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Android Education Handhelds Technology

Creating the World's Cheapest Tablet 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-too-remember-the-etch-a-sketch dept.
Back in October, we discussed news that India had launched a $35 tablet. Now, JohnWiney writes with a story in the Globe and Mail about the device's development. Quoting: "Part of the difficulty in engineering such a device is that the underlying goal—that its final price should be within the means of those who can’t afford high-priced tablets—dictates crucial engineering and component decisions. A piece of high-impact-resistant glass, such as the touchscreen face of an iPad, can cost upward of $20. Datawind’s touchscreen glass, which the company had engineered down the street, costs less than $2, though it won’t allow for luxuries like pinch-and-zoom finger swiping. There were also compromises on processing power: Datawind’s 366 megahertz processor costs less than $5, a fraction of the $15-plus price tag on the chips that power iPads and other comparable tablets. And while the decision to run Google’s free Android mobile operating system on the gadget saves money, it requires coders to dig deep into the Linux kernel that underpins the software, tweaking it until it runs smoothly on Datawind’s weaker processor."
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Creating the World's Cheapest Tablet

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  • Race to the bottom (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:08PM (#38543474)

    Unfortunately, a race to the bottom will always result in a lower-quality experience. It doesn't seem worth it for the compromises made. Amusingly, devices like this get figured into the amorphous statistic of "Android marketshare" in countless forum operating system arguments.

    • by garcia (6573) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:14PM (#38543532)

      You're posting this on a forum where a good number of readers are obsessed with Linux. It's not that Linux isn't a great OS (I use it for server-side stuff) but it certainly doesn't provide the polished overall experiences that Microsoft or Apple do.

      There is a breakeven point for many people. Those people who are happy to pay $200 for a machine and spend the time getting it to run well with something like Linux even at the expense of a better experience which may cost 6x as much (Apple).

      So, if someone cannot or is unwilling to pay $500 for an iPad but may be willing to pay less than $100, it's going to give a much better experience than nothing.

      • by hedwards (940851) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:27PM (#38543616)

        Depends a great deal on the distro. I've been using Linux Mint and I've spent very little time trying to fix it, probably similar to how much time I've spent trying to fix Win 7.

        OTOH, Arch, Gentoo and similar are aimed at people that are more interested in controlling their complete experience, and probably take more time to maintain.

        • It depends heavily on your hardware, too -- especially for laptop systems. Particularly on brand new machines, there's often things that just don't work or don't work by default yet, though these pieces of hardware often have their support (and default setup) improved over the span of a few years -- which, for some people, is just in time to replace their old machine.

          • by hedwards (940851)

            That's a fair point, most of the time I've found that just buying quality components makes a lot of those problems go away. Granted it's not perfect, but for the most part I've found computers that work well on Linux tend to work well on Windows because they've been well designed. A large number of problems I've run into over the years were the result of manufacturers taking shortcuts or using inferior components.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            It depends heavily on your hardware, too

            Same thing with popular proprietary systems too like OSX and Android. People don't seem to have a problem with the concept of just buying hardware that these operating systems are intended for so why not do that for Linux without having to make an issue out of it? And, yes, I know Android is Linux.

      • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:43PM (#38543742)
        "It's not that Linux isn't a great OS (I use it for server-side stuff) but it certainly doesn't provide the polished overall experiences that Microsoft or Apple do."

        Major flamewar imminent! EVERYONE, GET TO THE BUNKER!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dakara (798841)

          Major flamewar imminent! EVERYONE, GET TO THE BUNKER!

          Major flamewar imminent! EVERYONE, GET TO THE CHOPPA!
          FTFY

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          You can polish a turd, if you freeze it. Now, I'm not actually saying that Windows or OSX is a polished turd, I'm just saying that if you were to imply that Windows or OSX has a level of polish absent from Linux, it wouldn't be hard to make your argument.

      • by oakgrove (845019) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:57PM (#38543858)

        Those people who are happy to pay $200 for a machine and spend the time getting it to run well with something like Linux even at the expense of a better experience which may cost 6x as much (Apple).

        Speak for yourself. I use Linux because for me it is the better experience. Kind of like for Mac people, OSX is and for windows people, well, windows is. That's a very arrogant attitude you have there.

