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... And Computer Novices Will Be Able To Upgrade These P Cs

Tandon Corp. figures there are lots of personal-computer buyers out there who want to customize their own PCs, rather than buy a standard model. So on June 21, it plans to announce a machine that lets the buyer mix and match major components. Dubbed the SL-III, the $1,000 base computer comes with 2 megabytes of memory, a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk drive, a monitor, and MS-DOS. Buyers then select the type of microprocessor they want--either Intel Corp.'s 80286 chip, the 386SX, or the 486. They also have a choice of hard-disk drives, more memory, and a color monitor. Prices on the upgrades range from $500 to $2,000.

While upgradable PCs aren't exactly new, Tandon claims that its approach is different because it's so easy. Buyers can customize their SL-IIIs themselves--without tools or an engineering degree. To install the chip, for example, SL-III owners just lift off the front panel and slide in a cartridge--much the same way a videotape is popped into a VCR. Tandon says the upgrade can be completed in less than one minute.

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