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How HP's DreamScreen plans to take centre stage

Last updated on: November 30, 2010 10:58 IST

How HP's DreamScreen plans to take centre stage

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

The recently launched Hewlett-Packard's DreamScreen, an icon-based touchscreen computing device, is all set to take centre stage in Indian homes.

While HP claims that it provides a PC-like experience, the company for the first time is also providing content.

Priced at Rs 19,999, the 18.5-inch touchscreen comes with an optical drive and Intel processor.

HP has tied up with 12 Indian content providers to ensure a truly interactive, engaging and enriched connected experience.

The most compelling reason to buy a DreamScreen would be the content HP has bundled with the device.

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Image: Hewlett-Packard's DreamScreen.

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It is pre-embedded with 15 movies -- 3 idiots, Tare Zameen Par and Wanted, among others -- and a music library that gets updated every week for free.

Content like online games and news will also come for free.

However, users will have to pay for services like education (Rs 99/ month), Live Darshan (Rs 49/ month), pay bills (Rs 25/ month) and daily astrology (Rs 49/ month).

Though it is too early to predict how DreamScreen will be received among Indian users -- in fact several analysts tracking the PC segment were surprised with its launch -- many believe that HP is clearly in a virgin market.

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Image: Priced at Rs 19,999, the 18.5-inch touchscreen comes with an optical drive and Intel processor.

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How HP's DreamScreen plans to take centre stage

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This is also for the first time that HP is premiering a product in India before other countries.

"We think the DreamScreen is a solution and the device is just part of the solution. Something which will work towards bridging the gap between PC and Internet usage.

"This will solve the problem of a need for an interactive device, which is simple, affordable and relevant in terms of the content," said Sunil Dutt, vice-president and general manager (Personal Systems Group), HP India.

The device comes with a keyboard and a mouse.

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Image: Content like online games and news will come for free.

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DreamScreen has sourced content from Apalya for Darshan, Bill Desk, Edurite for education, Hungama for music and movies, India Games for games, India Today for media content, Music Today for Music and NDTV for news and Daily Astrology.

Dutt said the DreamScreen 400, that was launched earlier this week in India, is no where similar to what the company had launched in the US last year.

"The one launched in the US was more of a photoframe and had browsing capability," adds Dutt.

"We have launched this product after taking feedback from a few hundreds of families in India and what was it that they wanted in terms of making technology consumption easier. Why are we sure it will have a user base?

Well, because it is simple. As a user I just need to tab an icon on the screen to access content. Instead of opening a browser and typing a site and then accessing it," he said.

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Image: HP's DreamScreen.

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Will this create confusion among Indian users, who are being flooded with new products almost every month? Neeraj Roy, managing director and chief executive officer of Hungama does not believe so.

"This is not a computing device. It's a utility-cum-entertainment device that comes with a touchscreen and embedded content. Because of the touchscreen and the ease of content consumption this is a device that can be used by people in the age-group of 35-45, who are not active users of the Internet."

For HP, the Indian market provides the perfect platform to realise the potential of the product before making it available for other markets.

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Image: For HP, the Indian market provides the perfect platform.

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"This is a 'made-in-India' initiative though our global team members have also worked on this and we will be taking this to other such markets.

"The other reason to launch this product here first is due to the head-room we have here," said Dutt.

It is certainly a first for the Indian consumer and for HP.

The fact that the DreamScreen is available in English and Hindi and will eventually support other languages will mean that a large chunk of the Indian population can get localised content.

However, there are two concerns: First, Internet speed and accessibility could be an impediment in using this device across the country.

Second, though features like online bill payments are icon based, one would have to use either a credit card or online banking facility to do so.

How many of us are comfortable with online transactions?


Image: The DreamScreen is available in English and Hindi.

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