Tablet goes on sale for £30 in UK

The UbiSlate 7Ci The new tablet is now on sale in the UK

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A tablet costing £30 has gone on sale in the UK.

The UbiSlate 7Ci, made by UK-based company Datawind, is the commercial version of the Aakash 2 tablet, which was originally launched in India.

There, the tablet is mainly used by students and was designed to provide cheap internet access to help improve education.

Analysts say UK customers buying this tablet and comparing it with others on the market may be disappointed.

The 7in (18cm) Android tablet has wi-fi connectivity, 512MB of RAM, a microUSB connection and 4GB of storage.

It has a three hour battery life and allows users to watch online tutorials and videos, browse the internet and play games.

When the Aakash was launched in India in 2011 it was dubbed the "world's cheapest touch-screen tablet" and was aimed at schools and colleges. The first version was not well received by critics, but an upgraded version, the Aakash 2, fared better.

Speaking at the Wired 2013 conference in October, Suneet Singh Tuli, who founded Datawind, said getting online was all about affordability.

"It's not just about creating low-cost devices, for us it's about delivering the internet," he said.

Cost offset
Suneet Singh Tuli Suneet Singh Tuli, who runs Datawind, said his mission was to deliver low-cost internet

A partnership with the Indian government helped the Aakash 2 become one of the country's best-selling tablets.

"At the start of this year we became the largest supplier of tablet computers in India, ahead of both Apple and Samsung," said Mr Tuli.

Samsung has since taken the lead.

The company said it could afford to sell the product at such a low price as the cost of the hardware was offset with revenue from content and advertising.

"The reality is that with any consumer electronics device you get what you pay for," said Ben Wood, an analyst at research company CCS Insight.

"Any consumer buying this tablet with the expectation it will deliver a comparable experience to more expensive, yet affordable, Android tablets such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Tesco's Hudl will be sorely disappointed."

The company, which was named as the UK's most innovative mobile company in a government competition in 2012, also has two other tablets with higher specifications advertised on its UK website.

Both Tesco and Aldi have recently joined the "low-cost" tablet market. Tesco's 7in Hudl device went on sale for £120 and Aldi sold out of the 7in £80 Medion Lifetab shortly after launching it. Argos also launched a £100 tablet known as the MyTablet.

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