A tablet for every taste

Written by Kirtika Suneja | Updated: Apr 22 2012, 09:28am hrs
If you thought that with Aakash, tablets became niche, reboot yourself. The latest offering in this myriad world of gizmos is the edutainment tablet. A product for the youth, it offers not only education, but also entertainment options to cover the two important elements in a youngsters life. We take a closer look...

We already know about tablets specially created for the education sector, what with the much talked about Aakash and its several companions. Now the tablet makers have thrown in some fun as well by launching edutainment tablets, which not only offer various educational packages, but several entertainment options like games, movies and music too. Clearly, the days of tablets being general purpose devices like notebooks and netbooks are long gone.

The action in this segment has been intense in the past few weeks, with the launch of two such products. While hardware and systems integration firm HCL Infosystems brought MyEduTab to India for both schools and colleges, handset major Micromax launched a first-of-its-kind edutainment device, the Funbook. Micromaxs product is targeted at 67% (close to 20 million) of the total urban youth population in India who aspire to own a computing device for both learning and fun.

So it would not be incorrect if we say that if Aakash created a niche for itself in the overcrowded tablet market, then HCL Infosystems and Micromax are on their way to create a superniche with a wider reach.

The tablet market in India is growing at a rapid pace and the device is fast enriching consumers lives by finding unique usages from a learning companion to a productivity enhancer, says Gautam Advani, EVP & Head, Mobility, HCL Infosystems about MyEduTab.

The new niche created by these companies focuses on the youth who want entertainment to be packaged with learning. Experts believe that these tablets will bring a paradigm shift in the way learning is imparted.

This bundled offering has already been a hit with educational institutes, with 20 in Delhi having already logged on to MyEduTab. The tablet comes in two versions, priced in the range of Rs. 9,999 to Rs. 11,499.

We want to make smart learning pervasive. With tables like Funbook at affordable price points (R6,499) bundled with VLearnSmart and Internet connectivity, this becomes a reality. VLearnSmart allows democratisation of content delivery, which puts the discovery of relevant learning material in the hands of the consumer, adds Swapnil Shrivastav, CEO and founder, Vriti, a smart education platform company associated with Funbook.

For instance, no student will have a dull moment with Funbook apps like BIGflix offering more than a 1,000 movies in nine languages across different genres with free access for first 30 days and with over 48 channels to choose from in the new tablets.

This is an innovative device for the 21st century learner. It will change the way we learn, definitely make learning an interesting proposition and will make the student more engaged even as the cloud ecosystem will enable a learner to imbibe knowledge at his own pace, says Anand Ekambaram, head, HCL Learning.

Launch of devices with tremendous capabilities will help us make the education delivery closer to the ultimate personalised tutoring experience, says Yogesh Seth, CTO and co-founder, Vriti.

The MyEduTab K12 Version has a variety of content with rich animations and text in 2D and 3D, solved examples, chapter quizzes, key revision points and free NCERT text books. Educational applications available in the tablet include parental control application, online quiz engine, My Studio to search and explore free educational content online, online videos, online encyclopaedia and problem solver application. Also the MyEduTab will have classes I to V Hindi and English content and GK content for junior classes.

Funbook is available at R6,499 in more than 50 cities across India and Micromax plans to step beyond its own network of one lakh stores.

Over the past year, India has witnessed a flood of new tablets, with several global and domestic vendors launching devices at increasingly competitive price points. The portable segment of PCs, including notebooks, netbooks and tablets, witnessed a growth of 22.9% in 2011, according to global research firm IDC, which pegged the tablet market at around 0.31 million units and said 10.48 million PCs were shipped in 2011 into the country.

On the other hand, Gartner has projected India PC shipments to reach 12.5 million units in 2012, a 17% increase from 2011 and that media tablets (which are designed for entertainment) might see higher adoption as compared to 2011. However, the agency says tablets are not going to have any major impact on PCs as they are still the second or third devices for consumers.

