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IBM's Smallest PC Designed In Triangle

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — When your desk space is tight, a smaller computer may be just what the doctor ordered. IBM thinks it can fill the prescription with its new Think Centre S50.

The PC, designed in the Triangle, weighs just 13 pounds -- about the same as IBM's first laptop. It is 75 percent smaller than IBM's first personal computer, which rolled out in 1981, and it is about the same height and width as a Raleigh phone book.

"You're not compromising anything. You're getting a full-functioning PC with this," said Dilip Bhatia, of IBM. "You're getting a memory, memory expansion, PCI slot, a desktop hard drive which has all the performance built in."

Even though the new Think Centre is much smaller, it has not lost anything in durability. An adult can stand on it and any monitor you want to put on it, it can stand it.

"It's designed to hold a 22-inch monitor and those things are about 100 to 125 pounds," Bhatia said.

The Think Centre is also easier to service since no tools are needed to open it.

"For example, if a service technician wants to come in and replace the hard drive, it is as simple as pulling out the hard drive and putting a new hard drive in and you're done," Bhatia said. "We've definitely come a long way."

The new Think Centre will cost under $600. A 15-inch flat panel monitor will cost another $400.

The new computer will be available in August. It will have some competition. Last week, Taiwan-based Saint Song unwrapped what it claims to be the world's smallest PC, but unlike IBM's, the power supply on the Saint Song is external to the PC.


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