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Flat panel key to sleek PC design

Major Taiwanese PC manufacturer Mitac is showing a prototype of what could become a future desktop PC design.

LAS VEGAS--Major Taiwanese PC manufacturer Mitac is showing a prototype of what could become a future desktop PC design.

The Mitac LCD PC, which boasts a very compact form factor, heralds desktop PCs that are expected to appear later in 1998 or 1999, as flat panel displays become cheaper and more prevalent.

The main unit holds the PC's core electronics and stands vertically behind a 14-inch active-matrix liquid crystal display (LCD). The LCD and the main unit are integrated, forming an ultraslim design not much thicker than a large laptop computer.

Interestingly, the computer is slated to use either an Intel 233-MHz MMX Pentium processor or a 200-MHz K6 from Advanced Micro Devices.

Currently, 14-inch class active-matrix LCD screens are pricey commodities, adding $1,000 or more to the cost of a computer. But LCD prices are expected to hit more reasonable levels in 1998 and 1999, possibly paving the way for more mainstream desktops of this kind.