Have you ever thought about having an Android notebook? Not a tablet with a dockable keyboard, but a real laptop. This is the proposal of JioBook. The equipment runs the JioOS, an operating system based on Android. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive, costing less than $200.
The price range is an obvious sign that the hardware is not the notebook’s strong point. To give you an idea, it features an 11.6-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1366×768 pixels and only 2 GB of RAM.
These characteristics reminded me of netbooks, those tiny laptops that were all the rage about 15 years ago and then disappeared without being missed.
Android without Google
Responsible for the project, Reliance Jio does not want to relaunch the netbook trend. The company’s headquarters are in India, a country that is not rich and, at the same time, has a very large population (almost 1.4 billion inhabitants, according to the World Bank).
The JioBook was designed precisely to be an affordable notebook. In order not to spend on operating system licenses, Reliance could have turned to ChromeOS or a Linux distribution, for example. But Android has a very big advantage: a gigantic ecosystem of apps and services.
Not coincidentally, the laptop comes with several pre-installed applications, especially Microsoft’s tools. These include Microsoft Teams, in addition to the Android versions of the Edge browser and Office (now Microsoft 365).
There are just no pre-installed Google apps. This is probably a way to reduce equipment costs, after all, the company’s apps require the payment of a license to be distributed.
On the other hand, apps from Reliance Jio are present. At the end of the day, JioBook provides the features you need to perform basic tasks. Let us also consider that the user himself can install the applications of his interest.
The company claims that JioOS is “optimized for superior performance”. Well, the operating system really has to be optimized somehow, after all, the notebook hardware is quite simple.
In addition to the 11.6-inch screen and 2 GB of RAM, the device has the Snapdragon 662 chip (released by Qualcomm in 2019), 32 GB of storage and a 5,000 mAh battery.
Other features include 2 megapixel webcam, 4G and mini-HDMI port.
As you can see, the laptop takes the concept of “basics” seriously.
When and how much?
JioBook was presented earlier this month during the India Mobile Congress (IMC) event. Subsequently, the notebook was made available to Indian government officials. This week, the equipment began to be sold to the general public.
The official price is 15,799 Indian rupees, which corresponds to around US$190 or R$980.
There are good chances that the novelty will be successful in India. Reliance Jio is quite well known for offering cheap mobile and cell plans. The company wants to use that baggage to sell “hundreds of thousands” of notebook units.
There is no forecast of sales in other countries, however.
JioBook — gets technical
- Screen: TN LCD, 11.6 inches, 1366×768 pixels
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 with Adreno 610 GPU
- RAM: 2 GB
- Storage: 32GB eMMC expandable with microSD up to 128GB
- Drums: 5,000 mAh
- webcam: 2 megapixels
- connectivity: 4G, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-A (2), mini-HDMI, headphone and microphone jack
- Operational system: JioOS (Android-based)
- dimensions: 188.6 x 277 x 17.2 mm