Dan Woodward, senior product manager at ViewSonic, said getting into the desktop PC market was a “natural progression” for the company since it already has a heritage in the display and PC peripherals spaces.
“This is a great opportunity for us to bring to market another set of products for the desktop,” Woodward said. “The all-in-one has enough processing power with the Intel Atom to let (end-users) work on things like PowerPoint, Excel and cruise the Web.”
Carmi Levy, a London, Ont.-based independent technology analyst, said the VPC100 is a “game changer” and is ViewSonic’s gateway product to the desktop and computing market.
“It’s relatively hard to differentiate one all-in-one (product) from another because they’re all pretty much built using the same architecture,” Levy said. “So style, integration and software and how a (vendor) sells it will set these products apart.”
The VPC100 unit is designed as a single unit with an 18.5-inch display and is 35mm thick. It offers users a clean, easy to use workstation since there are no loose cables sitting around, Woodward explains.
ViewSonic’s target market for this product spans across a variety of verticals which includes schools, government institutions, corporate customers, the SMB market and end-users. For channel partners, Woodward says the VPC100 offers plenty of market opportunities, with benefits in space and energy savings.
“It also opens up the market a little more,” Woodward said. “This is a great opportunity for ViewSonic and our reseller partners to deliver an effective smart, green computing product that’s also cost-effective to customers.”
Levy said because all-in-one products have price points that are closer to notebooks, partners will see more margin earnings.
“For ViewSonic to target so many verticals is a brilliant idea because it’s appealing to a price-conscious consumer,” Levy said. “All-in-ones are easy to set up and maintain and generally, what (features) consumers covet, corporate customers covet as well. Most line of business users don’t require the full blown capabilities of an Intel Core processor based machine because they’re doing routine tasks that don’t require a significant amount of computing power.”
The one drawback to having an all-in-one PC is that if certain hardware components need to be replaced, those parts may be less standardized that those in a conventional desktop, Levy said. For instance, if a customer wanted a power supply replaced, it may only be available through ViewSonic and may cost more than others on the market, he added.
But for cloud computing purposes, Levy says all-in-one products fit “beautifully into this paradigm.”
“All-in-ones fit beautifully. You don’t need a lot of power in a cloud-based environment because the way (customers) access applications has changed,” Levy said. “They’re using data in the cloud without ever having that data touch their hard drive.”
The VPC100 uses an Intel Atom 1.64GHz processor and runs on Microsoft Windows XP Home edition. The unit also features a 1GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, an optical disk drive, a four-in-one card reader, wireless connectivity, an integrated Webcam, and also comes with a full size keyboard and mouse. The unit is now available from ViewSonic and its channel at an MSRP of CDN$669.
Colleen Browne, director of North American sales at ViewSonic, said the company has an evaluation program and a demo unit program for the VPC100. To help partners earn more margin, Browne said partners can also offer customers an extended warranty on the product.
Moving forward, Levy said the channel should expect to see more all-in-one-type PC offerings from vendors.
“I see all-in-ones becoming more mainstream and conventional desktops going by the wayside,” he said. “I’d say in the long-term, if you’re not offering an all-in-one, you’re walking away from the desktop market. This is a game changer and I’m expecting around this time next year, we’ll have a better idea of who’s involved in this market and what they’re offering.”