HCL breaks the Paradigm, launches Next-Generation Laptop @ Rs.13,990/- : By Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems unveiling the ‘MiLeap’ series
Keeping its promise and heritage of always being the first to introduce the latest in technology for Indian markets at a most affordable price, HCL Infosystems Ltd., India’s premier information enabler and country’s leading ICT systems integrator and distribution company, launched ‘MiLeap’ India’s first full functional, ultra-portable range of leaptops that offer true mobile Internet computing experience at a price point starting from Rs.13,990/-.
The new range of leaptops is sleek and lightweight, yet it offers a full PC functionality with true Internet experience, heralding a new category which holds the promise of being the future of personal mobile computing. Both the products would be manufactured at the company’s manufacturing plants at Pondicherry and Uttaranchal.
Among the products launched, the HCL ‘MiLeap’ X Series Ultra Portable range of leaptops breaks the Rs.14,000/- price barrier. With prices starting at Rs.13,990/-, the HCL.
‘MiLeap’ X series, which is specially designed for the Indian environment, delivers exceptional value at a very affordable price. Available with both flash-based and disk- based storage versions, its sturdy design incorporates features that make it dustproof, shockproof and durable. Both the models have network ports and are Wi-Fi ready. Both the models have the option for “Data card” and are available with GUI-enabled user- friendly Linux OS.
Also launched is the HCL ‘MiLeap’ Y Series Ultra Portable Leaptops breaking the sub-Rs.30,000/- price barrier. Ranging from Rs.29,990/- onwards, this range of Ultra Portables are at half the price point of the current similar products available in the market. The HCL ‘MiLeap’ Y Series, powered by the latest Intel Ultra Mobile Platform and Microsoft’s Vista Home Premium, operating system weighs just 960 gm. This Ultra Portable Leaptop comes with a Swivel 7’’ touch screen, 80GB HDD, wireless connectivity, Data Card option, Bluetooth and Ethernet network port offering full PC functionality with true Internet experience on the move.
The MiLeap Top Y Series incorporates a unique Navigational Pad that offers multiple navigational features such as touch screen, thumboard, stylus, keyboard, mouse and one-touch buttons, making it one of the most intuitive products. It also features a Swivel 7” display-cum-note pad, making it a pleasure to input using a stylus and handwriting. The Microsoft Windows Vista Home premium powered MiLeap Y series is priced at Rs.33,990/-.
Designed by using the latest Intel Ultra Mobile platform – Intel processor A110 & Intel 945GU express chipset –, this energy-efficient lower power silicon design consumes less power, reduces thermal impact and gives an extended battery life. HCL being a socially responsible organization and conscious of the environment, both products are fully RoHS-compliant with low-energy footprint design.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems Ltd., said, “HCL is proud of its strong heritage of leading the technology revolution in India. With a legacy of having pioneered India’s first micro-computer, the country’s first desktop PC and the first home PC, at HCL, it has always been our endeavour to create technologies that touch lives. This revolutionary new range of Ultra Portable
‘MiLeap’ Leaptops will herald a new category of computing devices, opening up a wide range of new usage scenarios and application areas.”
‘MiLeap’ is targeted at consumers who need to stay connected, informed, entertained and productive – anytime and anywhere. Its light weight and small size make it so convenient that one does not think twice about carrying it to the office, home, gym or park, or using it in a train, bus, plane or metro.
“As an Indian company, we at HCL have a vision of empowering the nation through the adoption of IT at all levels. This new category, backed by HCL’s reach through its nationwide distribution, service and support network, will revolutionize the PC penetration in India and brings us a step closer to this vision,” Chowdhry added.
Speaking at the launch of HCL’s new product, Ramamurthy Sivakumar, Managing Director – Sales & Marketing, South Asia, Intel, said,–“In a world where the access to information technology is really the passport to the 21st century, Intel and HCL are determined to broaden the number of people who can get access to the Internet. Many different areas of our society benefit from broadband Internet access as it gives opportunities for our children to learn, opportunities for the rural population to have 21st century learning and business tools, and opportunities for small business to compete on a national and worldwide scale. Affordable access to information via broadband Internet is the key to keeping India growing fast and competitive in the new global economy. In order for us to broaden the number of people who can have access to those things, we need to make the Internet more affordable and accessible to a much larger number of people. The product that HCL is introducing is an excellent step forward in that direction. The Indian market for information technology has tremendous potential, and has the opportunity to lead the world in delivering affordable solutions for the masses. Intel is pleased to partner with HCL to make this a reality in India.”
