updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri October 10, 2008
eMachines EL 1200
eMachines has chosen an unusual mid-Friday launch for the EL 1200, the company's first small form factor PC. The system's case is about 40 percent smaller than eMachines' normal mini-towers and consumes less power as well; all models carry a 1.5GHz Athlon 64 chip that demands just 15W of power by itself. The range potentially serves as a budget home theater PC with HDMI-out and more recent integrated GeForce video as an option.
The base EL1200-05w variant is one of the least expensive small PCs of its type at $298 and carries 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, a DVD burner and basic GeForce 6150SE video all joined to Windows XP Home. Switching to the only slightly more expensive $349 EL 1210-01e version doubles the RAM to 2GB, expands the hard drive to 320GB, and outfits the system with a modern GeForce 8200 that can handle Vista Home Premium as well as assist in decoding HD video.
eMachines says both systems are available today but splits the launch into separate stores. The 05w will be available only at Wal-Mart while the 01e surfaces at Best Buy.