Toshiba inks deal with HCT for tablet PCs in campuses

Agreement builds on Al Futaim-HCT MoU & trials

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By  Published  September 8, 2006

UAE Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has signed a deal with Toshiba for the vendor to provide the institution with its tablet PCs.

The US$5.4million agreement will see the computers distributed for student and faculty use throughout 12 HCT campuses including Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah.

The deal follows extensive trials of Toshiba notebook technology by HCT as part of a wider memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the pair and Toshiba’s partner Al Futtaim Technologies at last year’s Gitex trade show in Dubai.

“HCT was the first in the region to adopt tablet PCs – this fit within our education model based on allowing students to follow the latest enhancements in technology and actively using it for their learning process,” commented Dr Tayeb Kamali, chancellor of HCT.

“It is hoped that through HCT’s association with Toshiba and Al Futtaim, we will be able to promote the effective use of information technology and mobility in the region to make learning and business faster and more efficient,” Kamali added.

Al Futtaim will train all HCT staff on how to use the tablet PCs and will also provide after-sales services to the institution.

Tablet PCs have the capability of being written on through the use of a touch screen. A user can use a stylus and operate the computer without having to have a keyboard or mouse.

“The deal marks the culmination of a testing and proof-of-concept programme that we set up with the colleges and confirmed over time the quality and reliability of Toshiba tablet PCs in educational environments,” said Vishesh Bhatia, group director of electronics at Al Futtaim.

Ahmed Khalil, general manager of Toshiba’s Middle East and Africa (MEA) computer systems division, added: “The innovative steps HCT is taking to embrace technology and enhance the learning environment for students have allowed Toshiba to demonstrate its leading edge capabilities in tablet PC technology and Al Futtaim its outstanding customer service.”

IDC results released last month showed Toshiba had maintained its lead in notebook sales growth across the Middle East in the second quarter of 2006. Toshiba claimed to have increased notebook sales by 91% year-on-year to 65,638 units.

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