IBM launches ultra small PC

Cashing in on the consolidation of office space, IBM has launched its smallest ever full-featured desktop PC.

The S50 ultra small form factor (SFF) is equipped with an internal power supply, 40GB to 80GB hard drive, optical drive, Pentium 4HT processor, up to 2GB of RAM, a PCI slot, front audio and 6 USB slots.

IBM A/NZ brand manager PC division, Erin Makin, said the launch of the product was both a move to counter competitors and a jump at increasing demand for SFF PCs.

“We released our first SFF, the S42, 18 months ago and saw a greater than expected uptake, to the extent that the updated S50 SFF is now 60 per cent of our ThinkCentre PC shipments,” she said.

In an attempt to stay ahead of the ball, IBM undertook research during those 18 months and determined the market wanted a small size desktop with the same flexibility available from a standard model.

At just 25 per cent the size of a standard desktop, and weighing in at 6kg, the S50 is big blue’s attempt to please everybody, she said.

Claiming major interest from the channel in the new model, Makin said seven of IBM’s Australian and New Zealand distributors had placed orders for the product prior to its launch.

“Our distributors see a space for this system in SMB, SOHO and niche consumer markets such as retirement villages,” she said. “Where we traditionally see the trend of the-smaller-the-more-expensive, we have been able to keep the price down, so resellers will get the same margins they’re getting now.”

Through the new PC, IBM hoped to graduate from third in the corporate PC market to second within two years, Makin said.

“The Australian desktop corporate market is still huge and is expected to be $1.5 billion in 2005 according to IDC, and we aim to be a bigger part of it,” she said.

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