As tablet devices go, Datawind's UbiSlate is not going to knock the socks off any geek, but it gets the job done, and for a jaw-dropping price: $38.
The name-brand bestsellers are way out of that price range. Apple's iPad Mini starts at $399, and Google’s own Nexus 7 starts at $229. The lowest price for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is a kiddie version, marked down for the holidays to $199 on the company’s site.
The UbiSlate, a fully functioning tablet that uses the Google Android operating system, was designed to bring Internet affordability to the masses in India, and now it's about to launch in the US and the UK. Datawind sees a market for an affordable computing device among lower-income consumers and cash-strapped students, here and in Great Britain.
The $38 model is at the low-end of the brand's line. Other models are available, all the way up to a souped-up version for $149.
This tablet is not trying to compete with Apple's iPad or Google's Nexus line. And it's not made for chronic game players or binge-watchers of action movies. It’s made for the kind of basic texting and Web browsing that most of us have long taken for granted.