eMachines' winter desktops cozy up to customers

The low-price computer maker is hoping that its offer of four faster desktops will help chase away the winter blues.

John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
John G. Spooner
2 min read
The low-price PC maker is hoping its faster desktops will help chase away the winter blues.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday, the PC maker launched four new desktops for the first quarter of 2004, all of which include upgraded processors. eMachines, which refreshes its desktop line every quarter, typically maintains the same prices, which start at $399 after rebates, but adds new components as they come down in price.

eMachines' new T2642 desktop comes with a 2.6GHz Celeron processor from Intel. The desktop, which will sell for $449 before a $50 rebate, also comes with 256MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive and a CD burner, the company said in a statement.

The T2642, considered eMachines' entry-level desktop, replaces a similarly priced and configured model that came with a 2.5GHz Celeron.

eMachines' next step up, the T2882, offers the same features as the T2642, but adds a 2.8GHz Celeron processor, an 80GB hard drive and a DVD-ROM drive. The desktop will sell for $529 before a $50 rebate. Its predecessor came with a 2.6GHz Celeron for the same price.

The PC maker also beefed up the processors in its two higher-priced models.

Its T3025 desktop, priced at $649, offers an Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon XP 3000+ processor, 512MB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, a CD burner, a DVD-ROM drive and an 8-in-1 card reader, the company said.

The company's T3265 desktop offers the same features, but upgrades to an Athlon XP 3200+ processor and a multiformat DVD burner for $749, the company said.

The two AMD machines, which are based on Nvidia's nForce2 chipset, take advantage of that chipset's built-in graphics processor. The Intel Celeron machines use a version of Intel's 845 chipset, which also has built-in graphics. Though not considered as good as a stand-alone graphics board, chipsets with built-in graphics generally help PC makers save money and thus offer lower prices to customers.

Not included in Thursday's product launch was the T6000 desktop, which eMachines has been selling, and which offers AMD's 64-bit capable Athlon 64 chip.

The desktop, likely to be the first in a line of Athlon 64 systems produced by the company, includes an Athlon 64 3200+ processor for $1,299. eMachines quietly introduced it at Best Buy stores in early December 2003.

Prices on the new eMachines desktops do not include monitors.