      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        All that bling (what you call polish) gets on my nerves. Setting "Windows Classic" is the first thing I've done since XP times. Gnome3 and Unity are too blingy for me too so I run XFCE.

      • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 30, 2011 @10:09PM (#38545302) Journal

        Well I think a lot of that was caused by Linux developers and advocates being frankly stupidly low with regards to system requirements. How many "Dumpster dive a great Linux box!" and "Save a PC from the dump, just use Linux!" articles have we seen? Well by putting their system reqs at frankly ludicrously low levels what you ended up with is OEMs slapping Linux on machines that frankly would have had trouble running Win98 without hanging and gave Linux a worse view from those that don't know about specs and just look at price. i mean a 366Mhz CPU? Geez we were throwing out faster chips than that a decade ago! It reminds me of those junkers Walmart used to sell with Linux that had worse specs than what you'd find in a dumpster.

        Sure its nice that you can run Linux on some POS that used to run Win95 but that doesn't mean its gonna be a pleasant experience with the modern web. This thing might be fine for an ebook reader but i shudder to think what trying to surf the bling bling heavy web will be like, even without flash but just dealing with all the heavy JavaScript out there with a 366Mhz CPU, I bet its like trying to load modern web pages on a 300 baud modern...eek! of course many will just say its because Android or Linux sucks and hurt the rep when its just the OS is being squeezed into woefully underpowered hardware.

        • by mcrbids (148650) on Saturday December 31, 2011 @12:55AM (#38546134) Journal

          Well by putting their system reqs at frankly ludicrously low levels what you ended up with is OEMs slapping Linux on machines that frankly would have had trouble running Win98 without hanging and gave Linux a worse view from those that don't know about specs and just look at price. i mean a 366Mhz CPU?

          To be fair, I have a 400 Mhz P3 that has performed admirably for a decade or so with effectively zero downtime as a dev server and network monitor for a production server cluster. To say that you can't get significant use from such comparatively scant resources is simply wrong. I manage my expectations... I am not expecting a responsive, HD flash video experience, nor am I expecting to render expressive graphics with a "snappy" experience.

          Look at this as a research project: how do you get a good experience at a reduced power level? You aren't going to get a good experience at 366 Mhz, but given just two Moore's law doublings, you are up to 1.5 GHz, roughly in line with today's midline tablet processors. That's just 4 to 6 years away, depending on how you interpret Moore's law.

          The lessons learned today will result in a much better experience for future users of both "low end" and more mainstream processors.

      • by chrb (1083577) on Friday December 30, 2011 @10:11PM (#38545310)

        it certainly doesn't provide the polished overall experiences that Microsoft or Apple do.

        Nice switch. The Linux variant being discussed by the OP was Android, which is by all accounts pretty polished (the latest version in particular has been widely praised), but your then go on to define your argument against Android based on desktop Linux distributions. Desktop Linux and Android are not the same, so this line of reasoning is completely invalid. I could go on and point out that many people don't care about visual bling, and how it's taken years for Windows and OS X to incorporate support for simple concepts like software repositories that Linux distributions have had for over a decade (do the Windows and Mac app store repositories even do dependency tracking across packages yet?) Linux isn't even a desktop. If you're going to say that something isn't polished, at least tell people what you are talking about - Gnome, KDE, Xfce?

    • by LDoggg_ (659725)
      I wouldn't expect a 35 dollar tablet to have the hardware to be my main tablet, but probably a bunch of cool things you could do with ten of them networked in a building and mounted on walls or something.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It is actually not $35 because the company's is asking for $52 each to build it while the government pays the difference.

        Also if this were a real retail product, there would be additional mark up etc making it more like a $75 item (number off my ass).

        • Then it's not very revolutionary because I can already run down to Big Lots and get a low quality $80 Android 2.2 tablet. I guess the revolutionary part is getting the government to heavily subsidize your product.

      • I'd fully expect it to be my main tablet. But I'd only use it to browse the web, and that I could do on a 486 DX2 66MHz. Of course the internet has changed and HD video and flash games, for instance, are off the table, but for IM, e-mail, Wikipedia et al? 366MHz should be enough for everyone.

