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eMachines To Build MSN Companion Internet Device

Value-priced PC maker eMachines has signed on to manufacturer the MSN Companion Internet appliance, which will start shipping by the end of October.

The device, which joins a Compaq made model introduced on Aug. 15, will cost $349. A $400 instant rebate is available if the consumer signs a three-year ISP contract at $21.95 per month with MSN. It features a 200MHz National Semiconductor Geode processor, 32MB of SDRAM, 16MB of additional flash memory, 1MB of shared video memory, a 56KBps modem, two USB ports and a built in speaker. The Companion uses the Windows CE operating system. A Monitor is sold separately.

The Companion will sell through Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Office Depot, MicroWarehouse, Micro Center and online at Cyberian Outpost.