Today, Moi University revealed a number of laptops, desktop computers, and all-in-one devices in a Nairobi event that was attended by the University’s Vice Chancellor Isaac Kosgey and the PS for the Ministry of ICT Jerome Ochieng’, among other representatives from Microsoft East Africa and Intel.
The launch of the devices marked a broader unveiling of an assembly facility at Moi University that was inaugurated by President Uhuru Kenyatta a couple of months ago. The assembly line was set up in collaboration with JP.IK, a global organization, serves as a technology enabler in terms of accessing and transferring knowledge.
Of course, these are Windows 10 devices (hence the presence of Microsoft at the event) and are also powered by Intel chips. On the stage were three sets of laptops for roughly every price point, two desktop computers, two fan-less mini-PCs, and one all-in-one device that is targeting architects and other professionals.
The laptops are put up well, and quite thin for first-generation products. All of them have touch-sensitive displays and support for a stylus. The University says that the devices can compete with the likes of DELL, HP, and Lenovo, although that is too ambitious a statement. DELL, for instance, has been around for decades and is a far more experienced manufacturer than the team at Moi University.
The cheapest device starts at KES 50,000.
It is also worth noting that the build quality of the products surpasses that of similarly-assembled laptops, aka TAIFA that were being pushed by JKUAT. Moi’s line is modern as well, with small bezels around the display and high-quality displays. These observations were made at the event, and we did not have enough time to play with the devices.
The facility at Moi University is has a call centre that will ensure that customer issues are resolved in a timely manner. Also, there is a team of 12 trained technicians that will make sure faulty devices are fixed. Twelve is a small number, but the facility says the team will be replenished with more members.
At the moment, there are 300 direct employees at the $5 million assembly line who can put together up to 100K devices in a month. The facility can accommodate 1000 employees at full capacity, but the challenge is pushing demand in the Kenyan space to hire more people. This is the same institution that has been assembling products for the Digital Literacy program.