After much deliberation, the government has decided to continue the much-troubled Aakash project and has released the specifications of the fourth-gen low-cost education tablet. These are the proposed specifications for the device, which will officially be called Aakash 4.

While we knew we would be seeing some changes in the hardware, the biggest news is that the tablet will be able to dual-boot Android and Linux (through a microSD card). In addition, the specs of the tablet suggest it should be an improvement over the Aakash 3, based on the Datawind UbiSlate 7C+. The Aakash 4 will have 1GB of DDR3 SDRAM along with 4GB internal storage and up to 32GB microSD support. It will have a 7-inch LCD display with 800 x 480 resolution.

Internet connectivity is possible through built-in Wi-Fi and 2G and 3G-enabled SIM cards. The government also wants support for 4G dongles, according to the proposed specifications. It also calls for support of USB on-the-go on one of the USB ports on the tablet. The government has also suggested that the tablet should be able to charge up from 10 percent to 80 percent in two hours and the battery should be rated good for 3 hours of 720p video playback. Here's the full document:

The Linux distro of the OS, according to the proposal, has to be touch-optimised. The example used is Plasma Active, which is a KDE-developed device-agnostic user experience platform. Confusingly, the document also mentions “latest Ubuntu” as a possibility, which is not touch-optimised.

The government has asked for comments on the proposed specifications and the possible usability and functionality of the tablet. These have to be submitted by July 12. We expect the final specifications to be released soon after.

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