A faster and enhanced version of the low-cost tablet PC, Aakash would be launched next month without increase in cost, Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister, Kapil Sibal announced today.

During Lok Sabha’s Question Hour, he said that the manufacturer of Aakash, Datawind will be supplying 100,000 high-speed tablet PCs with a better screen and a longer battery life.

“The new tablet’s better specifications that include 3200mAH battery with 3 hour battery backup, 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor and a capacitive touch screen have been required to get over the earlier issues observed in the tablets,” Sibal said.

“The first stage of 100,000 tablets was aimed for higher technical educational institutions’ students hence to add more technical feedback on usability and operation of the tablet,” he said.

In response to the demands from members for expanding the supply of the tablet PCs to school students, Sibal said that the same would be available once the anticipated National Mission of Education through ICT for Schools acquires required funds.

The minister said, once the tablets production capacities are developed, standards for supply with a plan to prioritise students’ empowerment, particularly from marginalised and disadvantaged parts of the society, via this low-cost tablet would be developed.