Wal-Mart's $298 PC
Wal-Mart has created an empire by becoming the one-stop superstore for budget-conscious consumers. However, the retail giant has taken this mantra one step further by releasing a PC that sells for a mere $298.
The Everex IMPACT GC3502 comes with Windows Vista Home Basic and OpenOffice.org 2.2. The system includes a 1.5GHz VIA C7 CPU, 1GB of DDR-2 SDRAM, an 80GB hard drive, a DVD burner, and integrated graphics. While the device does come with a keyboard, mouse, and speakers, the monitor is sold separately. (Source: arstechnica.com)
Interestingly, the $298 computer will not contain any "bloatware". Bloatware is the term used to describe the practice of using free trials instead of full programs to sell computers at lower prices. Consumer dissatisfaction with bloatware has led several companies, including Dell, to eliminate their use of the deceiving practice. (Source: betanews.com)
Everex product manager Eugene Chang has confidence in the system. "In creating the eco-friendly GC3602, our main focus was to build a no-compromise, back-to-school PC with all the software applications a typical student would require, without resorting to bundling frivolous trial versions or increasing prices 30 percent," said Chang. (Source: arstechnica.com)
However, analysts are not as optimistic.
As Toni DuBoise points out, the fit makes sense: "It's not surprising that Wal-Mart, of all retailers, will sell the $298 Everex desktop; it's a good marriage with their biggest audience -- budget buyers," said DuBoise.
"But it has a couple of problems, one is that it uses a Via processor, which is almost unknown to U.S. consumers. And it runs at just 1.5 GHz, so it's unknown how it will handle Microsoft Vista," she said. "And running OpenOffice is kind of a unique tactic. It's anti-Microsoft, since Microsoft obviously owns the market for productivity software. So users may have some concerns about compatibility." (Source: pcworld.com)
And yet, a functioning, un-"bloated" PC for half the price of a PlayStation 3? Not half bad.
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