Datawind's PocketSurfer 2R is designed to be carried around for mobile web access anywhere and anytime.
This means that the device is limited by a small screen but, unlike many smartphones, it can display full web pages properly, and the purchase price covers a year's worth of surfing for up to 20 hours per month.
We briefly saw the updated device, which now features a laptop-style touchpad in the top left of the keyboard area rather than the four-way navigation key of the previous PocketSurfer.
This enables you to scroll up and down web pages faster by swiping your thumb or finger across the touchpad, while pushing down on it generates a mouse click.
The device is about the size of a spectacle case and weighs 174g, which is heavier than many smartphones, but it is slim enough to slot into a jacket pocket. The case opens up clamshell-fashion, and the hinge can hold the screen half open (like a laptop) or all the way back so that you can cradle the unit in your hands.
Datawind claims that the PocketSurfer is faster at accessing web pages than any other mobile device, despite the fact that it uses a Vodafone GPRS connection instead of 3G or HSDPA.
We were impressed at the speed that sites loaded, but found that when we scrolled down, the device took a second or two to catch up and update the display.
We tried the PocketSurfer 2R on a number of websites, including BBC News, Google Mail, and vnunet.com's home page, and found they all displayed as you would see them on a desktop computer.
However, the 5in 640 x 240 display means you can only see a small part of most pages, so a fair amount of scrolling and panning is necessary. Alternatively, a function key lets you zoom out to see more, or zoom in to mag nify part of a page.
The keyboard has decent sized keys, but these are flat and metallic and reminiscent of equipment designed for harsh environments.
One feature we were unable to try (because we were indoors) is the PocketSurfer's built-in GPS. This works with Google Maps, enabling users to pinpoint their location, although Datawind said this is not really up to scratch for in-vehicle navigation.
The PocketSurfer 2R is not a smartphone and cannot be used to make voice calls. In fact, it does not support sound at all.
However, for users that just want to access web-based email or check out the news headlines while on the move, the PocketSurfer offers a cost-effective option that does not even require you to sign up for a mobile service contract.