I was so exited when India announce their long awaited $35 android tablet; akaash they call it –a hindi phrase meaning sky. I have since been keenly following the Aakash story [1, 2] and also started digging for information to try and find out how datawind managed to lower their unit cost of production to a shocking $45 (the indian Indian government has formulated a grand plan to then subsidize it to $35 to indian university students). I immediately wrote to datawind  to find out if it would be possible for them to ship a prototype to me, but was told to wait till end of December, 2011… I wasn’t going to wait that long and so I got one of my baby cousins a replica of Aakash at $120 (R 999.00) from tabletworld  — they actually shipped it to me yesterday. For the amount of money I paid, its nothing less than amazing!
Now the Ultra Low Cost Tablet (ULCT) I got is nowhere near the likes of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Apple’s iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Sony’s Tablet S, but for an entry level-tablet, the ColPad –thats what the guys from tabletworld call it– is relatively okay 😉 I have been playing around with it since yesterday afternoon and its pretty sleek. It runs on Android 2.2.1, has a 2 Mega pix camera, can be hooked up to the Internet via Wi-Fi or a 3G USB modem and comes bundled with a slew of really cool apps (Facebook, Twitter, Shelves, Dropbox, Jango, e.t.c.) –with the Android Market though, this arsenal of apps could further be increased. A comprehensive list of technical specifications and features for the ColPad is here 
There is a revolution going one… access to information is no longer a privillege enjoyed by the elite in society –the coming of Aakash and ColPad is a taste of good things to come. I long for a time when the majority of my African brothers and sisters will be presented with opportunities that the wealthy in society currently enjoy, and can only hope that it will be during my lifetime.
PS: Its a Chinese made product and yes I know the hype around products originating from China :p