ReadWrite – Ubislate 7Ci: Can This $20 Tablet Really Change The World?
In all the competitive battles that have defined the history of the technology revolution, one essential truth almost always determines the outcome: cheap and good enough beats awesome but expensive every time.
It happened when PCs beat out minicomputers (not to mention Macintosh’s). It happened when VHS killed Betamax. It happened when Linux pushed aside proprietary server operating systems. It’s happening now as Google’s Android overtakes Apple’s iOS.
And it could be about to happen again with the Ubislate 7Ci tablet. This Android device is far from special in just about every respect. The specs are ordinary at best:
- 7-inch, 800 x 432 capacitive touchscreen
- Android 4.04 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 1GHz Cortex A8 ARMv7 CPU
- 512MB RAM, 4GB storage
- Wi-Fi (a version with GPRS cellular capability is also available)
- VGA front-facing camera
- Micro SD slot
- Power, micro-USB, and headphone connectors
The speaker is tinny. The pictures are grainy and low-res, and the colors are off, too. The screen has to be held just so to be seen properly. Battery life is listed as a measly 3 hours, and in my tests the device couldn’t hold a charge more than a day or two no matter how little it was used. Performance is painfully slow for anyone spoiled by the latest tablets from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and others. Things that should happen instantly take several seconds or more, and I experienced frequent hangups and glitches.
But build quality seems solid, and the thing is perfectly portable. Most important, though, it works - and it’s being sold for just $20 in India.