      • by Ambvai (1106941)

        My sister's boss got a 100$ digital picture frame (no battery, data is SD) for Christmas. I think a 35$ tablet is more than adequate to replace that.

    • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:18PM (#38543564)

      It doesn't seem worth it for the compromises made

      So if you're an Indian for whom an iPad costs the equivalent of a year's salary you should go without altogether, rather than have the best-in-breed? Sounds like a plan - Since I can't afford a Porsche I'll stick with walking.

      • by mapkinase (958129)

        Because iPod is a new human right.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Well, for an Apple fanatic, that's a viable choice -- if you're unwilling to sell your kids and cow to buy an iPad 2, you just don't want a tablet bad enough.

      • It doesn't seem worth it for the compromises made

        So if you're an Indian for whom an iPad costs the equivalent of a year's salary you should go without altogether, rather than have the best-in-breed? Sounds like a plan - Since I can't afford a Porsche I'll stick with walking.

        I hate to point out the obvious, but for many people walking is NOT worth the money saved on a bike or used car. I think I could find evidence of this even in India, given a minute to google it...

        There quite conceivably could be a table that is FREE, yet still not worth the effort to use it. If this isn't immediately obvious, you're thinking too hard.

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      There is no consumer product that isn't part of that "race to the bottom". If you were willing to spend several million dollars on a tablet, I'm sure you could get something dramatically better than any tablet currently on the market. There is always a cost/quality trade off.
    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      A race to the bottom may result in a lower-quality experience, if the user happens to have a high expectation.

      That says, we need to understand that the users of this $35 computer are from India, and although not everyone in India is poor, many of the Indians still don't get to own much to begin with.

      One more important thing that will affect the experience thing is the software.

      If the apps (including the OS) runs on the $35 computer are bloatwares, they will surely add to the frustration of the users.

      So, in

    • What you call, "The Race to the Bottom," is in fact an essential link to making the Scale of Economy as rapidly effective as possible. Were you under some delusion that the original Apple computer was cutting edge from the then modern mini-computer perspective? Did you think the Motorola flip phones of the mid-nineties were the best cellular communications device available? There is a significant advantage, even without government subsidies to make things affordable to the poorer portions of the spectrum

    • by couchslug (175151) on Friday December 30, 2011 @07:42PM (#38544328)

      For people with NO alternative experience, even weak devices can change their lives.

      Would you rather have NO computer, or a Celeron 500 with 256MB RAM? Those specs don't even merit a dumpster dive nowadays in the US, but don't forget what you can do with one.

    • by djl4570 (801529)
      It's an excellent proof of concept. How much of an IPad can we do for one tenth the price of an IPad? There's a lot of whinging on the net about bloated software and overpriced gadgets yet all too often we react with disdain when someone delivers a low priced example without the bloat. There could be a market for a billion cheap tablet computers in India and China alone. Hopefully other designers will follow suit and ask "How much of an IPad can we do for one fourth the price? Perhaps HP should
    • by jon3k (691256)

      Amusingly, devices like this get figured into the amorphous statistic of "Android marketshare" in countless forum operating system arguments.

      Andy Rubin - Dec 20, 2011 - Public ...and for those wondering, we count each device only once (ie, we don't count re-sold devices), and "activations" means you go into a store, buy a device, put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service.

    • Duh! Cheaper stuff is not as good as expensive stuff (most of the time). I have an old dumb phone, that is not as good as a new powerful smartphone. Is my "experience" lower quality than it would be with a brand new i-phone or something similar? Sure it is. Am I willing to pay my phone company the money they charge for such new phone, plus data plan? Hell no! It's simply not worth to me, and I know better way to spend my money. Another example: when I go backpacking, could I spend few thousand dollar

    • by cgenman (325138)

      To be fair, the OLPC was a crappy 200 dead end, that spurned the development of the $200 broadly available netbook and the $400 entry-level laptop. Smartphones were derided as incompatible portable browsers attached to a uselessly tiny screen, until they took over the world. The "Race to the bottom" is pretty much where most people live, and where revolutions happen.

