Epson UK has announced its intention to become one of the top six players in the UK personal computer market within two years by focussing on the mid-range of the corporate-user market with a new series of personal computers. And the Epson Vision, which will put the Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire-based end of the Tokyo firm […]
Epson UK has announced its intention to become one of the top six players in the UK personal computer market within two years by focussing on the mid-range of the corporate-user market with a new series of personal computers. And the Epson Vision, which will put the Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire-based end of the Tokyo firm in direct competition with the likes of IBM and Compaq, extends to place Epson among the top three in five years as it moves up to the top-end of the large enterprise market. The results of Epson’s homework on the overall UK personal computer market show that AT bus architecture will continue to be dominant into the 1990s and, not surprisingly, that the 80386 processor market will see the biggest growth rates, with, for the short-term at least, the 80486 market being limited to certain specialist fields, such as education and science. Bearing this in mind, while still seeking to keep a foothold in its traditional small enterprise client base, the new machines range from an entry level 8086 box to the top-of-the-range 25MHz 80386 model. A number of standard features are included on all models, such as VGA monitors, 3.5 floppy disk drives, smaller footprints, and increased hard disk capacity. The PSE 30, based on a 10MHz 8086 processor, is aimed at the first time user and has 720Kb floppy and 640Kb of RAM; as well as the standard floppy disk version, a 20Mb hard disk option is also available. The PC AX2e, with a 12MHz Intel 80286 chip, is billed as a multi-tasking workstation for medium-sized organisations. Again, two versions are available: the 1.2Mb floppy disk model and the 40Mb hard disk option, upgradeable to 200Mb. The PC AX3s, with a 16MHz 80386SX processor, is seen as a bridge between 80286 and 80386 technology: single 1.44Mb 3.5 floppy disk, 40Mb and 100Mb hard disk options exist. The 25MHz PC AX3/25 is the flag-bearer of the range with a 1.44Mb floppy disk and 100Mb hard disk as standard. It is intended for statistical, engineering and Computer Aided Design uses. Target prices, excluding tax and monitor options, stand at UKP1,050 for the PSE 30, UKP1,450 with 20Mb hard disk; UKP1,450 for the PC AX2e, UKP2,000 with 40Mb; UKP1,900 for the PC AX3s, UKP2,250 for 40Mb, UKP2,600 for 100Mb; the PC AX3/25 comes in at a level UKP5,000. Once additional costs such as memory upgrades and monitor options arise, the mathematics become slightly tricky, but Epson, which preferred not to launch the range at the Personal Computer Show, claims to have pitched its machines at between 10% to 15% cheaper than comparable models already on the market and is putting UKP1m into a promotional campaign to make its point. Availability varies from October for the two low-end models, with the AX3s following in November, and the AX3/25 in December.