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India's $35 7-Inch Android Tablet To Hit In January

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the little-machine-little-price dept.

Handhelds 205

indogiree writes "Engadget reports that India has just awarded the manufacturing contract to HCL Technologies. The first shipment will supposedly only contain the 7-inch model and is set to arrive on January 10. It's unclear if the $35 price has stuck or whether India's been successful in plans to drive the price down to $10 eventually with the help of large orders and government subsidies. HCL Technologies plans to initially produce 100,000 units. Among the key features of this India-based tablet include 2GB of RAM, web-conferencing, PDF reader, unzip, WiFi, camera and USB connectivity."

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Production cost (5, Interesting)

iONiUM (530420) | about 4 years ago | (#33551830)

I'd really like to know what the true production cost of this tablet is. If it's low enough that with a few subsidies from the government they can get it down to $35 or even $10, then it leads me to believe other tablets are severely overpriced for no reason.

If they are indeed overpriced, then why doesn't 1 competitor just come in with a ridiculously low price and suck up all the "cheap" market? This applies to phones as well, which are also very expensive (though we don't often notice due to hardware upgrades from the carriers).

Re:Production cost (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33551850)

India also has a $6000 car but most westerners (and especially the USA) wouldn't want it.

Re:Production cost (3, Informative)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 4 years ago | (#33551894)

The base model is $3000, its only if you want the model with AC,Airbags,etc that you pay $6000

Re:Production cost (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about 4 years ago | (#33551950)

Is that the same model of car that recently set fire to itself when a salesman wanted to take prospective buyers on a test drive?

Re:Production cost (2, Insightful)

Servaas (1050156) | about 4 years ago | (#33551974)

I'm not up on the various numbers but what Toyota car recently had severe troubles with using the breaks? So apparently manufacturing problems don't just happen in cheap cars.

Re:Production cost (1)

Pikoro (844299) | about 4 years ago | (#33551994)

Wasn't a problem with the brakes. Was a problem with the floor mats.

Re:Production cost (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about 4 years ago | (#33552058)

Thats why they were given firmware upgrades? Wiki source quote: On February 9, 2010, Toyota announced a voluntary global recall of third generation 2010 Prius models manufactured from the current model's introduction through late January. Affected models, including 133,000 Prius vehicles in the U.S. and 52,000 in Europe, are to receive an anti-lock brake software update to fix brake response over rough roads, Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius [wikipedia.org]

Re:Production cost (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 4 years ago | (#33552156)

The supposed problem wasn't rough roads. People were claiming problems in parking lots too. One major problem in a lot of the cases was that the computer crash log showed the gas pedal being pressed when people said they hit the brakes. A firmware update can't fix user error, but it could be a good placebo in the case of mass hysteria.

Re:Production cost (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 4 years ago | (#33552696)

Also, when you look hard for a software bug that turns out not to be there, you might find others in the process.

Re:Production cost (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 4 years ago | (#33552592)

Because people were scared and its better to appear to have a fix to a non existent problem than risk being seen like you are doing nothing.

In August 2010, the Wall St. Journal reported that experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had examined the "black boxes" of 58 vehicles involved in sudden-acceleration reports. The study found that in 35 of the cases, the brakes weren't applied at the time of the crash. In nine other cases in the same study, the brakes were used only at the last moment before impact.[210] [edit]

Yeah, pretty much -all- the cases were due to driver error. Remember those 911 tapes where the guy wouldn't put his car in neutral, etc?

The problem is when one person reports a "problem" everyone else thinks "oh wow, I probably have the same problem if I did/will crash my Prius!" even though the problem was non-existent.

Sometimes you need to "fix" a problem that is not there in order to avoid media bashing.

Re:Production cost (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 4 years ago | (#33552068)

Assuming there was any problem at all, it could have been a mistake compounded by mass psychology and media attention. It sounds like it might be another 60 Minutes-Audi type hysteria, the Audi case was where people can swear they pressed the brakes but it turns out they really pressed the gas pedal.

Re:Production cost (4, Informative)

yakatz (1176317) | about 4 years ago | (#33552328)

Wasn't a problem with the brakes. Was a problem with the floor mats.

Wasn't a problem with either. Was a problem with the driver [marketwatch.com]

As anyone in computer support knows, the most common error code is "ID-10T".
If you prefer, a "layer-8" problem.
Could be known in this case as "PICNIC" (here meaning Problem In Chair, Not In Car).
The automotive technician version: "loose nut between the steering wheel and the seat"
I could almost go on about this all day.

