It looks like ages when a company called DataWind started a new trend in the tablet space in India. In September 2011, it unveiled Aakash, which was hailed as the cheapest tablet of the world at Rs 2,500, and redefined the meaning of an affordable device.
Aakash has still not reached the hands of the common man who had ordered it or had shown an interest in buying it, but other tablet manufactures realised the opportunity and didn't follow the path of DataWind.
Players like iBerry, Zen Mobiles and Wickedleak have launched affordable Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) tablets for less than Rs 10,000 and unlike Aakash tablet, these are available in the market for the common man.
Here is a list of the cheapest ICS tablets available in India, which are priced below Rs 10,000.
iBerry AX01 (Rs 5,990)
It is the cheapest in this series. iBerry, which has some popular low cost devices to its name, is perhaps the first few makers to bring an ICS tablet to India for such a price. The company officially started dispatching this Android ICS WiFi-only tablet from yesterday.
The 7 inch iBerry Auxus AX01 tablet comes with a 1 GHz Arm Cortex A8 architecture based processor with dedicated dual Mali-400 graphics engine for speed and better graphic capabilities that supports Open GL 2.0 as well.
The device has an 800 x 400 pixel capacitive touchscreen. Along with that the Auxus AX01 features 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, and an option to connect 3G dongles using a mini USB port.
On the storage front AX01 has 4 GB of onboard memory which can be expanded to 32 GB using micro SD cards. Auxus AX01 also features a mini HDMI output which is capable of handling full high definition 1080p video playback on an HD TV screen.
Zen: UltraTab (Rs 5,999)
Zen Mobile, an Indian handset manufacturer, has launched a new Android Ice Cream Sandwich based tablet named UltraTab A100 for Rs 6,199 in India. However, as part of the initial phase, Homeshop18 is offering the tablet at a special price of Rs 5,999.
The Zen UltraTab A100 weighs 295 grams and has a 7 inch display. It is a WiFi only tablet powered by a 1.2 GHz processor. It has a 1.3 megapixel front camera with digital zoom.
Zen Mobile has provided an option to expand the memory of the tablet to 32 GB through a micro SD card, and has also preloaded movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
WishTel's Ira Thing 2 (Rs 6,500)
WishTel, which is known for its low-cost tablets, announced its Ira Thing 2 tablet just a few days back. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a 1.5 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM.
Ira Thing 2 is available in six striking colours-red, yellow, pink, blue and white, and for those who prefer their device to look a little sober there is also a black one. The tablet has 4 GB of internal memory and an expandable memory of upto 32 GB and comes with a 1.3 megapixel inbuilt front camera. There is an HDMI port to connect a compatible TV with the tablet. The tablet comes with a 3000 mAh battery with claimed browsing time of approximately four hours.
Ira Thing 2 also has a keyboard that supports 14 Indian languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Oriya.
Wickedleak Wammy Ethos (Rs 8,999)
Indian tablet manufacture Wickedleak recently launched this tablet in India for Rs 8,999. Wammy Ethos is a 7 inch Android Ice Cream Sandwich tablet with a SIM slot for 3G connectivity that supports 7.2 Mbps download and 5.76 Mpbs upload speeds.
The device weighs 450 grams and operates on a 1.2 GHz processor. It has 512 MB RAM and features 4 GB of internal memory. Wammy Ethos' external memory can be expanded to 32 GB using a micro SD card. It also has added features like Bluetooth and tethering that allow users to create a WiFi hotspot.
The tablet has a 3500 mAh battery under the hood and the exterior houses an HDMI port. Besides, it packs dual speakers.
Zync Pad Z990 (Rs 8,500)
Launched for around Rs 12,000, this tablet is now available for Rs 8,500 from Homeshop18. It comes with a single core Vivant GC340 mobile processor and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS without any customisation. It comes with a full USB 2.0 port that can accommodate and read from USB flash drives as well as USB data modems.
The tablet offers only 4 GB internal storage while one can add up to 32 GB additional storage via micro SD cards. Zync also offers a USB dockable keyboard for Rs 999. We have already reviewed this tablet, and you can read about it here.