      Maybe a $35 uselessly anachronistic tablet will finally spurn some $50 broadly available tablites. Or single-use interactive eTextbooks. Or

  • You mean slate and flint? Pen and paper? Or, I'll give you the more advanced, yet clumsy, Etch-A-Sketch.
    • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      You mean slate and flint? Pen and paper? Or, I'll give you the more advanced, yet clumsy, Etch-A-Sketch.

      Pfft. Time to get medieval all up in this thang: blood and skin!

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I'll give you the more advanced, yet clumsy, Etch-A-Sketch."

      Those make great gifts. We gave one to our Lieutenant as a laptop.
      (He had a good sense of humor!)

  • This is great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Metricmouse (2532810)
    It it is imho a basic human right to compute, now a lot more people can.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      It isn't a basic human right. Basic human rights are things like food, clothing, shelter and arguably health care. As long as those things are not being provided to a huge portion of the human race, it's a bit soon to talk about computing.

      Even when those things are provided for, it's hard to argue that something like computing which isn't a necessity to live is a basic human right.

      That being said, it is something of significance, without which one cannot hope to be fully engaged in society, at least not in

      • You have enumerated the most basic human rights. So what are the basic human responsibilities? And doesn't one have the right to the means to such responsibilities?

        it's hard to argue that something like computing which isn't a necessity to live is a basic human right.

        If one of the basic human responsibilities is paying tax, doesn't one have a right to any computing device needed to file a tax return?

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Sure, but you don't need a computer to do that. You can still fill it out long hand on paper and send it in. It's still quite a bit of a stretch to believe that computing is a basic human right.

  • 366 MHz? (Score:5, Funny)

    by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:17PM (#38543560)

    Ha. You old people are so funny. You could never do anything real on a 366 MHz processor. I mean, like, the Android I got for christmas has at LEAST 1200 megahertzes. I bet they had at least that when they went to that moon or invented the awesome SR-71.

    Who are these indian kids that would even get this. I would be soooo mad if someone got me this for christmas. Such a horrible gift. No one could ever even use it.

    Let them have the original iPhone. [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:366 MHz? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Richard_J_N (631241) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:32PM (#38543658)

      You make a good point. I always thought it rather a shame that the excellent GPE (for iPaq) never went anywhere - GPE (the gnome-palmtop-environment) ran really well on the 266 MHz CPUs of its day, and contained regular linux + busybox + X + Gtk + some applications. It fitted into 16 MB of flash and 32MB of RAM. Sadly nobody ever created the phone-peripheral to make this into a smartphone, and we ended up evolving backwards - making phones gradually more smart, instead of fitting a voice-modem to a pre-existing portable computer. As a result, Android is 7 years late, and an atrocious resource-hog. Meanwhile, we had a diversion for QTopia etc (on, for example, the Zaurus). Qt was so much slower than Gtk for embedded devices (though it was prettier if one prized beauty over speed), and the resulting systems were unusable.

      Part of the problem with Android (and iPhone) is that they run a Java GUI rather than X/Gtk (thereby making them incompatible with all the old, and fast apps); the other problem is that most apps aren't GPL. The consequence of this is that there is no central package manager (with dependency resolution and shared libraries). So every single app has to bundle its own icons, its own copy of the libraries, and run in its own sandbox. This makes them far more bloated. I do like Android, but we could get at least 10x better performance out of it if the environment were better engineered.

      You can easily demonstrate this to yourself: take a look at MenuetOS, which fits an OS + GUI + browser + media-player + editor + source-code on a single floppy!

    • by drolli (522659)

      Excuse me. My palm worked reasonably with 16MHz. Ok that wasnt android, but if you restrict the appication to the things you really need it should be fine.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        My palm usually works in the 1/2 to 2 Hz range, and I have no complaints, even fireworks at times.

    • Re:366 MHz? (Score:5, Informative)

      by angiasaa (758006) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:59PM (#38543896) Homepage

      I'm Indian you know.. Perhaps it does not occur to you, but there are people in this country who earn less in a year than you'd pay for a decent meal at a two star restraunt. There are millions of such people in fact. To say that the government agencies work hard to play this figure down, would be a gross understatement. But even though I live in a fairly prosperous patch of the country, living here since I was born, I have actually met such people.

