Mumbai: Competition in the Indian ''netbook'' market is heating up, with computer brand Acer announcing the launch of its ''Aspire one'', which is Acer's first mobile Internet device for the Indian market.
The netbook has been launched exclusively through Tata Sons' subsidiary Infinity Retail's Croma chain of electronic stores across the metropolitan markets of Mumbai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Baroda.
The Aspire one opens the netbook category further, after pioneer Asus's Eee PC was followed recently Lenovo's IdeaPad S9 and S10 models into a category that is fast becoming the hot favourite for a number of Indians going portable, and online at the same time.
The new communication device from Acer is also geared for mobility and a wireless experience through constant access to the Internet, irrespective of location.
Acer says that the introduction of these netbooks marks a significant milestone in the notebook market in India, as Acer's Aspire one is built solely to enrich people's lives through simplicity, by giving them immediate access to the Internet and easier communication across their entire online social network.
Highly portable, netbooks are becoming increasingly popular as they allow users to hook onto the internet anytime from anywhere using CDMA and mobile connectivity, along with wireless connectivity, and their sub 12-inch size and light weight makes them ideal mobility companions.
Acer's offering too sports these characteristics of reduced weight and dimensions, and caters to user style through five trendy colours. It has a reduced LCD size of 8.9'', and weighs less than a kilo, while being smaller than an average office diary, and offering numerous connectivity possibilities, along with a complete, easy-to-use software application suite and battery life that exceeds three hours.
Talking at the launch, WS Mukund, managing director of Acer India said, ''Caring through innovation, Acer's products are designed to fulfill customer needs, be it fresh technology or unique design. As the world's fastest growing PC vendor among the top five, we are now in position to set the trend in notebook design with the all new Aspire one netbook.''
Acer says that other than consumers switching to these highly convenient netbooks, the segment has tremendous potential for adoption in segments like education, sales force automation, entertainment and for executives on the move who need a fully functional computing experience.
Speaking about the Aspire one, Ajit Joshi, CEO and managing director of Infiniti Retail Ltd said, ''At Infiniti Retail Ltd we are constantly looking at ways in which we can add value to our customers shopping experience. We are proud to be chosen to showcase this first-of-it's kind, all-new communication device in a premium retail environment for the first time in India. The Aspire One will be available across our network of 22 stores starting today. I believe this is because our mega store is present at the right kind of locality, as also has the right kind of consumers visiting it.''
S Rajendran, Chief Marketing Officer at Acer India said ''The Acer Aspire one is a revolutionary breakthrough by Acer in the product design. The notebook was designed taking into account current usage models of our customers, anticipating future trends and needs and then blending the best available technology with software intelligence to simplify their future.''
The Aspire one uses the same Intel Atom processor that powers the offerings of its competitors Lenovo and Asus. It uses Linpus Linux Lite or Windows XP Home for an operation system, and comes with 1GB of RAM memory installed.
The netbook features the ''one Mail software suite'' which lets users manage email from upto six email accounts with a single application interface. The Aspire one also uses Messenger for Instant Messaging, which is an application that allows users to simultaneously access Skype, Microsoft Messenger and various instant messaging (IM) services.
The messenger software can be used with the integrated video camera for instant video-chats and video conferences.
"The Intel Atom has been received very positively from all over the world as paving the way towards affordable Internet-centric devices", said Anupam Srivastava, Director - Intel Capital, Intel South Asia.
"It is based on an entirely new microarchitecture specifically for small devices and low power. This is our smallest processor built with the world's smallest transistors and a fundamental shift in design, small yet powerful enough to enable a big Internet experience on devices such as Acer's Aspire One. Consumers can use basic computing applications, listen to music, e-mail and surf the Internet. They can also play basic online games, social networking and make voice over IP phone calls."