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Lindows unveils $449 PC

Consumer KooBox

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Consumer Linux specialist Lindows yesterday launched KooBox, a $449 PC - including monitor - moving the company even further into the hardware arena.

The KooBox is actually made by US systems builder MicroTron 2000. It's based on a 1.2GHz AMD Duron processor, bundles 256MB of PC133 SDRAM, offers 20GB of hard disk storage and a 56x CD-ROM unit. Graphics acceleration is integrated into the unnamed chipset, which also offers 10/100 Ethernet and a 56KBps modem.

The ATX case, which apart from the name, is visually indistinguishable from any other no-brand PC, packs in two PCI slots, two USB 2.0 ports and legacy connectors. Bundled with the PC is a 14.1in 1024 x 768 LCD panel, speakers, keyboard and mouse. Lindows calls it an all-in-one system, but with an external monitor, the KooBox doesn't really count as one.

The unit ships with LindowsOS 4.0, which includes SurfSafe, an anti-porn filter that blocks smut-ridden email and web pages. It also ships with VirusSafe anti-virus software (it's based on Central Command's Vexira), but that's only available for free for the first 90 days - after that, users have to cough up a $29.95 annual membership. Are there really enough Linux viruses out there to warrant that, albeit small, fee, we wonder?

Buyers will also have to pay extra $59 for the 24/7 toll-free support hotline and next-day on-site repair service if they want to use it beyond the 90-day tech support warranty shipped with the KooBox. That sum buys you a year's "premium" support, but you can buy up to four years' worth at a time.

The launch of KooBox follows on from Lindows' $169 WebStation HDD-less PC last month. Alongside the 'basic' KooBox, Lindows is offering a "deluxe" version with triple the hard drive capacity, more RAM, a CD-RW and DVD-ROM drive, and upgraded speakers, all for $669. ®

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