      In a country of over a billion people, with barely 0.4% of the population sucking up 90% of the money that floats around, it is a spectacular vision of neglect and sadness.

      About 35% of the population of India lives below the poverty line. FYI, the poverty line translates to $6 US a year!
      Sure, for you it would feel like a kick in the stomach to receive a device such as this for christmas, but trust me, kids who get this device here would literally be willing to sell their kidneys for the opportunity to have one of them.

      Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying I love the device, just that there are loads of people who will. And not only will they love and enjoy it, they will actually get it to do stuff the rest of us never even dreamed possible on such a low-spec toy.

      So if someone asks me to buy the device for myself, I'd tell them to go eat shit. But I would nevertheless be glad to see it go out into the market for those who would otherwise go completely deviceless. I think there's some honour in that somewhere, but I'm having trouble putting it into words. :) Forgive me.

      • by symbolset (646467) *

        We hear you. You make great sense. Please ignore the jerks. The Internet is full of jerks but it has good people too. This stuff is coming and to these folks it will be free. It will hold enough information to help people live successful, healthy, educated lives without imposing any burden on them. They will not require power or wireless, or anything else. And there will be a LOT of them.

        They will still have to work but if they will work together all other things are possible.

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > I'm Indian you know.. Perhaps it does not occur to you, but there are people in this country who earn less in a year than you'd pay for a decent meal at a two star restraunt.

        Having worked in many parts of India, I understand, and have tried to point that out also. I personally don't understand the philosophy "well if you can't afford an ipad you don't need a tablet" and I'd like to assure you that there are many of us here who think that's an offensive, ugly-firstworlder position to take, comparable t

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        That was an excellent and informative post, and well deserving of a +5 moderation, but I think you should know that the person you are responding to was speaking sarcastically. As he pointed out, while this tablet may be weak by modern standards, it's still much stronger than what was used to put men on the Moon or to design and fly the world's first supersonic stealth jets.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        YHBT. LOL. HTH. HAND.

        And just as seriously, I would love to have a mess of these tablets. I have all kinds of uses for them.

      • by kaliann (1316559)

        Poverty in India (and elsewhere) is truly a horrific problem, one I hope becomes a more widely understood issue in the "privileged" world. However, I am curious as to this assertion:

        About 35% of the population of India lives below the poverty line. FYI, the poverty line translates to $6 US a year!

        World Bank [worldbank.org] estimates that ~24% of the Indian populace earns less than $1 per day, but $6 per year is orders of magnitude more dire. Now, estimates are estimates, and I am certainly willing to be corrected, but if the situation is so severe that reliable estimates vary by orders of magnitude, I would be interested to know abo

      • FWIW, the parent post linked his indelicate utterance with another on wikipedia (the famous "... let them eat cake.")

        The wikipedia article was interesting, as well, because I didn't know that the evidence points away from Marie Antoinette having said it.

    • Yeah, troll, but ... I was working on $40,000 workstations in the late 1970s and early 1980s - 768x1024 or 1280x1024 displays, both monochrome (bit-mapped) and color (pixel-mapped). The fastest one (see Perq [wikipedia.org]) had a 1MHz CPU, processing on a 64-bit memory pipeline. It had a pretty good window manager (with a mouse that worked on a special tablet), a programmable microprogram store, and an OS written in a systems-capable variant of Pascal. (Perq didn't come out with color till later.)

      The hard drive was IIR

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        Um, not a troll, was sarcasm -- you're in violent agreement with original poster.

        But thanks for making your points. I also started career in the late seventies, developed software on massively expensive workstations with resources much less than is currently available in an ipod nano. (I still have an original DEC VT100, and it still works.) These young earbud junkies... [1] appear to be incapable of understanding that valuable work can be done on hardware that is not the latest and greatest trendy up-t

        • Yes. It's amazing how we can manage to keep creating ever-larger software that manages to suck up all those cycles - it's a dirty job, but we're up to it! :D

    • by chrb (1083577)

      Let them have the original iPhone.

