It all comes together at an air force base in Kamra in northern Pakistan, where Pakistani engineering and Chinese hardware assembled the PACPAD 1 and it is available in the market.
The device runs on Android 2.3, an operating system made by Google and given away for free. At around $200, it’s less than half the price of Apple or Samsung devices and cheaper than other low-end Chinese tablets on the market, with the bonus of a local, one-year guarantee.
Supporters say it will boost the economy as well as a troubled nation’s self-esteem.
The PAC in the name stands for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, where it is made. The PAC also makes an e-reader and small laptop.
Only a few hundred of each products has been made so far, though a new batch will be completed in the next three months.
PAC’s website at http://www.cpmc.pk says the goal is “strengthening the national economy through commercialization” and lauds the collaboration with China — something that likely resonates among nationalists.
PAC officials say a second-generation PACPAD will be launched in the next three months, able to connect to the Internet via cell phone networks and other improved features. It said the Kamra facility could produce up to 1,000 devices a day.
During a brief test, the tablet with its 7-inch screen appeared to run well and the screen responsiveness was sharp.