At the Intel Developer forum in Palm Springs last week, Intel unveiled plans for a new breed of low cost consumer PC to be developed over the next two years. The prototype device showcased by Intel was housed in a blue, pyramid-shaped case and will feature a 500MHz Katmai processor, 128Mb of RAM and a DVD-RAM player. Machines based on the new design aren't expected to come to market for at least another 12 months.
Following the launch of Apple Computer's iMac, PC manufacturers are readying a range of oddball machines in novelty cases to snatch a piece of the action. For example, Intel demonstrated a machine currently under development by Korean PC manufacturer Trigem called the E-Machine which shares a similar design to the iMac. Based on the 333MHz Celeron, the E-Machine is due to ship in the US before Christmas and is expected to be priced to compete aggressively with the iMac. Also, in contrast to the iMac, E-Machines and similar devices will feature a floppy disk drive, parallel and serial ports and will provide users with an upgrade path. Sub $500 (#300) versions of the E-Machine based on Cyrix processors are expected to follow later.
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