Dixons has stepped up the PC price war with a #399 machine in stores over the Easter break which could set a Bank Holiday offer precedent for the rest of the year.
The offer of a Cyrix MII 300-based machine ran from 1 April to 5 April, available from PC World, Dixons and Currys outlets. The Patriot multimedia machine comes with 32Mb Ram, a 2.1Gb hard disk, a 14in monitor, 512k cache, a 32-speed CD-Rom drive and Windows 98. There is no software as part of the package.
John Clare, chief executive of Dixons, said: 'This is the latest move from Dixons Group to bring sophisticated computer technology to the mass-market. It is the perfect introduction to the world of the PC and is backed up by specialist advice from our experts.'
However, a representative at Tiny Computers expressed doubts. 'This machine is out of date before you even get it home - it's going backwards in specification.
It's quite a slow machine and won't last very long. Today's PCs have a life of about four years - you would have to replace this in a year or upgrade it,' he said.
'At the end of the day, nobody wants to sell this machine - there's no margin in it. But it'll get people through the door over Easter.'
The package also included the option of paying an extra #100 for a 56k V90 modem with access to the internet via Dixons' free internet access provider, Freeserve.
The moves comes one week after US vendor Microworkz began selling PCs at $399 in the US.
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