Professor Ruediger Frank from the University of Vienna has released a glowing review of an ostensibly North Korean-made tablet PC.
Frank in a review Tuesday on the website 38 North said he bought the tablet in Pyongyang in September for about US$250. The device, called the SA-70 and released in March, has a 7-inch screen and runs on Android.
The professor said it contains 488 pre-installed programs, including a multi-language dictionary. The device also comes bundled with 14 games, including Korean chess and billiards, and the professor said the images are all of a high standard.
He added the gadget could be a good source of information about North Korea as it contains a wide variety of materials on the Juche or self-reliance doctrine as well as other propaganda.
But Frank also noted that the device seems unable to connect to the internet nor is in any way out of the ordinary for a 2013 Android device. It is not available to the average North Korean, he added.
But he did say that the device was satisfactory in terms of the technology and noted how rich in resources it is, saying that this is impressive for a country that has long been plagued by socialist inefficiencies.
Rumor has it that the device is in fact made in China and only packaged and programmed in the North.