Datawind Launches £160 Instant-on Ubisurfer Netbook

Datawind has joined the ever growing list of netbooks with the Ubisurfer, a very special device that costs only £160 and comes with 360 hours of internet surfing courtesy of Vodafone's mobile network.

The Ubisurfer is not your usual netbook though. It comes with a 400MHz ARM processor like the one in the Jointech £50 Windows mobile laptop which was released last year.

The price includes 30 hours of basic internet usage per month for a year with subsequent years available for purchase for £30 (for 30 hours of surf per month) or £72 for unlimited access. But don't expect miracles, you can expect to download at most at 30kbits which is well, miserable.

The rest of the configuration is strikingly similar to the above named device. A 7-inch TFT display showing 800x480 pixels, similar to the first EEE PC 700 laptop and the exact resolution of the Toshiba TG01 Smartphone. It also has 128MB RAM and 1GB solid state storage with the option of adding more through the SD(HC) card reader.

Users will be able to connect to the internet using an embedded SIM card that connects to the GPRS 900/1800MHz Voda network. There's also an Ethernet port to connect to a cabled broadband network, three USB ports, the usual earphone/microphone sockets and a full QWERTY keyboard.

At 700g, the minute laptop - which is powered by Linux - is about the size of an A4 sheet once opened completely and comes with the DataWind Web browser, Calendar, Media Player, XIP Office, PDF Viewer, Email, Paint and a few games. Datasurfer also throws in 25GB worth of online storage (ed: might take you one month to fill it up).

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Our Comments

The Ubisurfer looks like a blown-out smartphone complete with a keyboard. It is actually the type of device that one can expect to become more popular by the end of the year. Some might even say that the Ubisurfer is a smartbook, the platform that Qualcomm hopes will outfox Netbooks. How do rivals compare? Three has an Acer Aspire with 1GB data transfer mobile broadband for £17.50 per month.

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