Magazine article Technology & Learning

New Computers and a Touch Screen from IBM

Magazine article Technology & Learning

New Computers and a Touch Screen from IBM

Article excerpt

This past June, IBM announced several new additions to its PS/2 line of computers, along with a number of new multimedia products. Of these, the company's PS/2 8516 Touch Screen and the PS/2 Models 35 SX and 40 SX microcomputers are most likely to find their way into schools.

The PS/2 8516 Touch Screen makes the sort of high-quality touch screen capabilities provided by IBM's older InfoWindow system more affordable. (It carries a suggested retail price of $1,695 and is available to schools at a national education price of $1,017.) The new monitor provides touch sensitivity directly on the screen, which means that it circumvents the distortion and calibration problems typical of many touch screen overlays. It supports both VGA and IBM's more advanced XGA graphics, and will also support a mouse running concurrently.

The new PS/2 Models 35 SX and 40 SX computers are almost identical in features and performance, with both sporting the fastest version (20 Mhz) of Intel's 80386SX microprocessor. The only major difference between the two machines is that the Model 40 SX is more expandable (see box for comparison).

Priced only slightly higher than some of the less powerful PS/2 machines, the Models 35 SX and 40 SX are the first 386 machines from IBM that are truly affordable for education. Why should schools be interested in 386 technology? First, the 80386 processor is currently the most popular microprocessor in the industry as a whole. Also, since it is a 32-bit processor (the basic building block to the 80486 and beyond), it isn't likely to become obsolete in the near future.

Most important, 386 computers offer schools power, flexibility, and ease of use. With 386 technology, it will be easier for schools to network efficiently, to use Windows or other graphical user interfaces and to take advantage of the growing world of interactive multimedia. …

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