Re:Production cost (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33552120)

"brakes". The word is "brakes"...

Re:Production cost (4, Funny)

robably (1044462) | about 4 years ago | (#33552134)

Give the guy a brake.

Re:Production cost (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 4 years ago | (#33552714)

The problem Toyota had existed purely between the seat and wheel. Pretty certain that no problem existed at all. People simply stomped down the gas instead of the brakes or some other simple mistake and then blamed Toyota. The mistake Toyota made was that they treated these people respectfully rather than calling them a bunch of lunatics and summarily dismissing their claims.

Re:Production cost (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 4 years ago | (#33552094)

its the same car, but dont know which model the one that caught fire was.
most prob. the more expensive one since ppl dont buy the cheaper one much

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552302)

It happens to the most expensive cars too.... ferrari's I've heard catch fire...

That would be the new Ferrari (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 4 years ago | (#33552426)

I believe Ferrari have just had a recall of their latest model over a design fault that can set fire to plastic insulation in a wing. This makes a serious point. The investment to make a fully reliable modern car from the first production run is stupendous. We shouldn't be surprised if niche manufacturers, or new market entrants, have teething troubles.

Re:That would be the new Ferrari (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 4 years ago | (#33552674)

TATA is hardly a niche manufacturer nor a new market entrant however.

That was probably a £170k Ferrari (1)

fantomas (94850) | about 4 years ago | (#33552602)

That was probably a £170K Ferrari 458 [telegraph.co.uk] - they seem to be bursting into flames quite regularly, general recall of the model is currently going on ;-)

Re:Production cost (2, Interesting)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 4 years ago | (#33552174)

Wikipedia says the Tata Nano started around $2200. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tata_Nano [wikipedia.org]

I wouldn't want that car (or any car) in Delhi, but for rainy days when I don't feel like bicycling to work in New England, I think it would be grand. Plus the rain might help put out the spontaneous combustion hahaha.

Re:Production cost (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 4 years ago | (#33551862)

Wealth generation for the people who have stock is a good reason.
The ability for a US corp to make a healthy profit and spend the cash on next gen R and D or to ensure US legislation is well written.
India wants nation building, tablets are trying to hold cartel like pricing up.

Re:Production cost (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 4 years ago | (#33551928)

Making a profit explains part of it. I don't think your anti-US conspiracy theory works well enough to explain the $35 price. The thing is, even the cost of the pile of parts for any other tablet on the market is a lot higher than $35. Also, almost none of the parts for a lot of the consumer tablets are made in the US or by US owned companies.

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552192)

Doubtful. Markup for your average piece of tech is 500-1000%. I'm pretty sure the iPad doesn't cost much more than $35 to make.

Re:Production cost (1)

pipatron (966506) | about 4 years ago | (#33552416)

But.. it's so shiny! The polish alone must be at least $10.

Re:Production cost (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 4 years ago | (#33552140)

OK, maybe it's real, but maybe not necessarily in the way the Indian government claims, unless they bought/stole the design. It also looks like the Indian government is also subsidizing 25% of the manufacturing cost:

http://androidos.in/2010/09/the-truth-about-35-android-tablet-from-indian-government/ [androidos.in]

Someone else pointed out that it's a resistive touch screen, which is a technology that's at least a couple decades old. I wouldn't be surprised if they used the cheapest TN display they could find.

Re:Production cost (4, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | about 4 years ago | (#33552442)

Of course they use the cheapest technology, when they want to produce the cheapest product. The point they want to make is that the consumer doesn't necessarily want to pay the extra money to get the extra expensive parts when they are not necessary for the functionality. You don't need the glossy shiny polished glass surface to check the bus timetable on your smartphone, for example.

Re:Production cost (1)

michael_cain (66650) | about 4 years ago | (#33552748)

Of course they use the cheapest technology...

Indeed. If the device is actually delivered, there will be a number of questions that will really get answered. Is the display tolerable to use? What is the real battery life? How well do the touch functions actually work? Does it survive the first drop (and I suspect that as a small tablet, it will get dropped regularly)?

Re:"Tolerable" (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33552832)

Tolerable for who? It's all about expectations.

The Western press will no doubt compare it side-by-side with the iPad and go on at great length about all its shortcomings, how isn't as shiny, how the touch-screen isn't as good, how the speaker is a bit naff, etc., but that's not who it's aimed at.

