring to people in India. The PrazAs Team, who brought the concept of Tabtor is only developing content rich applications and will do collaboration with major tablet producing giant in India.
Another advantage with Tabtor application will not only be available as an open-source app for android OS but will also become available for iOS and Windows and therefore students will be able to access it easily. Tabtor is focussing on math-tutoring based on skill-based learning. The application will help students to improve their skills and will help the teachers to assist their students.
PrazAs is expected to launch Tabtor next year in India and we believe its OS flexibility and open source approach will make a big difference in the Tablet based education industry.
Overall the Indian market has captured all the segments for students ranging from Rs.1900 to Rs. 11,500. The next big game in elearning will surely be on tablet space, though the question of tablets as a creation tool yet remains unanswered.
[Guest article contributed by Ishan. He is an intern at Pluggd.in]