Sahara nets mobile prestige with latest netbook offering in South Africa


Sahara Computers has launched a new 8-inch netbook to address the growing demand for a product within what analysts describe as a high-volume, burgeoning market segment. The company has expanded its product portfolio and continues to compete against global tier one mobile solution providers.

The Linux-based solution runs on AMD LX 800 (500MHz) processor and features 512RAM, a 60GB hard disk drive, an 8-inch LCD widescreen and a built-in 1.3 megapixel Web cam. It is specifically targeted at the netbook market defined by low-cost, compact and lean function product.

“As such, it holds appeal for the broader, entry-level consumer space,” says Gary Naidoo, deputy MD at Sahara. “The low-cost mobile and wireless market is growing. A number of media reports have stated that the netbook space will expand the global PC market. Vendors have to continue to position themselves accordingly and this means tailoring the product to suit conditions of use. First-time buyers of notebooks often fall into the trap of looking to immediately acquire all the bells and whistles of high-end mobile infrastructure, without due consideration of why they are investing in this technology in the first place. This is an important factor because it will determine the functionality required by the user, the price range and extent of use, battery life and other key aspects that will ultimately impact on the experience.”

Sahara has focused on a number of key selling points to establish a vantage point for the product in this competitive segment of the market. The new Sahara netbook is competitively priced and offers a 60GB hard disk drive, which, says Naidoo, is outside the norm of products in this price category.

“It has a powerful memory and storage capacity which allows the user to store and communicate large files, multimedia content and enjoy music, movie clips and other digital lifestyle-focused content,” says Naidoo.

“There is also the benefit of a built-in Web cam which really makes the device highly functional, even at this price bracket. It can be used to interact and swap material, and certainly makes sense in terms of the growth of social networking and related Web sites,” Naidoo continues. The netbook ships with a Linux operating system but can be configured to include a Windows operating system.

“The user has all the benefits of your typical work-focused programmes, such as word processing, presentations and spreadsheets, but also access to open source software. This versatility in application and access can only benefit the end-user,” adds Naidoo.