Mega-retailer Wal-Mart is hoping to appeal to back-to-school computer shoppers and folks who need just enough computer to surf the Internet and put words in a row with the Everex Impact GC3502, a bare-bones system which sports Windows Vista Home Basic, OpenOffice 2.2, no bloatware, and a selling price of $298.
The GC3502 runs a Via C7-D processor running at 1.5 GHz, 1 GB of memory, an 80 GB hard drive, a DVD±RW drive with double layer support, and Via Chrome9 HC IGP graphics which use from 64 to 128 MB of shared video memory. The unit also offers 100Base-T Ethernet, VGA out, six USB ports, and a 250 watt power supply. The system comes with Windows Vista Home Basic—which lacks the graphical bells and whistles which would otherwise strain this sytem), OpenOffice 2.2 productivity software for creating documents, CyberLink PowerDVD Suite, and a 90-day trial of Norton Internet Security.
What’s notable beside’s the system’s aggressive pricing is the lack of bloatware: the Impact GB3502 lacks the tumor of trail versions, service offerings, and other applications which typically festoon a new PC. The emphasis here is on getting students and back-to-school users up and running in record time. And although gamers would be in for a disappointment from the system, folks needing to manage their email, surf the Web, listen to music, and do word processing and basic productivity tasks should have no problem—as long as they can find a monitor to go long with their new PC. And if customers balk at using OpenOffice 2.2 rather than Microsoft’s suite of productivity applications, let’s not forget Dell is now offering low-cost PCs through Wal-Mart as well.