Barebone PCs gain ground

Recent developments in the branded PC markets have caused many resellers to rethink their approach to the whitebox PC segment, according to Manoj Thacker, managing director of Sky Electronics. With the withdrawal of Gateway and other upheavals in big-name brands, resellers are looking for a cheap, yet reliable alternative to the branded PC.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  October 13, 2001

Recent developments in the branded PC markets have caused many resellers to rethink their approach to the whitebox PC segment, according to Manoj Thacker, managing director of Sky Electronics. With the withdrawal of Gateway and other upheavals in big-name brands, resellers are looking for a cheap, yet reliable alternative to the branded PC.

The problem has been in the past, says Thacker, that locally assembled PCs have simply not offered the quality that customers demand. However, with the new eXPression 1400 PC, based on an AOpen barebone PC, he believes that the whitebox market can offer true performance solutions.

AOpen, an Acer brand, provides both components and barebone machines—PCs supplied to resellers with all components installed apart from CPUs, video card, CD-Rom and RAM, that allow the reseller to configure solutions to exactly their customer’s requirements.

Harry Liu, VP of barebone and peripheral products for AOpen explained: “Partners don’t always want to assemble solutions, they want to sell units. They can keep barebone PCs in stock for retail — I think 70% of local assemblers will switch to barebone solutions.”

In order to demonstrate to the market the value of AOpen, Sky is offering a special model that will be launched at Gitex, the eXPression 1400. The machine uses an AMD Athlon 1.4GHz processor mounted in an AOpen case, with a range of top specification AOpen components, including 512MB DDR RAM, 16X DVD and CD-RW drives, 40GB HDD and 17” monitor. The eXPression also comes with dual fans, 32-bit sound card, 32MB Geforce video/TV card and a fax modem, and is sold at $999. The aim, says Thacker is to create a PC that will provide the customer with a lasting solution, and that will prove you don’t need big brand names to get performance.

“We want to educate the market, before they buy, before they commit to something. You must buy in a such a way that you have everything you need in a PC for at least one year. Microsoft XP requires 128MB of RAM, you need to be prepared for changes to requirements like this, your PC should not be outdated in six months time.”

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