In what may be the most affordable notebook to be launched in the country, UK-based computer manufacturer ACi yesterday launched a notebook priced at just Rs. 4,999 in India. The laptops will be marketed in India by Allied Computers International (Asia) Ltd. The fully-functional ACi Icon 1100 is a 10.2-inch screen notebook weighing a mere 700 gm, which makes it really easy to carry around. "We have launched India's super low-cost laptop at Rs. 4,999. It will be a real fully functional, Windows-compatible laptop, at the lowest price tag in the country," Allied Computers International's (Asia) Mananging Director Hirji Patel said.
The ACi Icon 1100: the most pocket-friendly notebook in India
Given its price, it’s no surprise ACi have kept the specifications of the notebook quite low-tech, but the pocket-friendly price really may influence some to buy it. According to the ACi Asia site, the notebook runs on an undisclosed VIA CPU, sports a maximum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and comes with 512 MB of RAM, expandable to 1GB. What seems to be the main drawback of the Icon 1100 is the low storage capacity it supports: the notebook ships with just 4GB of storage, which is expandable to only 32GB. On the connectivity front, the notebook has three USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, along with Wi-Fi – the types of Wi-Fi standards supported (a/b/g/n) has not been disclosed, though. The Icon 1100 also has a one-push memory card reader (MMC/SD) and a webcam (camera optics not mentioned), The site also claims that the notebook is 3G-ready, although a USB dongle might be needed. Lastly, it comes with a 12-month warranty.
Patel added that the company hopes to sell 200,000 low-cost laptops within the first year of its launch across the country. Speaking about the viability of the project, Patel said, the company will import the product from China and offer products to Indian consumers at a very thin profit margin. "We will never compromise on quality with price. The range we will be offering are carefully designed and developed, just like the majority of our models launched both in UK and India," he said. He pointed out that although India today enjoys a sales volume of around 2.5 million laptops per annum, it is still barely 10 percent of what Western countries, like the UK and other leading European countries are churning out.
Introducing such low-cost computing devices becomes more significant in the wake of various state governments, like Tamil Nadu, UP and others announcing to provide laptops for students. The company is looking at offering low-cost laptops to these state governments, Patel added.