When Steve Jobs introduced the world to the “magical” world of modern touch-screen tablets in 2010, he surely didn’t have Datawind’s $38 Ubislate 7Ci in mind.
This 7Ci is the inevitable endpoint in the evolution of any gadget: Phase 1) an exciting new gadget is introduced at a premium price; Phase 2) the technology and price are improved upon by competing high-end manufacturers; and finally some years down the road, Phase 3) no-name manufacturers cut every corner there is until they can create a no-frills device affordable to every member of the economic spectrum.
If you’ve ever operated an iPad, you’ll be fantastically disappointed by the 7Ci. Its performance is lugubrious; its camera is horrible; the battery life is wanting; and if you view the screen at too sharp an angle, it turns monochrome. The Android tab has just enough oomph to cover the digital basics: Wi-Fi Internet access, lo-fi communication, and a basic app ecosystem. You wouldn’t use this to catch up onGirls on HBO GO.
But it’s also—by far—the cheapest tablet we’ve ever come across.
However, let us not dwell on what the 7Ci can’t do, let’s consider what it can do! It’s still a flat touch-screen device that can connect to the Internet and run apps—which means it’s not just a tablet, it’s a clock, camera, pedometer, guitar tuner, or just about anything we want it to be. And that’s where things get interesting—we can use this slate to replace all the things in our lives. While you wouldn’t want to waste a $400 iPad as a wall clock, you wouldn’t really think about it for a $38 7Ci.
Here are 12 things around the house and office we were able to replace with the 7Ci.