NEC cuts PC, notebook prices

Price drops reflect the continuing free fall in computer prices.

2 min read
NEC Computer (NIPNY) today announced price cuts as deep as 21 percent on notebook and desktop models, reflecting a steep, industrywide drop in system prices over the last few months.

As reported by CNET's NEWS.COM, NEC also introduced its Direction PC, featuring a 300-MHz Pentium II--the fastest Intel chip available--with monitor for $2,199, a price well below the cost of similarly configured systems from other vendors.

Today's price drops target a range of PC markets. On the low end, NEC enters the sub-$1,000 business PC market with the PowerMate Enterprise 166M, which is reduced to $999 from $1,069. The desktop model comes with a 166-MHz Pentium MMX processor, demonstrating that MMX processors are beginning to reach this low-cost segment. Typically, machines with "classic" (non-MMX) Pentium processors have been prevalent here.

The 166M also comes with 16MB of RAM, a 2.1GB hard drive, and the Windows 95 operating system.

NEC's business-class PowerMate Enterprise P233M drops to $1,818 from $1,998, a nine percent reduction. The P233M comes with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX, 32MB of RAM, a 3.2GB hard drive, Intel LANDesk remote management software, and a 15-inch monitor.

The desktop cuts come as NEC embarks on an aggressive build-to-order strategy. "With...the NEC Now direct business model...we can offer the latest, feature-rich PCs at a great price," said Luis Machuca, executive vice president of NEC Computer, in prepared statement. NEC Now is a new scheme that enables business users to order computers directly or via resellers, according to NEC.

In the notebook market, Versa business-use models drop below the $4,000 and $3,000 price points. The high-end Versa 6230, with a 233-MHz Pentium MMX processor, a large 13.3-inch active matrix screen, 32MB of RAM, a 2.1GB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive lists for $3,999, down 15 percent from $4,699.

Meanwhile, the Versa 5060X, with a 166-MHz Pentium MMX processor, a 13.3-inch active matrix screen, 16MB of RAM, a 2.1GB hard drive, and a 20X CD-ROM drive lists for $2,999, down from $3,299.

Intel processor price cuts are also driving system price slashing. Intel has substantially reduced prices each quarter this year, and more are expected at the end of the month.

NEC's PowerMate and Versa models are currently available through resellers or NEC Now.