Re:Production cost (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#33552284)

The ability for a US corp to make a healthy profit and spend the cash on next gen R and D or to ensure US legislation is well written.

Boy, are you crazy.

Any idea how long it's been since a "US corp" (whatever that is) has spent cash on R & D? And you believe that corporations worry about whether legislation is "well-written"?

All I can say is that India better hope like hell that Apple doesn't have nukes yet.

Re:Production cost (1)

sensationull (889870) | about 4 years ago | (#33552656)

All I can say is that India better hope like hell that Apple doesn't have nukes yet.

Epic comment, you should have been modded both insightful and funny for that one :)

Re:Production cost (5, Insightful)

elh_inny (557966) | about 4 years ago | (#33551864)

Because, as Apple shows, people are not necessarily going for the cheapest thing.
Also you're shooting yourself with low profit margins - look at Motorola and Nokia nowadays - they were selling decent phones a while ago and decided to go for the low hanging fruit of cheap phones. That didn't leave enough focus/resources on the smartphones.
The result is the're both still in big trouble, with Motorola resuscitated by Google's Android as compared to cash rich Apple, who clearly have a strategy that brings in more money and focuses on innovation much more...

Re:Production cost (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551998)

You think? Apple sells to the latte sipping metrosexual poseur who pays for a brand. Apple is a company that repackages other people's ideas and technological advances and sticks a logo on it, and sells it in lot of pretty colours. The idea that Apple is a technology company is a total fallacy.

Sometimes Apple is cheaper (0)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33552040)

Apple sells to the latte sipping metrosexual poseur who pays for a brand.

Yet the iPod touch 4, which has access to Apple's App Store, starts at 229 USD. As far as I know, this is cheaper than any Android device sold in the United States that has access to Android Market. So I guess the brand doesn't add much to the MSRP, even if you aren't camp straight [tvtropes.org] .

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552130)

You are comparing an mp3 player to a phone.

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (2, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 4 years ago | (#33552182)

Congratz, you're snap bang at the core of Apple's market: people who can't tell a phone from an MP3 player.

It comes with peach-colored sleeves, too !

VoIP; Archos and the Market (0)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#33552270)

Congratz, you're snap bang at the core of Apple's market: people who can't tell a phone from an MP3 player.

For one thing, a Skype user can use Apple's MP3 player to make phone calls anywhere he can get a Wi-Fi signal. For another, Archos makes MP3 players that run Android and would be comparable to iPod touch except for the fact that Google won't let them onto Android Market.

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 4 years ago | (#33552210)

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (1)

wmac (1107843) | about 4 years ago | (#33552264)

this device does not have access to Android Market anymore. The access was revoked by google because of the poor quality and the bad reputation it might give android.

I had one of these and its battery would finish in 1-2 hours on a full charge (Wifi browsing) and I returned it.

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (2, Informative)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 4 years ago | (#33552722)

KMart is still advertising these as having full access to Android market:
http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_020W023705190001P?keyword=tablet&prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1 [kmart.com]

And other reviews say 2-3 hours video playback:
http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_020W023705190001P?keyword=tablet&prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1#reviewsWrap [kmart.com]

I'm not saying you're wrong. Some javascript can be wasteful of CPU and power (although not less than bad Flash!). But if they took away Android Market, KMART should stop advertising it a device which has Android Market access.

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 4 years ago | (#33552324)

Maybe the iPod touch should be called an app-pod instead of an iPod analogous to how some people call the latest smartphones app-phones. It's literally in a class of its own, why people don't try to jump into that market segment is beyond me.

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552510)

It's in the same class as PDAs from the 1990s, and Nokia's internet tablets from 2005-2009; why everyone else completely left that market segment is beyond me.

Re:Sometimes Apple is cheaper (2, Informative)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 4 years ago | (#33552784)

Apple has an mp3 player cheaper than any Android phone that I'm aware of + an arbitrary app store limitation.

Colour me unimpressed.

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552552)

There's only so much room in the "retarded premium" market... and I'm pretty sure the "India tablet" doesn't want to compete in that space.

Re:Production cost (2, Interesting)

sensationull (889870) | about 4 years ago | (#33552676)

Also you're shooting yourself with low profit margins - look at Motorola and Nokia nowadays - they were selling decent phones a while ago and decided to go for the low hanging fruit of cheap phones. That didn't leave enough focus/resources on the smartphones.

