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UK’s budget-tablet market getting crowded with launch of ‘world’s cheapest’ slate

Brits looking to pick up a tablet this Christmas are spoilt for choice at the budget end of the market, with a slew of wallet-friendly offerings hitting stores in recent months. Whether they’re any good, of course, is another matter entirely.

The latest low-cost slate to land in the UK comes with a price tag equivalent to around 10 pints of pub-purchased lager (£30/$49), with maker Datawind describing it as “the world’s cheapest tablet”.

The UbiSlate 7Ci, which costs $450 less than Apple’s entry level iPad Air, is the commercial version of the Aakash, a tabletubislate originally created for an educational program launched by the Indian government in 2011.

Arriving for UK consumers in time for Christmas, the device’s specs are, as you can imagine, unlikely to cause you to choke on your bûche de Noël, but for $49, who’s complaining?

The 7-inch tablet sports an 800 x 480 display and is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8-based processor. It comes with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage (expandable with a MicroSD card), and runs a version of Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). A 0.3-megapixel front camera is also part of the package.

London-based Datawind currently sells three tablets in the UK, with the UbiSlate 7Ci the cheapest of the trio.

It goes up against a number of other recently launched devices competing for the attention of budget-conscious shoppers, including Tesco’s Hudl, Argos’s MyTablet, and Aldi’s Medion Lifetab. Among these offerings, the Hudl appears to have impressed the most, with its 7-inch 1440 x 900 display, quad core 1.5Ghz processor, and 3.2-megapixel camera. But then again, at £120 ($190), it’s the most expensive of the bunch.

Uppdate: The UbiSlate 7Ci is now showing on Datawind’s US website for just $38.

[via the Guardian] [Images: Datawind]

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