NEC has made what it describes as a "breakthrough" in desktop PC design with the launch of its Powermate 2000 microdesktop today.
The PC measures 10.5inches wide by 7.7inches deep and two inches high and sits beneath a 15inch LCD display. The Powermate 2000 is specially designed to fit into locations where space is at a premium, such as laboratories and reception areas.
The LCD display emits less radiation, reduces glare and consumes less power than CRT monitors. The system also has a dedicated hardware scaling chipset that enhances the quality of text and video clips at different resolutions.
It is available with 64Mb of Ram and has a 6.4Gb smart hard drive and Intel 10/100Mb Ethernet support built in for quick network support. Also incorporated into the design are two Cardbus PC Card slots and tow USB connections to allow for customisation and upgradeability.
NEC first demonstrated the concept of the microdesktop at the Demo 99 conference in California in February.
Stacey Wu, product line director for desktop computers at NEC commented: "For individuals looking for freedom from bulky equipment and additional work space, the Powermate 2000 PC's slim form factor is ideal. It weighs less than 12 pounds, not 80 pounds like most traditional desktop PC monitors."
She added: "Our microdesktop PC concept foreshadows the way we will compute in the future - with small highly integrated computers that fit into places where space is at a premium and flexibility is key."
Schelley Olhava, research analyst at IDC commented: "IDC believes that the market for this emerging desktop factor is gaining momentum. We see growing interest based on design improvements in new models as well as the inherent space savings and aesthetics embodied in the products."
The Powermate 2000 goes on sale in the US today, priced at $2499. NEC was unable to say if or when the system would be launched in Europe.
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