ViewSonic Debuts First PC

After unveiling its first PC at the CES show in January, ViewSonic Wednesday commercially rolled out the VPC100 All-in-One computer. The product is aimed at home and small-business users and targets verticals such as call centers, libraries and school computer labs.

Brian Igoe, ViewSonic vice president of sales, said that the company's field sales force is already working with VARs, and has a "plethora" of machines to give to VARs for testing, and to introduce them to their customers. The reaction, so far, has been positive he said.

The obvious question is: Why would a leading display company enter into the computer industry? According to Igoe, ViewSonic feels that the move plays on the company's well-known brand.

"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."

Igoe also said that the model is just the first of others that will hit the market by the end of the year, but declined to offer specific details.

In addition to being able to buy the computer through ViewSonic, the VPC100 will be available from distributors, including D&H, Tech Data and Ingram Micro, but it will not be sold through the retail channel, Igoe said.

One of the major selling points is that the VPC100 is a compact design and a 35mm monitor that is thinner than many displays on the market.

"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."

The 18.5-inch display features a 16:9 aspect ratio LCD screen. In addition, the company is touting the PC as more eco-friendly than many desktops since it is one unit instead of two -- a monitor and tower PC -- which means the VPC100 uses about 50 percent less plastic. In addition, the computer cuts energy consumption -- it runs on 45 percent less power than a traditional computer set.

The VPC100 has 1 GB of RAM, a 160-GB hard drive, a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor with Microsoft Windows XP Home, wireless connectivity within any 802.11b/g Wi-Fi network, four USB 2.0 ports, two built-in 2.5-watt speakers, an integrated 1.3-megapixel Webcam, a 4-in-1 card reader for file transfers, DVD/CD Super multi RW optical disk drive and an included full-sized keyboard and optical mouse.

The VPC100 has a street price of $549, an MSRP of $599, and is also available for $399 through ViewSonic's Finch reseller program (limit one per reseller).