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Monorail seals case on business PCs

A company known for inexpensive consumer PCs lumps monitor and all into a case and hopes businesses will buy it.

Monorail, already known for its inexpensive line of consumer PCs, said today it will begin selling a line of "sealed-case" PCs for businesses.

Monorail's NPC system seeks to capitalize on an industry trend towards reducing the toll PCs take on businesses' pocketbooks. It lumps an Intel-compatible 166-MHz processor, a hard disk and CD-ROM drive, and other components into a case that also holds an LCD monitor.

The system is simpler to set up and maintain than current PCs. Monorail also claims the systems take up 20 percent less space on the desktop than a PC with a separate monitor, making them easier to integrate into a workspace.

Monorail's promises to further the NPC's impact on cost of ownership by also offering support for desktop management software, including Desktop Management Interface (DMI), Intel's LANDesk and Microsoft's Systems Management Server (SMS). DMI is an industry standard framework for managing desktop systems and servers, while LANDesk and SMS software helps automate software and application installation on PCs and other networked hardware.

The Monorail NPC includes the 166-MHz processor, 16MB of memory, a 1GB hard disk drive, a 4X CD-ROM drive, and a 10BaseT Ethernet adapter. The system is available with either a 10.4-inch or a 12.1-inch built-in LCD screen.

The Monorail NPC will be available in two configurations, the Model 166 and Model 166LS, at an ESP of $1,199 and $1,499, respectively.