Sometimes, it’s easy to forget North Korea is a real and somewhat scary country, instead of just an elaborate prank Asia is playing on the rest of the world. Its consumer electronics (and we use the term loosely) really do not help. Meet the Samjiyon, what North Koreans think a tablet computer is supposed to be like.
Really, how sad this is can be summed up in one sentence from NKNews:
North Korea’s latest Android-based ‘Samjiyon’ tablet, runs a version of Angry Birds, an arcade basketball game, features books praising Kim Jong Un as the next Paektusan general and carries a web browser but no WiFi.
How precisely this web browser is supposed to work since the tablet lacks any method whatsoever of connecting to the Internet is an open question, but we’re sure North Korea’s thought of that. And you can get North Korean television! It comes with the antenna you need to tune it in and everything!
Also, in a total coincidence, this tablet lacks a camera. We’re sure that’s not because North Korea is paranoid about photographs of the country being sent out or anything. Among the other standard features of this failure slab are knockoffs of popular Android games such as Angry Birds, and a microSD card with lots of books about how great it is that your rice ration has been cut by half by Kim Jong Un so he can buy a rare Yu-Gi-Oh card, and an “etiquette” guide for small children about how to draw flags and make trucks out of clay.
As for who makes these things, since North Korea’s manufacturing capability is stuck somewhere in 1958, that’s a good question. North Korea, of course, claims it’s all built in the country, but sources who don’t lie constantly claim it’s built in China. Either way, it’s just another reminder that North Korea has everything we have, except cheaper, crappier, and less likely to work.