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IBM adds seven Aptivas

Big Blue offers seven new Aptiva PCs, along with remote control surfing and voice control of household appliances.

IBM (IBM) introduced advanced communications and multimedia enhancements for new models in its Aptiva line of home PCs.

The new Aptiva S-series features technology that allows home users to surf the Web with one click on a remote control. New C-series models include a voice-enabling feature called Home Director that lets users automate lights and home appliances from their PCs, using voice commands to turn appliances on and off.

In addition, a new AudioStation feature allows remote control playing of CDs.

The seven Aptiva models include 166-MHz and 200-MHz Intel processors with MMX multimedia technology, as well as a new 3D graphics chip. The models also come with a 16X CD-ROM drive and 3D sound.

New models in the S-series include a 33.6-kbps modem that can be upgraded to 56 kbps for free through IBM's Update Connector program for one full year, as well as the new Web Surfing Remote Control feature. The new C-series includes a variety of educational software for home users.

The Aptiva S8C, S9H, and S9C will be available next month at prices ranging from $2,349 to $2,599, depending on the configuration. Monitors range from $499 to $799. The new C8E, C9E, C9S, and C8H models will be available next month at prices ranging from $2,149 to $2,399.

The Home Director feature is available in the C8H model models now and will be added to the S9H models in April. The Web Surfing Remote Control feature will be included in the S8C and the S9C next month.