Affordability adds to its popularity

Updated: Mar 28 2005, 05:30am hrs
In the 1970s, Alan Kay envisioned a notebook-sized, portable computer called the Dynabook that everyone could own, and that could handle all informational needs of the user. Kay also envisioned the Dynabook with wireless network capabilities. Since then, the notebook market has evolved many times over, making it more and more popular with the consumer. Today, India is fast racing towards a notebook culture and there are many factors accelerating this shift.

The portability factor of laptops is probably the most important. For example, you can write your sales proposal or complete your business presentation while travelling on a plane, or commuting by bus or train. This is extremely important in todays age, where productivity and efficiency are gaining increasing importance. People are getting more and more mobile and work needs to be handled even while on the move.

To draw a parallel, a few years ago, India saw a revolution in the mobile market. People wanted to converse even while on the move. We are seeing a similar trend in the notebook market now: the need to stay connected - and productive - while on the move. It is this portability which has made notebooks a huge success across varied fields such as business, entertainment and education. The consumer is now far more evolved and wants accessibility to information anytime anywhere. Recent IDC figures are proof that portables are the fastest growing form factor within the PC business.

Technologies have also evolved. Consumers now have great technologies at lower prices. Notebooks today offer faster processor spe-eds and anytime anywhere Net access through Wi-Fi. Innovative technology is available. Brightview technology is one example, whereby the screen adjusts its brightness with respect to ambient lighting.

Notebooks also offer high-definition widescreen display, with a 15:9 aspect ratio which means 25% more viewing area and support for wide format movies. People increasingly perceive the notebook as a lifestyle tool. The notebook offers digital entertainment can be connected to a variety of other devices and forms part of the home theatre. It has become a personal accessory.

Last, but not the least, affordability, which was a major concern, has almost vanished. One can now buy a notebook today for as little as Rs 30,000. Technologies pertaining to portables such as flat screen and wireless are now evolved, adding to affordability. I can say that the notebook culture has already happened to us!

The writer is country category manager-consumer portables, personal systems group, Hewlett-Packard