PC manufacturer Acer's long-awaited $500 personal computer has become a reality - the Acer Basic has been rolled out in the Far East and may even arrive in the UK in time for Christmas.
The Taiwanese company's machine is not the Larry Ellison-friendly network computer that had been forecast in some quarters. Instead, it is a standalone personal computer with reduced features.
The Acer Basic has a 486 processor, a 100Mb Zip disk drive and can use a television set instead of a monitor.
As reported in PC Dealer (8 May 1996), the prime markets for the cut-down PC will be Third World countries where high prices are a barrier to owning a personal computer.
Acer European marketing manager Dave Tanner said: 'The computer is actually priced at $599 and will be particularly aimed at China, where we are pushing it quite heavily. Other traditionally low income countries will also be natural markets for it.'
The Acer Basic's low price may prove attractive to the UK retail market.
Tanner said that Acer UK will be monitoring the success of the product with an eye to introducing it into the UK. He said: 'It may be ready to be rolled out into the UK by this Christmas, but I doubt it.'
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