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Shoppers invited to design own PCs

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Buying a custom-built PC just got easier, according to PC World, after it launched an in-store system that enables shoppers to choose the exact configuration of their machines. Aimed at second-time buyers and those with enough confidence to decide between the 864 different permutations of machines and monitors available, the service is the first time such a system has been made available to high street shoppers in the UK, PC World claims. Once ordered, using an Internet-style graphical interface, custom-designed PCs are delivered to people’s doorsteps within ten working days. Launched today, Advent Configurator applies only to PC World’s own brand of Advent PCs and is available at six stores in Becton, Staples Corner, Slough, Enfield, Brentford and Harlow. The configure to order service will be available in all 56 PC World stores throughout the country from 16 November. As well as specifying which processor, memory and hard disk they want, shoppers can also choose which CD-ROM, graphics card, sound card, speakers, monitor size and software bundle they want. And for anyone worried about designing their PC spec, PC World says that help is on hand for those muddled by the maze of choice available. The move is seen as an attempt by PC World to compete more effectively with companies such as Dell and Gateway, which offer similar build-your-own services over the phone and the Internet. PC World says the configure to order service will enable it to supply high spec PCs at "direct factory prices". In recent months PC World parent company Dixons Store Group has come under fire in the UK press for charging high prices for both PCs and service warranties. ® Click for more stories Click for story index

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