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Netbooks popularity grow in Kenya

Netbooks are gaining ground in the IT consumer market in Kenya. When HP East Africa introduced a few laptops including the Vivienne Tam and Acer followed later with others, we didn’t take it seriously. Infact we thought that the laptop will fade out the way the PDAs went down.

We were wrong, The Netbooks are here to stay and are increasing in variety. Most of them are running the Atom processor (1.6Ghz) and most boast of 10.2″ screen size apart from the few with 13″ and 8.9″.

Kenya Data Networks just unveiled another brand, MSi U100 which they advertise as the world’s top loved Netbook. The specs are good, 160GB SATA HDD, 1 Gig RAM and 1.6 Ghz Processor. Most online reviews praise the nNetbook but complains of the trackpad being small.

The machine is a 2008 release and it should be going for less than 15k and so with 2 months worth of unlimited internet, KDN should have capped the price at not more than Ksh 22,000. 25k seems to be on the higher side since there are better machines from Orange and Safaricom with better specs and lower rate.

Also considering that KDN butterfly is not countrywide, the offer is not so attractive because I can hook Safaricom Modem almost everywhere and use the modem but not so with KDN butterfly network.

To qualify for the Safaricom / Equity Modem offer, here are the conditions and stages:

1. Identify the laptop of choice at any Retail centre near you.

  1. Visit any Equity Branch and apply for a loan. Applicant will state the Laptop Model & Preferred Safaricom Shop of collection.

Items required during application:

a) Original New Generation ID & a copy

b) Passport Photos (This will be obtained for Free at the Bank)

  1. The loan will be processed (Immediately OR within 24 hours) and once approved; Equity will give the customer an offer letter.
  2. The customer will present the offer letter at the Retail centre chosen and be presented with the laptop on the spot.
  3. Each laptop comes with FREE Safaricom Modem plus 40MB FREE data

The KDN Netbook is availeable with Family Bank financing which is great. The only problem we have with these financings is that they are very expensive and tedious for someone who really needs a laptop. Equity requires you to have a bank account which should not be younger than 6 months with them or you have a Limited account which should have an account with them or any other bank.


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The KDN offer is also availeable only in Nairobi which locks out other towns with a group of young techies who need a laptop. Travelling to Nairobi to get the laptop from upcountry will push the cost to 30,000 and beyond which is not good.

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