In today’s networked world, where Internet connectivity is increasingly available on the move, more and more applications are exploiting the Internet to increase productivity, offer value-added services, deliver entertainment and enable people to stay connected.
Such is its adoption that Internet has evolved from being just text-oriented, to today it becoming more visual with multimedia content and an interactive platform. The number of users and members of the online communities such as YouTube, Facebook, Orkut, Google, etc. is increasing every day. Concepts of online social and professional networking and working or playing on the move have become a reality today.
The ‘MiLeap’ range of leaptops with its ability to deliver true mobile Internet experience will trigger the development of a number of new application scenarios for such useful and exciting online mobile application for day-to-day life.
Speaking about the growth drivers for HCL, Vivek Seigell, Country Head – Retail, Etail and Consumer Finance, HCL Infosystems Ltd., informed,–“We see a lot of convergence around us and digital products becoming the essential ingredients of day-to-day life of the average guy on the street. Like the mobile phone penetration, we see very high growth rates coming from laptops and their new form factors like Mi-leap (a range of ultra-portables starting with a basic model at Rs.13,990/- and tablet/stylus enabled @ Rs.29,990/-) and other Internet access devices. We also see solutions playing a big role as well. We will be shortly announcing solutions for the home segment as well – breaking all myths, apart from showcasing the solutions for the SMB segment.”
The company is looking at a wide span of verticals spanning from health / medical care, education, hospitality and even manufacturing. Seigell added, “We are working on multiple strategies for acquiring new businesses and see a very active role of the partner community in it, which throws a plethora of business opportunities. We will be talking about the same at the appropriate time. The partners who are already associated with us get the first right to work on these with us, as at HCL we value and appreciate long-term business partnerships.” MiLeap’s ultra-portable form-factor makes it convenient to carry it with oneself, opening up limitless possibilities in the new usage scenarios. For example, in corporates and small businesses, the ‘MiLeap’ range of leaptops will enable true automation of their mobile field sales and service teams bringing to them the power of real-time information on the move. The HCL MiLeap Series of Ultra Portables are uniquely suitable for women and school children due to its sleek and ultra-light design.
Marking the occasion as HCL’s tribute to the nation, the company announced that the new range of HCL leaptops would start shipping on 26th January, 2008, coinciding with the India’s Republic Day celebrations. HCL also informed that they are going to come out with even more exciting products in this new category.
Sharing channel plans for 2008, Seigell informed, "The traditional channels will see a growth in terms of penetration and we should see an expansion and consolidation of the more contemporary channel - HCL Digilife stores and the Large Format Retailers. We will continue to add on more exciting products and services, which can offer a quantum jump on the revenues and substantial addition to their bottom lines. We are an extremely channel oriented company and do keep ourselves updated on the concerns of the channel. Two tier and three tier cities will continue to be the growth drivers and our focus will be very high on smaller towns. We have been adventurous in opening Digilife outlet in smaller towns like Palwal and Panipat in Haryana, Trichy -down south and Jamshedpur in the east - and our experience has been very rewarding. The franchisees are quite motivated and encouraged with the customer response to the entire concept and the sales thereof."
HCL Product range: For consumer segment, HCL has around 10 PC models and eight models of laptops. For SMBs it has about five models in PCs with various SKU options, four models in servers, three thin client models and around four models in laptops. They have just launched an integrated solution called HCL Net Edge BOX, which consolidates data, voice and IT, and services. In 2008, HCL will continue to focus on the Home segment through its own HCL Digilife stores, Large format retailers, HCL Stores and Points and the reseller channel. "However we see SMB demo stations making an entry into our HCL Digilife stores (selectively) to showcase live solutions in an ambient environment in this New Year. We propose to add more services to the entire offering," added Seigell.
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