The Internet-only company, which sells its machines exclusively on the Web to cut overhead costs, is trying to carve a niche for itself as a low-cost vendor that can squeeze in high-end features. Company management believes its targeted customers, which include home office users and students, are especially interested in the high-quality resolution and data storage of the newest version of DVD-ROM.
DVD-ROM drives hold far more data than CD-ROM drives. A single disc can store an entire movie, and the newest DVD drives from Toshiba can store up to 15.9GB of data per double-sided disc.
"We've had quite a few requests for a DVD option," said Mark Marlow, vice president of product marketing for iDot. The drives are expected to cost around $165 as an add-on option, he said.
Although iDot was one of the first PC makers to offer a $599 system, Marlow disputes the contention that the startup competes solely on price, citing the DVD-ROM drives available on iDot systems. "We're absolutely about competing on technology as well as price," he said, adding that the company also promotes the adoption of larger monitors, faster graphics accelerators, and larger memory and hard drive capacity.
With the DVD option, iDot can now offer systems compatible with most optical storage media, said Jim Porter, publisher of DiskTrend. "The key point is that it's fully compatible with everything you want to put on it," Porter said. "All PC makers are starting to offer the latest model DVD-ROM drives, on a build-to-order basis."