And thats why Nokia has large market penitration in "the rest of the world", the US is the only one where they skipped out on because of wanting to many rights for the end users when it came to carrier deals. All of Apples 'inovation' is based on other peoples work (Nokia and others for the actual ability to work as a phone), they are really just skilled collage makers pasting together technologies that other people have made into their own product.

Re:Production cost (2, Insightful)

lxt (724570) | about 4 years ago | (#33551868)

Two words for you: Resistive touchscreen

Re:Production cost (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#33551902)

How about: Increased usage range.

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551876)

Are other tablets manufactured someplace where child labor is common?

Re:Production cost (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about 4 years ago | (#33551900)

Is ANYTHING today manufactured someplace where child labor is UNCOMMON?

Re:Production cost (2, Funny)

gringer (252588) | about 4 years ago | (#33551956)

I think most people would consider the manufacture of babies to be an industry where child labour is uncommon.

Re:Production cost (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 4 years ago | (#33552112)

Watched MTV [wikipedia.org] lately?

Re:Production cost (1)

selven (1556643) | about 4 years ago | (#33552126)

You'd be surprised [wikipedia.org]

Re:Production cost (1)

Marcika (1003625) | about 4 years ago | (#33551990)

Is ANYTHING today manufactured someplace where child labor is UNCOMMON?

Anything where consistent quality matters. Microprocessors are made in the US, Western Europe, Israel or Taiwan. Cars and their components are still predominantly made in Europe, Japan, Korea or the US. Passenger planes - US, Europe, Brazil. Etc etc.

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551912)

The production cost is in line with other tablets and small laptops.
I dont know why people keep getting excited about this $35 and $10 stuff, its just the price after the government subsidizes it for their own students.
They arent, and never will be, available at subsidized price to anyone else besides Indian students.

Re:Production cost (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | about 4 years ago | (#33552122)

its just the price after the government subsidizes it for their own students

And that, I think you are right, is the focal point that is being sorely missed.

When I was a school child I had access to an Apple IIe, a Commodore PET, a TRS 80-III, and an IBM PCjr. Not exciting by today's standards, but the MSRP on these four machines would have totaled roughly $10,000 at the time. The cost to me : $0. These were machines at the different computer labs where I went to school, and they were subsidized by the government in one form or another. Even if the Indian government is subsidizing these to the tune of $100 apiece (selling the $135 tablets to students for $35) it's roughly the same as what the government did for me as a child, fiscally, but today's kids get to take them home.

Today I'm a professional software engineer and last year I paid $18,000 in income taxes to the government, about the same as I've been paying for the past five years, with less than that the years before (as I made less earlier in my career.) I'd say the ROI on those original government subsidized computers was pretty good.

I wonder what the ROI on the government subsidies on these tablets will be...

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551938)

It's very hard to see how this price of $35 would be achievable even with all the hardware and software engineering already subsidized. Even 800x480 pixel 7" digital photo frames direct from Chinese wholesalers start at about $35, and for this device one needs to add battery (at least $5), wlan ($5 even on mass quanitities), two gigabytes of RAM (couple dozen dollars), touchscreen, and of course, mainboard and SoC (unlikely to be less than $10 extra in comparison to the photo frame). So, BoM totals without engineering are easily over twice the advertised price - and guess what: the chinese sell their tablets (with considerably less RAM!) at slightly higher prices than that. I believe the prices set by these chinese (post-)shanzai shops show what's practically possible...

Unfortunately these "cheap computer/tablet for the third world" projects are continuously suffering from unrealistic expectations, ambitions and constant interest to depend on government subsidies which never tend to shrink. The projects seem to attract people that want to gain visibility instead of industrialists and realistically minded engineers that know how to do things and how to cope on a competetive market without subsidies...

Re:Production cost (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | about 4 years ago | (#33552054)

I believe the prices set by these chinese (post-)shanzai shops show what's practically possible...

What would you say to a 7" touchscreen android with wifi & 2GB RAM for under $100 [dealextreme.com] delivered to your door.

I don't see any reason that price can't be halved for a large enough order & then you're only looking at a $15/unit subsidy.

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552088)

I say it can't be done for couple years for $35 parts and manufacturing price, although it can be "done" with considerable amount of subsidies. Expression of national pride on capability of pushing the price down with subsidies is, in my opinion, just lame.

