IBM has added its name to the growing list of companies that claim they have developed a new kind of home PC.
Big Blue describes its Aptiva S computers as 'the industry's first split system for easy access to essential controls and functions on the desktop'.
The Aptiva S has a mini tower unit which can be placed up to 6ft away from the workspace. IBM believes that home users will be interested in having less desk space taken up in this way by their computers. The PC comes with a media console that houses the CD-Rom and floppy drives as well as the power controls. The monitor, which is available in 15in or 17in format, has speakers and a microphone built into the casing.
The machine ships with an internal 33.6Kbps modem and is loaded with Lotus Smart Suite 96, Microsoft Works for Windows 95, Microsoft Encarta, IBM Antivirus, as well as Mech Warrior II and VR Soccer 96. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Explorer 2 are included in the package along with trial subscriptions to five Internet service providers.
A centralised telephone, speakerphone, answering machine, fax machine, address book, email and paging system is provided with the Aptiva S.
The system, which is called Ring Central, is intended to make the whole range of communications easier for the home user.
One of the more interesting features of Ring Central is speech mail, which allows the user to control the system using spoken commands as well as enabling the remote playback of email messages.
Prices, without monitor, range from $2,499 to $3,099.
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