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Gateway research reveals truth about UK techno dummies

Launches idiot-proof PC at bargain basement price

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Too poor and too stupid to own a PC? Well, not any more. Gateway - the world's favourite bovinesque PC maker - has launched a range of PCs with you hard-up techno-dummies in mind. The Astro will take the fear out of owning a PC, Gateway says. What's more, it will take the fear out of handing over the dosh for said piece of kit. Priced at a lean, mean £549, here's what you get from a Gateway Astro: 5.1GB hard drive, 64MB SDRAM, 400MHz Intel Celeron processor, 3D graphics, integrated floppy and CD-ROM drives, 15in (13.9in viewable) monitor, stereo speakers and modem. The whole shebang comes in an integrated unit - so if you liked the Apple iMac, you might like this. But, unlike the iMac, the Astro doesn't look like it was designed by someone who used to design steam irons. Gateway has unleashed the Astro to coincide with findings from research into what puts people off buying a PC. The survey was carried out by BMRB. A total of 1048 people living in the UK took part. Almost two-thirds of respondents said they were too poor to own a PC, and around half claimed they were just too dumb. Or, looked at another way, 59 per cent said high prices would put them off buying a PC. Being too difficult to set up and too complicated to use were reasons for not owning PCs cited by 43 per cent and 51 per cent of respondents respectively. There were some other interesting findings in the survey - one in five people said they had argued with their partner about setting up electrical goods at home. The survey also unearthed some really dumb people who said they'd had trouble setting up their toasters. OK, so it was only one per cent, but across the adult population of the UK that's a lot of people eating burnt toast every morning. If these people ever find their way out of the kitchen, the rest of us could be in big trouble. Michael Maloney, Gateway's consumer division chief for Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: "Our new Astro all-in-one PC combines simplicity with good value, making it attractive for first-time buyers, who may have felt computers were not for them before." Surely he should have said: "It's Astro-logical." The Gateway Astro is available immediately, via one of the vendor's stores or from its Web site - which carries more details on the machine. You can, of course, always give 'em a call using the phone. ®

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