Do we really need a new line of low-end PCs? Mass-market king Emerson thinks so. In a surprise announcement at this year's Summer Consumer Electronics Show, Emerson chairman William Lane introduced a 10-MHz turbo 8088 XT, an 80286 AT, and an 80386SX, each proudly bearing the Emerson name. What's so different about these computers? Two things.
First, Emerson's PCs talk. They have a new 32-voice sound chip, custom designed by Signetics, that gives them the power of speech. And this power is put to good use. Turn the machine on without the keyboard plugged in, for example, and you'll hear, The keyboard isn 't connected. Please insert the keyboard's connector into the proper input on the back of the computer case, or something similar.
There's more. The Emerson PCs use proprietary algorithms to synchronize video with the their sound. If you need help, a near-video-quality image of a real person appears in one corner of the screen and talks to you.
The new machines are scheduled for release in the first quarter of 1990. Pricing information was unavailable at press time, but rumors place the entry-level 8088 machine as low as $599. For more details, keep an eye out at your local K mart for a blue-light special.