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Gateway Ships $359 eMachines PC

Irvine, Calif. — Gateway last week broke a new entry-price point with the release of a $359 eMachines-branded PC.

The T3624 is priced $40 below eMachines’ usual entry-level price point and is the lowest-priced PC ever sold under the eMachines name. The $359 mark is hit with a $50 rebate, as are all of eMachines’ stated prices. The T3624 is joined by three other new units, the T3828, T3958 and the T5026. All units hit stores on Jan. 14.

The T3624 is intended to entice even the most budget-conscious PC buyer. It is based on an Intel Celeron 2.66GHz processor and features a 60GB hard drive, 256MB of DDR SDRAM, CD-RW drive and an Intel Extreme Graphics 3D card.

The step up T3828 takes over eMachines’ traditional $399 opening price point. It adds a slightly more powerful Celeron 2.8Ghz chip, 80GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive and an eight-in-one flash media reader.

With the midrange T3958, $499, eMachines includes a dual-format, double-layer DVD burner, a first for the company at this price level. The other addition is 512MB of DDR SDRAM.

The top-end T5026, $599 with no rebate, is powered by an Intel Pentium 4 519 chipset, running at 3.06GHZ; 512MB of dual channel memory — expandable to 4GB — a 160GB hard drive; a dual-format, double-layer DVD and CD-ROM drive; seven USB 2.0 ports; and three 1394 ports.