Datawind has unveiled a new version of its UbiSurfer netbook designed for internet access virtually anywhere.
The new model is based on Microsoft's Windows CE platform, and includes the SoftMaker Office suite enabling users to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on the device.
Available immediately, the new UbiSurfer continues Datawind's strategy of including up to 30 hours per month of web surfing over a cellular network in the £159.99 purchase price, as seen in earlier UbiSurfer devices.
The new model is an update of the first UbiSurfer netbook, launched last year, and has the same specifications of Qwerty keyboard, 800 x 480 7in display, built-in Wi-Fi and GPRS wireless capability, and a weight of just 700g.
Specifications also include 128MB RAM, 1GB Flash storage and up to 50GB of online storage. Battery life is quoted at up to four hours.
While last year's model ran a version of Linux, the updated version is based on Microsoft's Windows CE embedded operating system and includes SoftMaker Office, a full-featured cross-platform office suite that is compatible with Microsoft Office file formats.
The UbiSurfer is primarily intended as a low-cost device for mobile web surfing, but the inclusion of SoftMaker Office also provides the ability to view and edit documents at a much lower cost than buying a full-blown Windows netbook.
"Our main goal as a company is to offer free internet to everyone everywhere, which is why the UbiSurfer provides 30 hours' free internet usage per month for the first year," said Datawind chief executive Suneet Tuli.
"Now, with the addition of Windows CE, our UbiSurfer customers can access a new Windows compatible web browser and surf the internet using a clear and familiar interface.
The SIM and data plan included with the UbiSurfer provides up to 30 hours per month for one year, after which users can buy an additional year's access for £29.99. Heavy users can buy unlimited access for £5.99 a month.
The UbiSurfer is available now from outlets such as Ideal World, Maplin, CPC, Dabs, Ebuyer, Laptops Direct and Xenex, according to Datawind.
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