      412 MHz... Too slow to ever be useful.

  • by parallel_prankster (1455313) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:21PM (#38543594)
    I think the benefit of such undertakings - creating the lowest costing item - is usually that some of the ideas that come out of it can be used by other companies to bring down the price of the device in general. Ofcourse, if they hit upon a radical way of making tablets cheaper yayy. Otherwise, if at least some of their ideas can incorporated to make things cheaper and more accessible to other parts of the world as well, then thats the biggest victory for them.
  • Yes please. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:28PM (#38543626)
    Lord knows I have a million and one uses for cheap tablets. I could stick them to the back of the seats in the car, to shut up the kids in a long road trip. Stick one to my dashboard and connect it to a bluetooth ODB-II dongle. I would stick one to the front of the fridge to turn it into a new smart fridge. Hell, duct tape them to anything to smarten it up.

    It would also make a hella good universal remote for the lounge.

    Problem is now that tablets are spiffy high price gadgets with premium hardware and spiffy graphics that cost the same as a entry level laptop. I'd have one tablet to do all those things and have to carry it with me. Things will change radically when tablets really do become as cheap as they should be. Cheap enough and we'll start covering surfaces with them.

    All the interface animations and physical metaphor graphics (brushed metal, wood grain - Apple's microsoft bob era design philosophy), but after a while it's no benefit and a small waste of your time and battery power every time you watch a 500ms transition animation. They just get in the way and in the end I'd rather have more battery life/response/cheaper hardware.

    I really cannot wait to get my hands on a useful $99 or less tablet that actually doesn't look good, is rugged and doesn't have fancy graphics.
    • by tepples (727027)
      A transition animation helps the brain (subconsciously) recognize how one piece of information on the screen relates to other pieces of information on the screen.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        A transition animation helps the brain (subconsciously) recognize how one piece of information on the screen relates to other pieces of information on the screen.

        it could, but only if it were meaningful. the magic lamp effect in OSX (or compiz with xgl, under which now-dead combination it was actually smooth and usable) is a good example of that. since stuff moves around the OSX dock (or avant window navigator, which I was using when I was using xgl) it's nice to see your window collapse into the icon so you know which one to restore later.

    • I really cannot wait to get my hands on a useful $99 or less tablet that actually doesn't look good, is rugged and doesn't have fancy graphics.

      Assuming it even works in the first place.

      Personally, I'm like you, I couldn't care less about the look, the icons, or the form factor either, but at the minimum I'd require a super cheap tablet that registers the touches properly.

      I've tried cheap under-powered android-derived tablets before, and I can tell you, there is nothing more frustrating as a user than having to touch a screen three or four times instead of touching it only once because the touchscreen doesn't register touch inputs properly. And I d

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Don't forget you can stick one on the steering wheel.

      • Just hope the airbag doesn't inflate, otherwise it's gonna give a new meaning to retina display :)

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Lord knows I have a million and one uses for cheap tablets.

      Correction: You have a million and one uses for EXPENSIVE tablets, if you could get them cheap.

      I've used several cheap tablets. There's good reason they are cheap. Usually, I wouldn't take them if they were giving them away for free...

      On a very cheap tablet, expect the touch-screen to be either massively unresponsive, to the point you're gouging your thumb into it pretty hard to get it to respond, or even worse, very responsive, to the point it g

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Dealextreme has a 600MHz tablet for $89 which has Android 2.2 on it IIRC and which is reputed to actually be fairly good. Not great battery life, but what do you want for under a bill? You have to wade through a bunch of craplets to find the one good one in that price range.

  • Odd, i just bought a 5" 'tablet' from China for that price. Seems this has already been done.

  • by LuxuryYacht (229372) on Friday December 30, 2011 @06:59PM (#38543890) Homepage

    Currently there are ARM Cortex A8 tablets with 7" LCD's using the $5.00 Allwinner A10 ARM soc on sale for ~120ea.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCvef9IYX0o [youtube.com]
    http://tabletrepublic.com/forum/cortex-a8-allwinner-a10/ [tabletrepublic.com]

    The actual cost to build them is around $60 ea

  • I picked up a rock tablet for free! Sure it's kind of heavy, but It'll never need an upgrade. No need to reset and it'll never loose data. Performance is a bit slow but it multitasks (it's got two sides for joting down stuff).

No user-servicable parts inside. Refer to qualified service personnel.

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