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Thai Government to buy almost a million Android 4.0 tablets for $81 each

May 15, 2012

It looks like tablets will be popular in schools in the future, and should replace the netbooks and even the low-end laptops that governments from around the world have tried to buy in the past for educational purposes. Tablets are easier to handle and easier to use than a PC, not to mention much cheaper. So it’s a perfect fit. We’ve covered before the cheap Aakash tablet that the Indian government has commissioned for school children, and now it seems that other nations are walking down the same path.

The Thai Government is making the biggest educational purchase so far in the tablet market, buying 400,000 7-inch tablets for $32.8 million right now, and the authorities are considering buying another batch of 530,000 such tablets if everything goes well. The goal of the program is to eventually provide all first-graders with such an educational device.

It’s hoped that replacing traditional books and paper with interactive devices will eventually help the SE Asian country’s educational system to meet the challenges of a rapidly developing society.

The tablet in question is a 7-inch Android 4.0 device, called Scopad SP0712, which will have a 1.2 Ghz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, and even GPS. The display doesn’t look half bad either, and it seems to be a capacitive one, which should offer a much better experience than some $100 tablets with resistive screens.

We don’t know what’s the resolution, but hopefully it’s 1024×600, which (for the average consumer) is a minimum for 7-inch tablets (1280×800, ideally). My guess is it’s only 800×480, but even though that’s pretty low, remember that we’re dealing with first-graders from Thailand here, who have probably never held a tablet. I think they will be extremely impressed anyway.

Plus, we can see from an older version of this tablet running Gingerbread, that it works quite well: