July 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm
Datawind, who are the guys behind the popular PocketSurfer device, has announced its first entry into the netbook segment with the Ubisurfer. This device has a 7-inch screen with resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It is powered by an ARM processor and comes with 1GB of internal flash memory and 128MB of RAM. Whilst this sounds like a piddly amount of storage, it does have a SDHC memory card slot and Datawind also provides 25GB of online storage.
This latter point is quite important as the Ubisurfer comes with 30 hours of free internet access (via Wi-Fi or GPRS) per month for the first year. That seems like a super value proposition in our eyes. It means no matter where you are in the UK, you can get a very reasonable amount of internet access. Once you move into the second year of ownership, internet access will cost you £29.99 for the whole year, again very reasonable. For the heavy users out there, you can opt to have unlimited usage by paying £5.99 per month. You may be wondering how much it costs when roaming in Europe and the USA, well that will set you back 5p per minute.
The Ubisurfer comes with an embedded SIM, wireless data modem and LAN to provide a “desktop-like web experience for mobile devices”. It has teamed with Vodafone to offer the embedded SIM and GPRS modem. This means the Ubisurfer can be used anywhere a mobile phone signal is present. The CEO of Datawind, Suneet Tuli, said that it differs from other products on the market by having “no hidden costs, no wires and no contract”.
The Ubisurfer netbook comes in a piano black or rubberised matte finish, which should be good against fingerprint marks. It weighs just 700g and has a battery that should last around four hours. It comes with an unspecified Linux operating system with applications including web browsing, media player, email, PDF Viewer and XIP Office.
Okay, browsing the internet is likely to be slow compared to 3G. However, the UbiSurfer uses DataWind’s existing “web acceleration” system that renders the web page on their remote servers and then delivers an image of it over the GPRS connection. This means that browsing times should be much quicker, although on the downside, streaming video won’t be possible. The Ubisurfer is priced at a very reasonable £159.99 and is available now at Maplin retail stores and Ideal TV home shopping.
Datawind Ubisurfer Technical Specifications:
- 7” TFT – Wide screen display (800 x 480 pixels)
- 128MB Ram; 1GB Flash
- GPRS 900 Mhz, 1800Mhz with Embedded SIM Wireless LAN WiFi IEEE 802.11 b/g Ethernet Port 10MB
- Built-in microphone and duel speaker system Stereo Sound Earphone Jack
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- Touchpad Mouse Pointer
- 700g/ 222 x 165 x 29.5 mm
- Push-Push SD card socket / 3x USB Ports/ 1 x Earphone/ 1 x Microphone/ 1 x Ethernet
- Datawind Web Browser, Calendar, Media Player, XIP Office (Word processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation) PDF Viewer, Email, Paint, Games.