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Toaster heralds AST's return to the high street

Brand with once loyal following resurfaces at Dixons

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AST Computer UK is re-entering the UK retail market with a toaster-sized PC. Perhaps it hopes that size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it that counts.

This slimline Century City computer is based around the Easy PC idea -– it's the size of a toaster and is designed to be easy to set up and quieter than traditional PCs. The PC has a slotless design. It comes with a 500MHz Celeron, 64MB DRAM, 8.4GB hard drive, Universal Serial Bus ports, and costs £899.

The system, which is 30cm tall, is a joint design with Intel and Palo Alto Products International. Aimed mainly at home users, AST is currently selling the model exclusively through Dixons, but is talking to other retail outlets.

The AST name was bought from Samsung by ex-Packard Bell exec Beny Alagem in January. He has also enlisted the co-founders of Packard Bell in the UK, Jamie Muir and Peter Bromage, to head up AST in Europe.

"With the convergence of digital technologies and the ubiquitous use of mobile phones and the Internet, consumers are demonstrating a new attitude to technology," said Bromage, VP of sales and marketing for AST Europe. "The expectation now is for attractive, simple and versatile lifestyle and workplace devices." ®

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