And BTW, AliExpress sells lower-grade (mostly: 128M RAM) "tablets" for roughly $61, but without free shipping. They're more a wholeshale hub, though. (And btw, the model you linked has 2GB of *flash*, and only 128 MB of RAM.)

Especially with the "2 GB" RAM part, manufacturing costs can't be much under $80 for such a device at these days. Sure, prices will drop; but $35 and $80 (or even $60) are entirely different things.

Re:Production cost (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | about 4 years ago | (#33552260)

Especially with the "2 GB" RAM part,

Well, I used the term RAM the same way the submitter did. Incorrectly.

But I think we'll see $35 Android 7" tablets by the end of the year. (probably not from the Indian govt however)

Re:Production cost (1)

frozentier (1542099) | about 4 years ago | (#33552000)

If they are indeed overpriced, then why doesn't 1 competitor just come in with a ridiculously low price and suck up all the "cheap" market?

The same reason they are marked up to begin with: Profits. If you mark something down $200 from your original price, you could end up making less money than your competitors even if you DO get their potential customers.

Re:Production cost (1)

bball99 (232214) | about 4 years ago | (#33552012)

don't know how phones can get much cheaper... 'round these parts, throwaway terrorist phones go for $4.88 in the dollar store or FYE

Re:Production cost (2, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 4 years ago | (#33552172)

If you watch the video of the guy [engadget.com] you'll notice he doesn't say it costs $35 to produce but rather he has a contract to buy a million of them at $35. He goes on to empathically say that this wouldn't be a retail price but this is the price at which it would be delivered to educational institutions. That makes me think it's more heavily subsidized (by all parties involved) than they are letting on. It could make financial sense for the company to get these tablets in the hands of students even at a loss, like Apple also does iPod giveaways from time to time.

Re:Production cost (3, Interesting)

nbharatvarma (784546) | about 4 years ago | (#33552208)

This appears to be an initiative by the government to push technology to the masses. I doubt the tablet (if it is not vaporware) will be available at this price for everyone. They will probably subsidize these devices to certain sections of the society. We have something called a Ration Card which is given based on your economic status. You can use that to get a subsidy on food, oil etc. I am assuming that subsidy on the tablet would be based on something like that.

India probably has the highest growth in terms of mobile devices purchased. The cheapest Nokia mobile set here costs USD 25 and we have Indian mobile companies now (Lava, MicroMax, Karbonn) who are aiming to provide mobiles for USD 10 in 2011. I have seen beggars with mobile phones. That's how low the entry-barrier is, in India. These mobiles do their job well.

India also has a very good mobile coverage. The areas which are not covered by private providers are covered by the state-owned BSNL. 3G services are going to get rolled out sometime towards the end of 2010.

The government wishes to push technology to masses. This is a good step in that direction.

Re:Production cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552634)

I am in the business of importing tablets from Chinese factories. Every factory I have interacted with offers a FOB (out of the factory, not inc shipping, customs, etc) price of around $90 +/- $10. That's for a similar/exact tablet as the one in TFA. 2GB of flash memory, by the way, is around $2-3 at that volume.

For what it's worth, the iPad is composed of expensive, quality components. They are still making a decent margin from what I can calculate, but not >$400 from what you seem to imply. More like $100 at best, for the base memory. Now, they are making great margins for the higher-memory units - 16GB flash is only $32 at 5k volume (so, ~$20 at 100k+). The relationship of price increase for the device and cost increase of the memory is superlinear.

Re:Production cost (1)

kenh (9056) | about 4 years ago | (#33552646)

Uhm, the production cost of what is essentially a "smartphone without a phone" is in no way related to the production cost of an actual tablet computer using note/netbook-caliber components, add in the Gov't subsidies and the reality that this is a $100 chinese product that is apparently being bought on the cheap due to a lack of interest in the market (read "they are being dumped").

Thanks jigsawhacker for the link: http://androidos.in/2010/09/the-truth-about-35-android-tablet-from-indian-government/ [androidos.in]

2GB Ram? (2, Informative)

drerwk (695572) | about 4 years ago | (#33551858)

I can not find 2GB RAM retail for less than $35. So the summary is truly amazing, or RAM is not a global market.

Re:2GB Ram? (5, Informative)

lxt (724570) | about 4 years ago | (#33551874)

The submission is wrong. It's flash memory, not RAM. The TFA even says so.

