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Cheap tablets meet their match in $38 Datawind UbiSlate

The $38 UbiSlate 7Ci tablet features a 7-inch

The $38 UbiSlate 7Ci tablet features a 7-inch screen with an 800-by-480-pixel display. (Credit: Datawind)

The best part about the $38 tablet being sold by London-based Datawind is that it will really make you appreciate all the features loaded on the iPad, Kindle, or Nexus product that cost you 10-times as much.

Datawind said Monday that its ultracheap tablet, dubbed the UbiSlate, would be available for purchase in the United States from its website. But aside from the price tag, the tablet’s most outstanding feature is just how obsolete its technology is.

The processor most resembles that of the 2010 first-generation iPad, according to The Wall Street Journal, and those featured in tablets that sold for as little as $100 by 2011, Time said. It even uses the Android operating system from that same year. The device’s lone camera has a 0.3-megapixel resolution.

In other words, don’t count on getting exuberant reactions if you stick this bad-boy under the Christmas tree.

While it’s no great holiday gift, the UbiSlate, which comes in more capable models priced as high as $149, does serve a great purpose, according to CEO Suneet Singh Tuli.

“It’s easy to criticize our devices based on specs,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “But prices like this can be liberating in places like [India], and there are places in the U.S. where affordable technology can have a similar affect.”

And because the device was built to deliver the Internet to emerging markets, such as India, where just 13 percent of the population has access, the UbiSlate could be a game-changer.

Even if Datawind’s device falls short of drastically lifting that number, the pursuit of that goal probably deserves praise rather than the dismissive, snide remarks allotted above.

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