I’ve just noticed Liliputing posted an article about Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci tablet, the commercial version of Aakash2 tablet, that sells for $37.99. There are two caveats however: it’s only available in the U.S., and the price does not include a $9.99 shipping charge which brings the total price to $47.98. That’s still dirt cheap, but I’ve decided to look for the cheapest 7″ tablet that ships internationally. I did so on Chinese websites, including Aliexpress, where you can find such tablets for as low as $12 including shipping from sellers without feedback. These are obvious scams, so I filtered the products sold from sellers with decent feedback, and products with reviews. Based on these criteria, the cheapest Android tablet I could find is SF-M703A, or just called 703A. It goes for $43.99 including shipping via Swiss Post.
Let’s compare the specifications of SF-M703A with Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci.
|SF-M703A||Datawind UbiSlate 7Ci / AAKASH-2|
|SoC||AllWinner A13 @ 1.0 GHz with Mali-400 GPU|
|System memory||512 MB RAM|
|Storage||4GB NAND Flash + micro SD card|
|Display||7” capacitive touchscreen – Resolution: 800×480|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|I/O||mini USB + 3.5mm audio jack|
|Camera||0.3MP front camera|
|Battery||1800 mAh||2100 mAh (AAKASH-2).
Up to 180 minutes on battery
|Android Version||Android 4.0.3|
|Price (inc. shipping)||$43.99||$47.98|
Both tablets have basically the same specifications, with the only real difference being a battery with a slightly larger capacity on Ubislate 7Ci. Both devices are sold with a power adapter, and a USB cable.
Such tablets could be given to kids, although many games may not play smoothly, used as a remote control using apps such as Droidmote, or as a Chromecast remote, a digital photo frame, and possibly some projects where you need a cheap Android console (3D printer, home automation, etc…). For 10 to 15 dollars extra, you could also upgrade to a tablet with a dual core SoC including a more powerful GPU.