Re:2GB Ram? (0)

wayward_bruce (988607) | about 4 years ago | (#33551892)

RAM means "random access memory" and thus your Flash, sir, is RAM.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

frozentier (1542099) | about 4 years ago | (#33552002)

Things in flash don't disappear when you unplug it.

Re:2GB Ram? (3, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | about 4 years ago | (#33552028)

Flash most definitely is not "RAM". It can not be arbitrarily written.

Re:2GB Ram? (5, Informative)

james_a_craig (798098) | about 4 years ago | (#33552052)

Actually, no it's not. Flash can't be written to randomly; it needs a block erase cycle first (and generally a block is fairly large; we're not talking one or two bytes here). Technically you can zero bits without an erase, but not set them to 1 (erasing sets everything to 1).

This is why there's a distinction between EEPROM, FLASH, and RAM.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

wayward_bruce (988607) | about 4 years ago | (#33552280)

You're talking about physical memory, such as SDRAM, DDR, etc. But RAM is a higher, functionally descriptive term. Observe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory [wikipedia.org] , third paragraph.

Re:2GB Ram? (2, Insightful)

james_a_craig (798098) | about 4 years ago | (#33552574)

Actually, no, it's exactly the functionally descriptive term I'm challenging.

The normal definition is a memory with flat access times - i.e. it doesn't matter what part of the memory you access, you can do it equally quickly. This doesn't apply for things like tapes or HDDs, which are respectively either sequential or semi-sequential (sequential per cylinder) access.

In the case of flash the time to perform a write is strongly dependent on the preexisting erase state of the block - if it's cleared already, it's much faster than if you need to clear it. That means that the time to access a given block of memory isn't constant (or even nearly so) so it's not really random-access.

(If you want to be really nit-picky, it's random access on reads but not on writes. It can even end up being more complicated since you can have a read queued behind a erase on some flash devices)

Re:2GB Ram? (2, Informative)

wayward_bruce (988607) | about 4 years ago | (#33552610)

Thanks for clarifying and setting me straight on the meaning of "random" in RAM.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

jginspace (678908) | about 4 years ago | (#33551918)

Yeah, I also wondered what a "PDF reader unzip" is. The mistake is courtesy of Brian Yalung at nexus404.com. The editor here removed the link but kept the quote (see Related Stories).

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

jginspace (678908) | about 4 years ago | (#33552160)

I guess the nexus404.com were just copying the error. I followed a chain of misinformation down thru techpp.com, newlaunches.com, digitaltrends.com - all of whom dutifully copied the 2GB RAM quote - can't find the source. Apparently, according to those reports, it'll run on 2 watts.

Re:2GB Ram? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551880)

Yeah but that is a chip.
The memory in these are almost certainly embedded directly on the main board.

This is done in netbooks as well if you open one up.
They usually have either 256 or 512MB embedded on the board and an extra slot for expansion.

Re:2GB Ram? (4, Informative)

bfree (113420) | about 4 years ago | (#33551886)

Any Android tablet with 2GB of ram would be very interesting, but of course this this has 2GB of storage not ram.

Re:2GB Ram? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552358)

Suddenly that goes from unbelievably awesome to unbelievably shitty. 2GB RAM = holy shit! 2GB internal flash = !usable. I hope it has an external slot.

Re:2GB Ram? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551896)

The summary is wrong. TFA says the tablet is rumoured to have 2 GB of STORAGE, not RAM.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

mseeger (40923) | about 4 years ago | (#33551910)

Hmmm.... how about buying large quantities? A "DDR2 1Gb 128Mx8 800MHz" chip costs less than 2 US$ on the spot market. So you can get 2GB for below 4 bucks as manudacturer (Source: http://www.dramexchange.com/ [dramexchange.com] ).

CU, Martin

Re:2GB Ram? (3, Informative)

mprinkey (1434) | about 4 years ago | (#33551942)

1 Gb is 1 gigaBIT. 2 GB is 2 gigaBYTES. So, to make 2 GBs, you need 16 of those $2 chips, not two. So, ~$32 for 2 GB of RAM, just for the chips. 2 GB DIMMs/SoDIMMs are in $35-$40 range on the site you posted.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

mseeger (40923) | about 4 years ago | (#33552020)

Ouch, yes.... me not looking closely enough.

Re:2GB Ram? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551948)

Except that is a 1 Gbit DDR2 ram chip arranged as 8 bits x 128 M = 128 MBytes. You need 8 of them for 1 GB. $16 per GB as discussed elsewhere.

