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WIN Laboratories TradeWIN PC

Providing low cost PCs to schools can often be a tricky proposition since, as any technology consumer knows, low cost can often mean low quality. When we received WIN Laboratories’ TradeWIN PC and looked at the price attached to it, we immediately began to question: how good can such a low cost PC possibly be? As we soon found out, the answer to that question is "pretty darn good."

Providing low cost PCs to schools can often be a tricky proposition since, as any technology consumer knows, low cost can often mean low quality. When we received WIN Laboratories’ TradeWIN PC and looked at the price attached to it, we immediately began to question: how good can such a low cost PC possibly be? As we soon found out, the answer to that question is "pretty darn good."

The unit we received comes equipped with a 366 MHz Celeron processor, 32MB of memory, a 42X CD-ROM, floppy drive, 10/100 Ethernet network connection, a 4 GB hard drive and a 56K modem. Windows 98 comes installed and the unit also includes a keyboard, mouse and speakers. A swappable hard drive is another handy feature. Upgrading the hard drive is as easy as opening the door, sliding the old one out, and sliding the new one in.

In general, we were very impressed with the smooth operation of the unit. It runs fast, handles graphics well and gave us very few problems of any kind. Its 56K modem made Web surfing quick and smooth. The TradeWIN even performed well running memory-sucking programs like Microsoft Publisher, CorelDRAW and Lucas Arts’ Jedi Knight adventure game (run for testing purposes only, of course).

All in all, we found the unit to run just as well, and in some instances better, than many considerably higher priced PCs on the market. The full system with 15" VGA monitor g'es for an extremely reasonable $599. If you choose to supply your own monitor, operating system and hard drive, the basic TradeWIN is available for a mere $269.

—Jim Schneider
jschneider@thejournal.com

WIN Laboratories
Manassas, VA
(800) 334-8102
www.win-labs.com

This article originally appeared in the 12/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.

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