HP, Wal-Mart Intro The PC-In-A-Box

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Cupertino, Calif. -- Hewlett-Packard broke new ground in PC merchandising last week when it launched a PC-in-a-box hard bundle through Wal-Mart.

In the past, retailers have taken the lead in putting together soft PC bundles in their stores and HP has bundled various computer components together using several boxes, but according to HP product marketing manager Tom Anderson, this is the first time all of the products have shipped in just one box.

The bundle includes an HP Pavilion PC with an Intel Celeron 600MHz processor, 15-inch monitor and DeskJet 610CL inkjet printer and carries an $898 street price. The PC-in-a-box is about the size of a package containing a 27-inch television.

The concept is designed to make buying a PC even simpler and improves the entire purchasing experience from packing the components into a car to setting it up at home, Anderson said. HP's research and development found the 76-pound box will fit in almost every car on the road, including small two-seat sports cars.

In the coming months the solution-in-a-box will find its way into other mass merchant chains on an experimental basis, and Anderson believes it will eventually find its way into mainstream computer retailers and e-tailers, including HPshopping.com.

The PC-in-a-box may also be used with HP's configure-to-order kiosks. In this scenario the consumer would decide what components he or she would like to purchase, and then the bundle would be shipped to the person's home, he explained.

HP is looking to increase the consumer's choice by offering a wide variety of bundles. This could include exchanging the printer for a scanner and offering a more powerful PC. For the time being, said Anderson, HP is locked into offering a 15-inch monitor because a bigger one will not fit into the box.

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