Re:2GB Ram? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33551978)

That's one gigabit, not one gigabyte. For that cost, two gigabytes costs around $30, not to even mention this is not mobile SDRAM suitable for tablet use.

Re:2GB Ram? (0, Troll)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 years ago | (#33551996)

Hmmm.... how about buying large quantities? A "DDR2 1Gb 128Mx8 800MHz" chip costs less than 2 US$ on the spot market. So you can get 2GB for below 4 bucks as manufacturer.

And another one too stupid to know the difference between 'b' and 'B'. It happens to be a factor of 8 in memory sizes.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

mseeger (40923) | about 4 years ago | (#33552086)

Correct... stupid, careless me.

Re:2GB Ram? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#33552022)

I can not find 2GB RAM retail for less than $35. So the summary is truly amazing, or RAM is not a global market.

Logic? You fail it. The tablet is not made with retail products. Products are sold for what the market will bear. The retail market will bear higher prices than the wholesale, reseller market.

Wow! (1)

JosefSit (1805244) | about 4 years ago | (#33551986)

I like the indian approach in this case!

It seem to me, that they are taking success-concepts from the western world and integrate them into their culture.

Its crazy, though: Some of the poorest people live there and they start pumping "newest" technology to make it affordable...

Re:Wow! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552042)

Anything can be made not only "affordable", but even "free" with sufficient amount of subsidies.

It's not honest to advertise subsidized prices as the true expense. Someone is paying the subsidies, although it might not be the student or his school. Yet especially in India, they want to express nationalistic pride for this achievement, while comparing subsidized price with unsubsidized free-market prices. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that this device is fair amount more expensive in total cost than the tablets Chinese manufacturers have been pushing out now for a while. For instance, one can find "Android tablet PCs" from AliExpress for tad over $60. I wouldn't buy one, but I highly suspect that the Indians would have beaten the Chinese in costs...

Re:Wow! (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | about 4 years ago | (#33552070)

It's not honest to advertise subsidized prices as the true expense

You might want to tell Boeing and you local congresscritter.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552254)

This would be a good suggestion if I were an US citizen. I'm not.

Government subsidies for agriculture are pretty universal, at least in the western countries, though. Still, I haven't heard of people having national pride on how cheap their locally produced food in the market is... mostly they grunt about the subsidies are funded out of their salaries.

Re:Wow! (1)

JosefSit (1805244) | about 4 years ago | (#33552076)

Anything can be made not only "affordable", but even "free" with sufficient amount of subsidies

I think that is a good point. But you have to get the subsidies from somewhere. Be it the market, or from the government (taxes). Either way, some people have to earn money in order to spend it. I totally agree to your sentence and would add: "anything can be made affordable but not everything" :)

Re:Wow! (1)

jginspace (678908) | about 4 years ago | (#33552242)

It seem to me, that they are taking success-concepts from the western world and integrate them into their culture.

Actually the source might not be 'western' but Chinese - see comment lower down "The Truth about $35 Android Tablet from Indian Gov" with story from androidos.in [androidos.in] .

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552506)

A comment on the article - I dont know whether it is true, but it is good to have both the views -

In China, the casing designs are often open and free for any manufacturer to use.

The truth is the Indian $35 Tablet is based on electronics and software made by Bangalor AllGo Systems.

What really happened, the Indian HRS saw my video of AllGo Systems http://armdevices.net/2010/07/23/indias-35-tablet-is-based-on-my-video/ , and they though it was a good idea and that triggered them announcing the project.

This is how this works. All devices are manufactured in China no matter what. No other country has the same consumer electronics manufacturing infrastructure to be able to build tablets and stuff like that.

The Truth about $35 Android Tablet from Indian Gov (5, Informative)

jigsawhacker (1292362) | about 4 years ago | (#33552024)

Outship It to Me (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 4 years ago | (#33552368)

I cannot wait to have the Indians to whom my job was outsourced buy up thousands of these tablets and ship them to me for $40, so I can sell them here in the US for $150. It might make up for my lost salary and benefits.

Seriously, how will India stop me from buying a dozen of these there and shipping them back here to have a cheap tablet in every room and couch?

It is not HCL who is doing this it is allgo (1)

dominic.laporte (306430) | about 4 years ago | (#33552496)

Here is a better explanation [youtube.com] of the price breakdown.

Where is the $30 laptop they promissed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33552750)

This is just a publicity stun. India is well-known for that.

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