Mobile Internet Device (MID) maker Datawind announced an upgrade to the PocketSurfer2 at a product launch last night, but stopped short of introducing a radically new design.

The new version of the device, called the PocketSurfer2R, includes a touchpad in place of the older model's four-way mouse pointer, and is offered with reduced data charges for those who use their PocketSurfer overseas. Those who use the PocketSurfer2R outside of the UK will now be charged 5p per minute; the previous roaming rate was 25p per minute.

Further details have also emerged about Datawind's promise to provide internet access "for free". The original PocketSurfer2 cost £179, and for that price users were promised free internet access for a year, provided they didn't exceed 20 hours per month.

When the company launched the PocketSurfer2 last year, Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli said he hoped third-party revenues from online advertising would help subsidise the cost of internet access in the second year of ownership and beyond. However, last night Datawind revealed the second-year subscription would cost £39.

The company is offering a new deal which promises "unlimited usage for the lifetime of the device", however. Those who pay an additional £60 will be able to access the web indefinitely for no extra charge, Singh Tuli said.

The new PocketSurfer2R, which costs £199, will be available through Amazon, Ideal World, John Lewis, Maplin and PC World.

Datawind has discontinued the original PocketSurfer2, but is selling a new entry-level version called the PocketSurfer2L. The 2L costs £149.99 and includes the four-way mouse pointer that featured on the first model, in place of the 2R's touchpad. The cheaper model doesn't include a built-in GPS receiver, and isn't available with Datawind's £60 "Unlimited for life" offer.

PocketSurfer2 review

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