Thailand signs the world’s largest educational tablet distribution deal

touchscreen tablet finger

You can argue that tablets can never replace the form and functionality of a real, full-sized laptop, but you can’t argue that tablets are certainly cheaper to distribute if you’re planning to put one in the hands of hundreds of thousands of students in the country. That’s why Thailand has officially inked a deal that would bring an estimated one million tablets to its students ages 6 to 8 nationwide.

The $32.8 million One Tablet PC Per Child campaign (1.02 billion Thai Baht) is the world’s largest education tablet distribution deal to date, and finally became official after members of the Pheu Thai party announced the initiative last summer during election season. In partnership with the Chinese firm, Shenzhen Scope, 400,000 tablet units are expected to ship within the next 90 days with an additional 530,000 units on the way. The latter part of the deal is currently not finalized, but the country’s government hopes to continue working toward one million tablets for its students. If Thailand successfully pens the deal for the second shipment, the venture budget will come to a whopping $75.7 million sum for the entire program.

“Thailand is the first country in which we have provided large numbers of tablets for students,” said Shenzhen Scope chairman Liu Jun. “Now we are talking with other governments to provide this kind of tablet device for [other] students, including Pakistan, Brazil and South Africa.”

Thailand reportedly also looked at some of China’s largest tablet manufacturers, such as Lenovo and Huawei, but the pricing per unit was too high for its budget. Conversely, a lower bid from another company was offered but rejected by the government, perhaps due to less specs for the value.

The select device model, priced at $81 per unit, is the Scopad SP0712: An 7-inch Android device running the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. It’s also got 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, 1.5 GHz single core CPU, and comes in four color options: Red, blue, silver, and gold. Shenzhen Scope will also set 30 help centers around the Southeast Asian country to provide user support specifically for tablets received from the campaign. Not too shabby of specs for tablets for elementary school students.

Shenzhen Scope’s production capacity currently stands at 30,000 units per day, with 80 percent of this capacity reserved exclusively for Thailand’s One Tablet PC Per Child initiative. That’s 24,000 units per day. Comparatively, the largest education tablet distribution program we’ve seen in the United States was 25,700 iPad units set for deployment to students of the San Diego Unified School District in California this fall. This initiative will cost the district $15 million, though it’s obvious iPads cost a whole lot more than the less-recognized Scopad tablet.

It’s times like these I wish I was still a student growing up in Thailand, or just a growing child of this new era of technology.

Image Credit: Flickr/ebayink

Emerging Tech

Here’s how the InSight mission to Mars will confirm its landing to NASA

NASA's InSight mission has sent a lander to Mars. NASA researchers have now shared details on how they will monitor the touching down of the lander at the end of its 91 million mile journey.
Emerging Tech

Ancient crater the size of NYC discovered under the Greenland ice sheet

A huge crater has been discovered beneath the ice of Greenland, and is thought to be the result of a meteorite impact millions of years ago. The crater is one of the largest ever discovered, measuring 19 miles across.

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.

Aussies hope free Wi-Fi on their beaches will lead to fewer drownings

Lifeguards in Australia have hit on an idea to use Wi-Fi to make the nation's beaches safer. It's a simple but clever idea that plays on our need to stay connected around the clock.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Smart Home

Amazon will bring a 7-foot-tall Christmas tree to your doorstep starting today

If you have fond memories of going out with your family and searching for the perfect Christmas tree, well, Amazon wants to create its own holiday tradition. Starting today, you can order a real, 7-foot tree from Amazon.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.