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Koreans struggle with cheap PC bid

TriGem, others reckon they can't meet the price point

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The Korean Ministry of Information and Communication has decided that income should not be a barrier to PC ownership, and has sent out a tender for bids to build a low cost PC. So far 46 companies have bid for the contract to bring IT to the Korean masses. Big name players, such as Samsung, TriGem and LG-IBM, are notable only by their absence. All three said that it was beyond them to supply machines that met the government's spec for the asking price of one million won -- about £530. However, a quick visit to the Trigem Web site will reveal that via the link to eMachines, you can buy a perfectly serviceable, if controversial, eOne machine, with 433MHz processor and 15in monitor for almost exactly £500 -– or about one million won. Companies that did put in bids typically offered systems with 400MHz processors and at least a 15in monitor, but there was some variation. Commaeul said that it could produce a Celeron 433MHz processor based PC with a 15in monitor for under one million won. The government was expected to announce the contract winners today, but the Korean embassy in London could not get hold of any information before going to press. ®

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