HCL MyEduTab

MyEduTab is Education on the Move combined with personalised and collaborative learning. It comes along with high quality engaging content for both learners and parents to make learning a great experience. It is a component of a cloud-based learning ecosystem, which brings together all stakeholdersstudents, teachers, parents and institutionson an integrated education platform.

Aimed at personalised learning while helping the students to understand concepts at their own pace, it comes with a topic revision application and a self-assessment engine, wherein students can self evaluate their skills and knowledge, while parents will now be able to monitor their childs progress in an easy and convenient manner.

While the teacher can upload content onto the cloud, the student or the parent can access the same on the MyEduTab.

On the entertainment front, it enables networking and collaboration through networks like LinkedIn and leads to an all round development and employability enhancement for students.

Features

The tablet is powered by Android OS 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It is packed with 17 local ready-to-use applications, sports a 7 inch 800X480 pixel capacitive screen and has a 1Ghz processor with high performance and low power CPU. The tablet comes with a front camera and 512 MB RAM, with an internal memory of 4GB expandable to 32GB.

The MyEduTab K12 version, priced at R11,499, is an innovative educational tablet packaged with K12 curriculum, mapped digital content, educational applications and games, videos and e-books, including NCERT text, which makes revision fun and home learning a self paced, enjoyable experience.

Also, parents will have easy access to reports and the device is parental lock enabled.

The MyEduTabhigher education version priced at R9,999 is an edutainment platform, which brings together world-class rich multimedia content on technical and professional skills, assessments and apps.

Status

Twenty educational institutions have already logged in. Tablets will be available in stores and for educational institutes in Delhi and across the country from this month onwards.

Price

MyEduTab K12 version priced at R11,499

MyEduTabhigher education version is priced at R9,999

Micromax Funbook

Micromax has partnered with leading players to provide education and entertainment content. These partnerships include Pearson and Everonn and they make unique and relevant content available for the students; and BigFlix, Zenga and Indiagames to provide entertainment and gaming pleasure. The device will be available at one lakh retail outlets across 50 cities in India and consumers can also order it exclusively through snapdeal.com. To make online content available to users, the device will come bundled with Tata Photon and additional 1GB data offer for the first two months.

Fun and education are two important elements of a youths life. They always to try balance what they have to do and what they want to do. With the launch of Funbook, we are offering a smart solution to solve this dilemma, and we believe that Funbook will help create a balance between the two, says Deepak Mehrotra, CEO, Micromax.

It is a tablet packed with entertainment features. With over 48 channels to choose from, Funbook allows users to watch their favourite show on channels like MTV, Colors, UTV Bindaas, UTV Movies, NDTV and many morelive! Powered by Zenga, the Micromax Funbook leaves no stone unturned to bring entertainment to your palms. It offers improved graphic performance play games powered by Indiagames, available in a wide variety of genre such as action, adventure, arcade and fun. One can get the latest gossips from B Town and listen to chart topping numbers on Bolly Buzz and watch favourite movie videos on M clips. Powered by Hungama, besides 1 GB free downloads for the first two months, the tablet has over 4,000 videos and 6,000 songs to choose from.

Features

Funbook comes with 7 inch capacitive screen, runs on 1.2GHz processor and is 1cm in thickness. For avid readers, the device can be customised as a mini library by storing contents up to 4GB in its internal memory, which is expandable up to 32GB. Funbook integrates a 0.3 MP VGA front facing camera to capture images to relive all your favourite memories. With HD video playback at 1080p, users can enjoy watching videos, movies and clips in brilliant hi-definition mode. The HDMI port lets you connect with any other multimedia device such as TV or projector and enjoy the content in the desired way. With its big screen, watching movies, pictures and games is a joy, while reading books and surfing the net becomes much easier and convenient.

Status

The device is targeted at 67% (close to 20 million) of the total urban youth population in India, who aspire to own a computing device for learning as well as fun.

Price: Rs. 6,499