Fujitsu Siemens to Launch Celvin Easy PC

Fujitsu Siemens Computers BV yesterday introduced the Celvin Easy PC, its first entry into the market for smaller, easier-to-use home computers.

The Celvin Easy PC is based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s EasyNow reference design for PCs powered by its K6-2 or K6-III series of processors running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system. AMD unveiled the EasyNow platform design in November last year.

The Celvin Easy PC will be available in March in selected European countries, according to Judith Grindel, a spokeswoman for Fujitsu Siemens Computers, and will later be sold throughout the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) regions. It will sell for roughly 599 euros (US$610) without a monitor, and 799 euros with a display, said Grindel. Users will get a preview of the computer at the CeBIT trade show held next month in Hanover, Germany.

To make it simpler to use, the Celvin comes pre-configured and installed with Windows 98 Second Edition and features only USB (universal serial bus) ports, rather than having serial, parallel and PS/2 ports, which makes it simpler to add peripherals to the PC, Fujitsu Siemens said in a statement.

Audio, graphics and modem technologies are built into the core chip set, which means the PC requires fewer external ports and can have a more compact form, Fujitsu Siemens said. The computer can also be turned on or off in under ten seconds, rather than undergoing a lengthy boot-up process.

Celvin is also more compact than a typical home PC, and has a more colorful design, coming in transparent silver and blue. The machine comes with a colored keyboard, mouse and loudspeaker. Optional extras include 15-inch and 17-inch monitors and a USB floppy disk drive, Fujitsu Siemens said.

The computer will come in two models, one featuring an entry-level AMD K6-2 processor with a clock-speed of 450MHz, and the other using the forthcoming AMD K6-2+ processors, running at 500MHz or 533MHz.

Other features include hard drives of up to 8.4G bytes and a vertically positioned CD-ROM drive. lt also comes with a software recovery CD-ROM disk that can be used for simple re-installation of the operating system, drivers and MP3 player software.

Celvin is the first Easy PC product to emerge from the European joint venture between Fujitsu Ltd. and Siemens AG. The venture merged Fujitsu Computers Europe Ltd. and the Siemens Computer Systems division, which includes development, manufacturing and marketing.

The Easy PC concept was initiated by Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., in cooperation with several leading PC makers. Fujitsu Siemens said it expects to launch additional Easy PC models later this year.

Fujitsu Siemens, in Bad Homburg, Germany, can be reached via the Web at http://www.fujitsusiemens.de/ Advanced Micro Devices, in Sunnyvale, California, is at +1-408-732-2400, or at http://www.amd.com.

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