IBM announces new NetVista brand

IBM last week announced a new family of smaller, sleek PCs, Internet access devices and thin clients, IBM said in a statement. The NetVista line of devices, available in April, are built to provide fast and easy connection to the Internet, IBM said.

The devices are marked by a black design, high-resolution flat screens, simplicity of use and high bandwidth, the company said.

IBM plans to invest more than $US100 million marketing and promoting NetVista, which it says is its most important launch of desktop technology since its first PC 20 years ago.

The product line is part of IBM's edge of network (EoN) strategy to market hardware that promotes easy-to-use devices with Internet access.

The products in the NetVista family are as follows:

- The NetVista All-in-One is a high performance PC, 75 per cent smaller than a typical home or office PC. It includes a 15 inch flat-panel monitor, built-in speakers and an optional radial arm that allows the devices to be mounted on a wall or clamped to the edge of a desk. It includes a wireless local area network (LAN) option. It has two slots and seven universal serial bus (USB) ports.

- The NetVista Legacy Free PC includes a docking cradle for synchronisation with handheld devices such as an IBM WorkPad or other palm-sized organisers. It has two slots, three bays and seven USB ports. It features an embedded security chip and 256-encryption technology.

- The NetVista Internet Appliance, available only through IBM partners, is a lightweight device with high bandwidth and quick Internet access. IBM partners such as broadband service providers, Internet service providers, application service providers and customers in industries such as health care and finance can offer the device to their customers as an Internet access device, IBM said.

- The NetZero-Footprint Thin Client is offered to users with restricted space, such as airlines check-in counters and retail checkouts.

- The NetVista line will be available through IBM partners, to individual consumers over the Web and through value-added resellers. The products will not be sold through retail stores, an IBM spokesperson said.

Australian pricing and availability details are expected to be revealed at the end of March, a local IBM spokesperson said.