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Tech Industry

IBM refreshes desktop PC line

Big Blue adds faster Pentium II processors and larger hard drives to medium and high-end lines.

    IBM (IBM) enhanced two desktop lines intended for general and high-end business users, adding faster processors and a larger hard drive.

    IBM's high-end PC 300XL now comes with a 300-MHz Intel Pentium II processor, while the midrange PC 300GL takes on a 233-MHz Pentium chip with MMX technology and a 4.2GB EIDE hard drive.

    The upgrades come amid today's announcement that IBM will fold its consumer PC division into its division for business PCs, in an effort to revive the ailing Aptiva line and stem the loss of market share. IBM has been hard hit by its failure to compete in the booming sub-$1,000 market. (See related story)

    IBM's 300 series models come from the former business PC division of the company and are intended for a more performance-oriented market. The machines come with a number of remote management capabilities, including remote wake up, system configuration tasks, and operating system and application distribution. The machines support the Desktop Management Interface specification and also Intel's Wired for Management specification.

    Remote management features are currently popular with corporate buyers because these capabilities simplify maintenance by network administrators, thereby reducing the overall cost of owning large numbers of PCs.

    The 300XL line now includes 233-, 266-, and 300-MHz Pentium II chips, 2.5GB, 4.2GB, or 4.3GB hard drives, and 32MB RAM (expandable to 384MB). Windows NT 4.0 comes installed. Estimated prices begin at $2,695.

    The 300GL line comprises Pentium MMX chips running at 166, 200, and 233 MHz, 16MB or 32MB of memory, and a 2.5GB or 4.2GB hard drive. Models are preloaded with Windows 95 or Windows NT Workstation 4.0. Prices start at about $1,509.