North Korea's iPad clone has a web browser, but can't connect to the internet

The Week

Meet the Samjiyon

This week, the North Korean propaganda machine pulled the curtains off a lavish new touchscreen tablet. The "Samjiyon" iPad clone, which reportedly runs on an ancient version of Android, was spotted at a trade fair in Pyongyong on Tuesday, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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Little is known about it. Manufactured by a mysterious company called "Chosun Computer," which apparently hasn't received any coverage in western or North Korean media, the tablet is capable of handling a few noteworthy tasks: You can watch pre-loaded state-approved media. You can play an Angry Birds-style slingshot game. There is even a game that lets you shoot virtual basketballs, which is sure to please noted hoops junky Kim Jong-Un.

What it can't do, however, is connect to the internet, as NKNews.org reports; the slab carries a web browser, but for some strange reason lacks WiFi.

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It may or may-not be the same device as the Hermit Kingdom's rumored "Achim" computer, a leather-wrapped tablet with a detachable keyboard, which recently floated around on tech blogs. (Check out the chilling '80s-style news report about it down below.) As BGR noted at the time, "this new tablet program looks like another part of the ongoing, rather abnormal 'normalization' process."

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If you were hoping to get your hands on the Samjiyon sometime soon, you probably shouldn't hold your breath. Information on pricing, availability, or whether it's real or not is currently unavailable.

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