IBM Updates the Desktop

The NetVista devices, which are scheduled to be available in April, are built to provide fast and easy connections to the Internet, IBM representatives say. They offer a stylish black design, high-resolution flat screens, high bandwidth, and easy use, according to the company. Pricing will be announced upon their release.

The product line is part of IBM's Edge of Network, or EoN, strategy to market hardware that promotes easy-to-use devices with Internet access. The four NetVista devices are designed to meet a range of computing needs.

The NetVista All-in-One, a high-performance PC, is 75 percent smaller than a typical home or office PC. It includes a 15-inch flat-panel monitor, built-in speakers, and an optional radial arm that allows it to be mounted on a wall or clamped to the edge of a desk. It also supports a wireless local area network. It has two slots and seven Universal Serial Bus ports. The All-in-One PC will cost less than $2000, according to the company.

The NetVista Legacy Free PC includes a docking cradle for synchronization with handheld devices such as an IBM WorkPad or other palm-sized organizers. It has two slots, three bays, and seven USB ports. It features an embedded security chip and 256-bit encryption technology. The Legacy Free PC will be priced "significantly under $1000," according to an IBM spokesperson.

The NetVista Internet Appliance, which will be available only through IBM partners, is a lightweight device with high bandwidth and quick Internet access. IBM partners such as broadband service providers, Internet service providers, application service providers, and customers in industries such as health care and finance can offer the unit to their customers as an Internet access device, IBM says.

The NetZero-Footprint Thin Client is designed for customers with restricted space, such as airline ticket agents and retail cashiers.

The NetVista line will not be sold through retail stores, but will be available to individual consumers over the Web.

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