The Datawind Ubisurfer isn’t exactly the most impressive looking netbok. It’s got a small 7 inch, 800 x 480 pixel display, a rather larger bezel around the screen, and a keyboard with an awkwardly placed right-shift key. But there is one thing that makes this little netbook stand out. When you pony up £159, or about $259 US for the netbook, you get 30 hours a month of free internet access over the built-in GPRS modem with a Vodafone SIM card.

That free internet access is available only in the UK, but there are roaming rates of 5p/minute elsewhere in Europe and the US. I think that’s about 8 cents a minute, US. Users that aren’t happy with the 30 hour/month limit can upgrade to an unlimited plan for £5.99 ($9.76) per month.

The Ubisurfer has 128MB of RAM, 1GB of flash storage, and features a Linux-based operating system. You can also get online using 802.11b/g WiFi. The netbook has 3 USB ports, mic and headphone jacks, and weighs 1.8 pounds. It measures 8.7″ x 6.5″ x 1.2″ and includes a web browser, word processor, PDF viewer, and other software.

Check out Pocket Lint for some hands-on photos of the netbook.

Update: Gearlog reports that the UbiSurfer will be available in the US this October for $199. The US version will include a CDMA module and 30 hours a month of free internet access for 1 year. via Engadget

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10 replies on “Datawind Ubisurfer: 7 inch netbook with GPRS and WiFi”

  1. Dont bother buying this awful netbook, its virtually useless, the support from datawind is non existand, and the so called 30 hours per month Internet allowance for free is misleading to say the least, as the device is so unsteady and slow in accessing the Internet in any mode you choose, GPRS, WiFi or LAN, that you will wait an age for each page to download – possibly the most frustrating mobile computing device I have ever encountered. This device discredits LINUX, it has some of the clunkiest most uselless LINUX apps ever crafted, as part of its spec, you will be pulling your hair out whilst trying to make them work – horrible! Believe none of the hype you read about this device, it is best used as a paperweight, before you tire of it totally and consign it to the dust bin.

  2. I had to post this to say that not all experiences have been average. I absolutely love my UbiSurfer. It is really fun to work with and I have had no problems running any apps at all. I’ve used it quite a bit since I first bought it. I’ve spent hours on the GPRS and hooked up the Wifi at home both day and night and it really impresses. Before I bought it, I was sceptical about the Linux interface as I never used it and heard it was difficult to work with, but it looks and works just like Windows and anyone who has used Windows will get this straight off. Highly recommended.

  3. Does this thing actually run a browser, applications etc, or is it like their last generation of rubbish that simply presents a shonky terminal screen on to a farm of IE-laden PCs in a datacentre somewhere?

    1. It’s obviously a branded Alpha 400 device, which is only “rubbish” if you are expecting some kind of “godbox” running Windows.

      1. Ah yes, I see the similarity now you mention it. Doesn’t prove it’s actually running a proper browser, especially given the physical commitment Datawind have to their unorthodox datacentre-based networking model. They surely wouldn’t be keen to abandon all the investment they’ve made, for better or for worse. I may well be wrong, but if I am, it only validates the negative feelings pretty much universally expressed about the PocketSurfer devices predating it.

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