Vying for a bigger slice of the hotly contested, low-cost PC market, IBM recently rolled out five new Aptiva E series desktop PCs starting from $US799 including a monitor.
To help lure shoppers, the systems include a handful of hardware and software extras designed to make them easier to use and hook up to the Internet, including a special IBM keyboard with programmable keys that allow users to access certain Web sites and applications with one stroke.
The machines also come with free trial subscriptions to several Internet service providers, IBM said.
The three lower-end machines run on Advanced Micro Devices K6-2 processors, while the two top-end systems use Intel's new Pentium III. All five include browser software from both Microsoft and Netscape. The new Aptiva Es will be available at selected retail stores throughout the US beginning in late June, spokeswoman Lisa Kaslyn said.
A spokesperson for IBM Australia has promised an equivalent deal will be available locally within a month, although due to the smaller size of the Australian market it will be priced at $1699.
The Aptiva 175 includes a 380MHz K6-2 processor, 64MB of UMA RAM, a 4GB hard drive, a CD-ROM, an AGP 2X/SIS 530 graphics card and a 15 inch monitor (13.8 inch viewable display).
At the top of the line, the Aptiva 585 runs on a 500MHz Pentium III and includes 128MB of RAM, a 17GB hard drive, a six-speed DVD-ROM drive and a CD-Rewritable drive, an AGP 2X/S3 Savage4 video card, and IBM's ViaVoice speech recognition software. The system doesn't include a monitor; only the 175 does.
One model, the Aptiva 275, priced at $US1099, includes an internal 100MB Iomega Zip drive.