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All-in-one PC for under $1,000

The start-up manufacturer launches three new consumer products, including a desktop model that integrates an LCD screen for under $1,000.

Start-up PC manufacturer Monorail launched three new products for the consumer market, including a


Monorail 7000
Model PC
desktop computer that integrates a liquid crystal display (LCD) for under $1,000.

According to Monorail, all three of the new systems employ a design that uses much less desktop space than a traditional PC and monitor since the LCD screen is integrated into an upright, slim PC unit.

Monorail's newest sub-$1,000 PC, the Monorail Model 7400, comes with a 166-MHz MMX Pentium processor, 16MB of memory, a CD-ROM drive, a 1.6GB hard drive, a modem, stereo speakers, and an integrated SVGA color LCD screen for $999.

According to a recent study by Computer Intelligence, the sub-$1,000 PC market accounted for 40 percent of all U.S. retail sales of PCs in August, though the trend dropped off slightly in September. Monorail has been offering PCs for under $1,000 since October 1996.

Since that time, Monorail has focused on expanding its line to include more powerful and expensive machines. Although the commercial market is where Monorail's pared-down machines are most popular, "We still want to be a major participant in the consumer market," said Monorail's vice president of marketing, Andrew Watson.

The two new higher-end models are focused on the consumer market. The Monorail Model 7500 has a more powerful 200-MHz Pentium MMX processor, 16MB of memory, a CD-ROM drive, a 3GB hard drive, modem, speakers, and an integrated color LCD screen. The Monorail Model 7500 is priced at $1,299.

The Model 200LSe also has the 200-MHz MMX processor, 32 MB of memory, and an integrated 12.1-inch double-bright SVGA color LCD screen. The 200LSe is priced at $1,799, Monorail's most expensive PC to date.

The three new systems are the first to feature what Monorail calls its Enhanced Base Audio System (EBAS), which integrates stereo speakers into the base of the PC. Monorail has developed the system so that its smaller PCs could feature stereo speakers. "Because of the size of our unit, in the first products that we introduced, there were no speakers that could deliver the kind of sound that we wanted," Watson said.

All three new PCs are shipping immediately, and will be available through Monorail's retail channels for the Christmas season.