UK consumer electronics retail chain Dixons has partnered with Philips to bring the Dutch manufacturer's Freeline range of home wireless PCs to the High Street.
The move will see Philips return to the UK PC market after many years absence.
The initial Freeline line-up comprises a pair of notebooks and four slimline desktops. All of them are run Windows XP Home Edition and incorporate 802.11g Wi-Fi adaptors. The desktops are equipped with LCD monitors. All units ship with DVD+RW drives, apparently.
Essentially, the Freeline PCs are intended to hook up to Philips' Streamium range of wireless entertainment devices. The line-up includes Wi-Fi hi-fi, TVs and adaptor units to link older AV kit to a home PC. So far, Philips has avoided the obvious elements that's missing from the range: the PC to supply all these devices with content.
Philips has been absent from the UK PC arena for some years now, though rumours of a return, possibly using rebadged LG product, circulate now and then. The Dutch giant has generally settled itself with PC-oriented peripherals such as optical drives, webcams, LCD monitors and so on, not to mention its consumer electronics products.
The Freeline range is expected to ship later this month, though Dixons' PC World stores, plus the company's offshoots in Italy and Scandinavia. ®