The Indian Government’s Human Resource Development minister unveiled a surprising new entry in the filed of ultra-cheap PCs today – the pound shop iPad.

Well, ok, its not actually called that, but this amazingly cheap tablet PC could fill such a niche in the developing world.

The tablet is designed for ultra-low power consumption and frankly, isn’t going to be playing Angry Birds any time soon.  That’s not the point though – this little beauty runs at just 2 watts (you can add solar cells too if you like), boasts a 2GB solid state disk drive (you can attach a 32GB add on drive) and has a seven inch touch screen.

The key lies in the Linux operating system which as well as being free, to reduce costs even further, supports a huge amount of apps already. The makers have kitted the tablet out with a modern web browser, Office-compatible word processor and spreadsheet and users can easily add more from the Linux library.

By using cheap components and applying some crafty economies of scale the researchers at the Indian Institutes of Technology reckon they can knock this tablet out for just 1600 Rupees – just under £23. The Indian Government is now inviting private industry to step in to see if it can lower the cost even further. If it can manage it, access to ultra-cheap computers like this would be a great boon to business and education in the country.

“This is real and tangible and we will take it forward,” said HRD minister Kapil Sibal.

TBC | £23 | Indian Institutes of Technology  (via India Today)

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    European summer is over. PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) will be the first to sink. Already western technology edge is getting blunted. Britain should prepare itself to be client state if not an Indian colony in a decade or two.

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