Just a day after Acer announced a $699 PC for businesses, Packard Bell/NEC has introduced a consumer PC at the same price. The system is based on a Cyrix MediaGX processor.
Last week, Packard Bell announced a deal with Cyrix to use its MII and MediaGX processors. The first two PCs to result from the deal are the Packard Bell 750, a 266MHz MII system, priced at $999 in the US, and the Packard Bell 550, with a 233MHz MediaGX processor.
Its $699 price includes 24Mbytes of Ram, a 2.1Gbytes hard disk, 24x CD-Rom and 56Kbps modem ? but no monitor. The systems will only be available in north America as yet.
The MediaGX processor was especially designed for the sub-$1,000 space. It has on-chip memory and graphics controllers, lowering the total number of chips on the motherboard and so the cost. Cyrix? parent company National Semiconductor has announced that it is working towards integrating even more components, developing a 'PC-on-a-chip'.
Sub-$1,000 PCs are currently the fastest growing segment of the PC market, accounting for about 40 per cent of US retail sales.
A Cyrix executive at the PC Tech Forum in San Jose earlier this month said he expected to see $599 PCs from major vendors this summer. By Christmas, machines in this price range will ship with 300MHz processors, said Dan Swearingen, senior director of business management and marketing.
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