The IBM PC Company has announced a refresh of its Aptiva range to include Intel MMX chips and will position some of the models as devices for running the home and surfing the Internet.
The company has split its home consumer range into three families, designed to address what it considers are the needs of families. The S series includes a different look for the Aptiva range with CD drive, disk drives and power and other controls in a pop-up media module. The processor unit will work up to six feet away from the console while the machine comes with a multimedia monitor, with speakers part of the VDU. These PCs use technology to power up if a phone rings and include Internet phone and other Net features.
The I series is aimed at homes interested in using PCs for both learning and fun, said IBM. These machines use the MMX chips, include 3D features and enhanced video and sound. Storage can be expanded to over 4Gbytes, the units come with 16-speed CD drives, a 33Kbps modem and 32Mbytes of synchronous Dram memory.
To combat the threat from low cost Compaq Presario machines based on the Cyrix chip, IBM has also introduced a price-sensitive E series with pricing starting at #1,000. These machines come bundled with CD software enhanced for Intel?s MMX platform and include a multimedia encyclopaedia. The Aptivas use the universal serial bus (USB) port although there are still few peripherals around which take advantage of this.
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