The $999 PC debuts

The $999 PC debuts

Retravision NSW and TECO have cracked the $1000 PC price barrier, delivering a $999 TECO branded, bare-bones PC. And by Retravision's reckoning, it has been a tremendous success in its first week.

The PC is a base configuration including an AMDK5 PR90 CPU, 8Mb EDO RAM, 1Gb hard disk, 14in colour monitor, 1Mb video card, and a 1.44Mb floppy drive. About 50 Retravision stores in NSW are selling the $999 RRP computer for a limited time, after which both TECO and Retravision will evaluate the success of the product.

Gary Smith, development manager for Retravision NSW, said the strategy to test the "budget" market had been in the pipelines for more than six months.

"About a third of our stores in NSW now sell computers, and I felt it was time for us to test the market in the really budget area - the average consumer, the one that has the children at school - parents aren't really in a position to pay $2099 or more for a PC at home," he said.

Several upgrade packages are available for memory, multimedia, Internet and software applications.

To Smith's surprise, a great majority of the sales so far have included upgrade packages. But he said there are customers who are taking the base model saying they are more comfortable starting with the basic technology and overcoming that fear.

Value for money

The multimedia upgrade package, at $399, includes a 16-speed CD-ROM, 3D sound-stereo sound card and amplified speakers. An extra $199 buys the user a 33.6Kbit/sec fax/modem and Netscape Navigator, while with a further $99 the one-year RTB warranty is increased to three years on site. Also on offer are Lexmark printer packages starting at $229.

Meanwhile, Harvey Norman has unveiled the price of its new home brand clone. The Microtel-made PC will retail at $1499, and will be launched nationally in a month's time.

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