NOTEBOOKS are rising in popularity nowadays. Just like mobile phones, notebooks will one day become an inseparable part of life. Some of the reasons are that notebooks are becoming more sophisticated, slimmer and more affordable. With more Wi-Fi areas in major cities, connecting to the Internet on a notebook has become trendy. What is more important is that notebook manufacturers are presenting their latest technology in the midst of tough competition. One such manufacturer is Dell.
Recently, Dell, which is headquartered in Texas, the US, launched the Dell Latitude E6400 ATG, which is known as the road warrior. The notebook, which has a 14.1-inch screen, has a semi-rugged design and passed various military standard tests, including resistance to dust, scratches, vibration, humidity and even fire!
This notebook is not the first of this kind, as a number of other makers have included such features in their products. Some may recall the three variants of the HP EliteBook released by Hewlett Parkard. The features of the EliteBook 2530p, 2730p and 6930p are quite surprising. All three keyboards are quite solid as no liquid can pass through. Its magnesium alloy body is six times more scratch resistant than other notebooks. It also easily passed the MIL-STD 810F military test that covers usage in extreme temperatures. "For businesspeople, this is the most rugged notebook for a mobile companion, so the HP EliteBook is a solution for their problems while traveling," said Martin Wibisono, country business director Personal Systems Group of HP Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Toshiba has launched the most expensive notebook in Indonesia, the Toshiba Portege R600, which retails for Rp 46 million. This costly notebook pampers its user with numerous sophisticated features.
The first feature is transflective technology, which renders the screen crystal clear under the brightest light. Then there is the SSD (solid state disk) with a capacity of 128GB, which makes the R600 a lightweight notebook at just 979 grams. Its battery lasts between nine and 10 hours. It also has a 7 mm DVD SuperMulti Drive, which is the slimmest in the world. During testing, the R600 was dropped many times onto a steel floor from a height of 76.2 cm. The R600 is not only highly functional, but is also a status symbol.
Other manufacturers are also including the latest sophisticated features in their products, such as products made by Lenovo, ASUS, BenQ and Acer. Next to its technology, Acer is also quite aggressive in its marketing.
The PR specialist marketing communication manager of PT Acer Indonesia, Astrid Irawati Warsito, said Acer was currently focusing on a new market segment for its third generation notebook, the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Notebook, which is manufactured through its Aspire Timeline process. "This ULV notebook is a mix between a regular notebook and a netbook in relation to the technology and dimensions created through our Aspire Timeline process," she recently said at an event in Surabaya.
As a notebook pioneer, Acer has also installed new technology in the Aspire Timeline with a battery that can last for eight hours nonstop and the application of Intel Laminar Wall Jet technology. The notebook weights between 1.6 and 1.9 kg. Astrid said the company was optimistic about the company's revenue through the profits and increasing sales of the new products. The company's revenue is expected to increase about 20 percent until the end of this year.
The optimism is based on data recorded by Gartner Inc. research company, which shows that Acer Indonesia's sales for the first quarter of 2009 was as high as 134,386 units with an annual growth of 23.6 percent. In 2008, Acer's total sales were 491,657 units, which was an increase of 20.1 percent on 2007 sales.
Meanwhile, Teddy Tjan, marketing director of Advan, predicted that notebook sales in 2009 would exceed two million units. "Every year there is an increase in notebook sales," he said. In 2007, about 600,000 units were sold and in 2008 the figure went up to 960,000 units. Advan has set a target of 10,000 notebooks per month. "Our sales target is 10 percent of the total market share," he said.
The sales forecasts of Acer and Advan along with other manufacturers seem to underline the fact that notebook sales now exceed those of PCs. "Notebooks are now no longer used by major companies or upper income people, but they are now used by the middle income and part of the low income segments as well," said Matthew Wilkins, a market analyst at iSuppli Corp. (Burhanuddin Abe)
The Jakarta Post, August 09, 2009