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Toshiba unveils new business line

Toshiba introduces the Equium 7000 line, space-saving corporate PCs that will be one of the first to use recordable DVD drives.

Toshiba today introduced the Equium 7000 line, space-saving corporate PCs that will be one of the first to use recordable DVD drives.

In an attempt to make the corporate systems more attractive to IS managers and buyers,

Toshiba Equium 7000
Toshiba Equium 7000
many of the features added to the Equium 7000 are designed to cut down on upgrade and service time. Toshiba has added a sliding door to allow easier access to the motherboard, as well as software to let users troubleshoot before calling the PC help desk.

The Equium will be built through Toshiba's new build-to-order program. Users can choose memory and hard drive capacity, Pentium II processors from 233 MHz to 333 MHz, and operating systems to sit on a standard motherboard, which slides out through an Instant Access door for quick upgrades and servicing.

"For Toshiba, it means that it only has to order one system and end users can do whatever they want with it," said Scott Miller, a corporate PC analyst with Dataquest. "It's a little bit more efficient from that point of view."

In June, Toshiba will offer a recordable DVD-RAM drive as an option in addition to a DVD-ROM drive, which is available in April. A CD-ROM drive is available now.

The new form factor is the most obvious update to the Equium 7000S series. The systems feature a swivel foot that allows users to place the chassis vertically or horizontally. In addition, the Equium can be mounted on a wall or cubicle.

Both the Equium 7000S and the full-sized Equium 7000D are shipping now for unit prices starting at $1,229. Toshiba does not yet offer a sub-$1,000 PC, but Miller believes it has a little leeway before it is forced to further slash prices.

"Right now, it doesn't hurt [Toshiba] that much, but it will need to get down to $1,000 bucks pretty quickly," Miller said. "Everyone has to price relative to the four premier desktop makers: Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell," which except for Dell all offer systems for under $1,000.

"Positioning is all relative to the leaders," he added.