Now, I am not a tablet fan as such, though I do own and heavily use a tablet PC.
But as a mass consumer product, I think, this has a large potential if the price points are right, especially in a market like India, where PC penetration is not that great.
So, I was quite excited almost an year ago when Notion Ink announced their plans to come up with a tablet. And actually delivered couple of months back (http://notionink.wordpress.com/). However, I still don't have a first hand look and feel of it (missed the first pre-order and then the second preorder invite :( ..)
While Notion Ink is quite innovative in what it has designed and continue to do so with their quite open development process, there are other Indian companies that might just get the critical mass in selling tablets, without innovating a lot. Or to say it in other words, provide what a user needs, not necessarily always the "wow" factor.
This is where the news of HCL ME Tablets comes in. And it is not just news, but you can buy the real product online (http://www.hclstore.in/ME_tablet). Of course, this one is not as good in "specs" department as the Notion Ink. But do users really care about specs of a tablet? Steve Jobs wants all of us to believe this, rt? Quite frankly, I think that is true. I don't really care about specs of these devices, if I get a smooth experience and get my job done.
HCL has a history of disrupting the Indian market with low price with pretty high quality products. In fact, my first laptop (or netbook) was from HCL. It was simply the best piece of portable hardware that I could afford back then. And this time around HCL has again come up with a similar strategy. The only difference this time is that in coming months there will be many other players in this space, particularly big Indian mobile manufactures like Micromax.
With all this, I am a bit concerned that NotionInk would actually become a small player, unless they do something radical. Just hope that Rohan is thinking along these lines, or at least reading this post of mine ;-)