Mitac will enter the UK NetPC market in November, admitting that it will let OEMs test the water first before it makes concrete decisions on own-brand sales targets. It will also deliver a 14.2 inch screen notebook which it expects to get to market before UK OEMs in mid-November.
The Mitac Essentia is a 233MHz MMX or AMD K6-based slim tower with 14- or 15-inch LCD screen. It supports up to 512Mb RAM and has 100/10BaseT built-in and a 16-speed CD ROM drive. As yet there is no pricing although this will be set after the OEMs have issued their machines to market.
Mitac associate vice-president Ken Huang said that a number of OEMs were already in place in the UK, Europe and US but would no divulge any names. Both Huang and UK national sales manager Julian Willis admitted that Mitac brand sales had been falling and now account for around 30 per cent of the company's UK business. "We are still happy," said Willis, "because overall turnover is increasing with growth in our OEM business."
The Mitac 5027 notebook will cost around £2,500 for a 200MHz Pentium MMX-based 32MB system with the 14.2 inch screen. The notebook will be made available to OEMs but Willis said that it expects to get product to market in the UK before the OEMS, thereby giving the Mitac brand a much needed boost.
"There is an unwritten rule in the OEM market that you let the big boys go with product first before you step in with your own brand," added Willis. This seems to apply to the PC market only as Mitac will also endeavour to ship two further notebooks, the 5031 and 6031, soon after the 5027.
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