AOL have launched the AOL Optimised PC – a cheap PC that gets the AOL brand into homes and under people’s noses.
The base US$300 (€246) cost of the system is subsidised by the AOL subscription purchasers also have to buy with the PC. That adds a further US$23.90 (€19.60) a month for a year to the total cost.
The base unit is built around a 2GHz Celeron processor, 256Mb of memory and a 40 gb hard dirve. The PC comes with a 17” monitor, printer and speakers and AOL Office – which is essentially Open Office. Naturally, the PC is preconfigured with AOL’s suite of tools and applications with parental controls, Computer Check Up and internet access ready to go.
“We’re addressing the needs of the millions of Internet intenders who are first-time PC buyers or novice computer users,” said Kenn Turner, Senior Vice President and General Manager, AOL Key Audiences.
“They’ve told us that affordability and an interest in making one simple buying decision for everything they need to use the computer and get online is important to them. We think the complete AOL Optimized PC solution delivers unprecedented value, while maintaining performance and quality.”
AOL are supplying the computer in with English and Spanish language options, and it can be easily swapped between them.
“Fifty-five percent of English language dominant Hispanic households have Internet access at home, compared with only 20% of Spanish language dominant households, according to the Synovate 2004 Hispanic Report,” said David Wellisch, Vice President and General Manager, AOL Latino.
“The AOL Optimised PC is one of the only widely available PC plus internet solutions that makes it easy to select and switch between language preferences. Combined with an affordable price and a comprehensive PC bundle, we hope to empower these consumers to take advantage of all the resources the Internet has to offer.”
AOL is also hoping that the PC will raise awareness of their brand and get it into more homes, as Disney has demonstrated recently with their mouse-eared Disney PC.