In a surprising bit of news, the latest tablet has emerged from a very unlikely source – from North Korea, of all places. The South China Morning Post recently reported the new “surprisingly impressive” tablet created by the totalitarian state’s Korea Computer Centre.
The tablet runs on a modified version of Android and comes pre-loaded with a large amount of ad-free content, including pre-installed dictionaries and an adapted version of Angry Birds: Rio. The Samjiyon also includes around 141 e-books – though they are limited to North Korean ideology and “the Great Leader Generallissimo Kim II-sung’s revolutionary activities”, as reported by University of Vienne professor Ruediger Frank, who tested the device.
The tablet does not include normal internet access but does allow use of Kwandmyong, North Korea’s heavily censored public intranet. The Samjiyon costs about $250, limiting it to an elite minority in North Korea itself. However it can easily be carried out of the country by tourists interested in niche North Korean items, as well as the wealth of information about the country the Saminjiyon offers.