Is North Korea’s State-Run Tablet An iPad Beater?


North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un might be an Apple user, but that doesn’t mean that North Korea’s state-run computer agency doesn’t see the value of launching a tablet of its own.

Costing around $250, the Korea Computer Center’s Samjiyon SA-70 has a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, and a card slot equipped with an 8 GB micro SD memory card. There is also a 2 mega pixel camera, microphone, gyro sensor. Currently there’s no way to connect to the Internet, although there is an extendable antenna for receiving state television signals.

Oh yes, and the OS is a customized version of Android 4.0.4. “Ice Cream Sandwich” although this appears to have been optimized for mobiles rather than tablets.

A full review of the Samjiyon SA-70 was recently published by Ruediger Frank, a Professor of East Asian Economy and Society at the University of Vienna and Head of the Department of East Asian Studies.

“The tablet is not just another toy of a typical consumer-oriented society,” Frank has said, noting how impressed he was by the overall sophistication of the tablet. “It is a useful and entertaining device for a minority in a totalitarian system with a dominant ideology.”

He does, however, admit that the iPad remains his go-to device.