PC World has launched a new class of legacy-free PCs aimed at the first time buyer.
The Advent E.go, to be launched across the Dixon Group stores on Friday for £899, was developed in association with AMD and is based on the AMD EasyNow! platform.
It has been designed to appeal to consumers new to computing and, like the iMac, the emphasis is on an out-of-the-box, Internet-ready solution. It also follows the iMac's living room friendly aesthetics, coming in a tear-drop style silver tower with a purple plastic CD covering.
It features a 450MHz AMD K6-2 processor, 64MB RAM, an 8.7GB hard disk, 24x CD-ROM, 56K built-in modem and integrated 16 bit stereo speakers. There are no serial or parallel ports but five USB ports. The included silver Sony 17 inch flat CRT monitor features an additional four USB ports. It comes loaded with Windows 98 SE, Lotus Smart Suite Millennium Edition, Freeserve ISP software, SimCity 3000 and FIFA 99. Again like the iMac there is no floppy drive.
A major advantage for first time buyers is the "instant on" functionality. This allows users to put the PC in suspend mode, meaning that it only takes 10 seconds to reboot. Also appealing to those new to computers is the 55-second boot up time.
Andrew Gabriel, PC World group marketing manager, believes that first time users are often put off by the interminable power up time involved with most PCs. "They want a computer to turn on instantly, like a TV," he said, "With this PC they can turn it off in the middle of a game and when they turn it back on from sleep mode they'll be at the same frame they paused at."
One of the drawbacks to such "easy" legacy-free PCs is that owners are unable to upgrade them by adding new soundcards or graphics cards. However Gabriel denies that this could lead to consumer frustration. "These PCs are more than powerful enough for the average user," he said, "If someone did come in wanting a machine to play the most powerful games on I would point him to something more suitable."