Reliance launches JioBook, its maiden Android-powered laptop

Jio Platforms has quietly launched its first laptop, entering into a new product category as the Indian telecom giant aggressively expands its offerings.

The laptop, called JioBook, runs JioOS, a custom Android-based OS that has been “optimized for superior performance” and local languages support. The laptop, manufactured in India, is selling at 15,799 Indian rupees, or $190 — with up to $60 in discounts with certain banking and card partners.

The JioBook, which also ships bundled with several Jio apps and Microsoft 365 services, has been in the works for at least two years. The company quietly demonstrated it at Indian Mobile Congress trade show event last month.

JioBook’s specifications, as you would have guessed, are not very high-end. It sports an 11.6-inch HD display with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. It is powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit, 2GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. But the laptop ships with an embedded Jio sim card, enabling out of the box support for Jio 4G LTE connectivity.

The firm says on its store page that the JioBook features up to 128GB of flash storage and can last up to eight hours on a single a charge.

The laptop is the latest of a series of businesses Reliance, the Indian conglomerate and the parent firm of Jio Platforms, has entered in recent years. The firm, led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, entered the telecom business six years ago and quickly became the top service provider in the country, thanks to the network’s cut-rate data and voice tariffs.

Jio Platforms, which secured more than $20 billion in funding from over 10 investors in 2020 including Meta and Google, has also launched feature phones and smartphones in the past half decade. The company’s JioPhone Next smartphone went on sale last year. Jio Platforms has worked closely with Google to develop a custom Android operating system for the smartphone.

The company appears to have ambitious plans with the JioBook. Reuters, which scooped the laptop’s imminent unveiling plan earlier this month, said Reliance plans to sell “hundreds of thousands” of units by March.

Jio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.