Pay for the device, not the usage – that’s the motto of Datawind. The company showed off its latest products last week and that motto still rung true, with a netbook that comes with 30 hours of internet access per month.
That free mobile internet usage is perhaps even more surprising when you learn that the Ubisurfer costs a mere £159.99 (from Maplin retail stores or the Ideal TV home shopping channel).
Those 30 hours per month for free last for a whole year, with an unlimited package for those who go over that time limit costing £5.99 per month extra. And you don’t have to take that every month as there’s no contract, so you can drop in and out depending on whether you use up the 30 hours or not.
Every following year you want to use the Ubisurfer there’s a a one-off payment of £29.99 for 30 hours a month.
So what about the product itself? Well, don’t expect anything too sophisticated – to our mind it looks like the Windows CE notebooks IBM used to make 10 years ago, with a very basic interface built onto the Linux operating system.
It also restricts the use of video when you’re on the mobile connection, so no YouTube or iPlayer unless you connect using the Wi-Fi option.
However, a small but usable form factor and a cost that includes connection should make this especially attractive to anyone who doesn’t already have a computer and internet access.
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Specifications for the Datawind Ubisurfer include:
* 7-inch TFT – Wide screen Display (800 x 480 pixels)
* 128MB Ram; 1GB Flash
* GPRS 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz with Embedded SIM
* Wireless LAN WiFi IEEE 802.11 b/g
* Ethernet Port 10MB
* Built-in microphone and dual speaker system
* Stereo Sound Earphone Jack
* Full QWERTY Keyboard
* Touchpad Mouse Pointer
* 700 g / 222 x 165 x 29.5 mm
* Push-Push SD card socket / 3x USB Ports / 1x Earphone / 1x Microphone / 1x Ethernet
* Software: DataWind Web Browser, Calendar, Media Player, XIP Office (Word processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation) PDF Viewer, Email, Paint, Games