ViewSonic Sets Its Sights On PC Market With Debut Of The VPC100

Somewhat similar in design to an iMac, the VPC100 has a super-slim monitor that is 35mm thin, and the 18.5-inch display features a 16:9 aspect ratio LCD screen for sharp images.

Since the VPC100 is one unit instead of two -- a monitor and a tower PC -- it uses approximately 50 percent less plastic for reduced waste, and can run on roughly 45 percent less power than a traditional computing set.

"When people talk about office clutter, it's not just about paperwork," said Jeff Volpe, vice president and general manager of ViewSonic NA, in a statement. "Traditional computing solutions can be expensive, unattractive and take up an entire desk. We designed the VPC100 to overcome that "computer clutter" problem with one-cable ease and a clean, all-in-one design."

So, why is the Walnut, Calif.-based display giant venturing into the computer market?

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"This is a great extension of our brand," said Brian Igoe, vice president of sales. ""It's a big step, but it's a natural," he said. "Display is our strength and the VPC100 is an extension of what we're known for."

ViewSonic resellers have already gotten their hands on the computers, thanks to the company's field sales force, which Igoe said has plenty of machines available for testing by VARs and their clients.

The PC has a built-in Intel Atom 1.64-GHz processor with Microsoft Windows XP Home and 1 GB of RAM and a 160-GB hard drive. It also has an 18.5-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio LCD screen.

In addition, the VPC100 has four, high-speed USB 2.0 ports; DVD/CD Super Multi RW optical disk drive; a 4-in-1 card reader for file transfers; an integrated 1.3-megapixel Webcam; wireless connectivity within any 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network; LAN network integration through the 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN connection; two built-in 2.5-watt speakers; and a full-sized keyboard and optical mouse.

The VPC100 may be criticized for its lack of computing power, but Igoe said it's not meant to be for power users. The target markets include small businesses, call centers, libraries, school computer labs and other small locations.

ViewSonic will be rolling out more PCs by the end of the year, although Igoe declined to provide specifics.

VPC100will also be available through distributors, such as D&H, Ingram Micro and Tech Data, but not in stores.

"Our focus is not on the retail channel," Igoe said. "We want to work with the VARs."

The VPC100 has a street price of $549, and an MSRP of $599. In addition, the company's Finch reseller program is offering the PC for $399, one per VAR.