For cost of 3 years online, CompuServe provides PC

July 05, 1999|By Michael Stroh

Want a computer but don't have much cash? No problem!

Taking a cue from magazines who lavish cheap calculators and other freebies on subscribers, online service CompuServe is going one step further and offering its subscribers "free" PCs.

The catch -- and you knew there had to be one -- is that CompuServe, a subsidiary of America Online, is offering its free PC in the form of a $400 mail-in rebate. To get the cash, you must sign up for three years of service at $21.95 a month and buy your PC through computer retailers CompUSA, Circuit City or Best Buy. Budget PC maker eMachines is also offering the deal.

To get a "free" PC, choose a budget machine such as the $399 eTower 333cs by eMachine. Choose a more expensive machine -- the coupon is good for both desktops and laptops -- and your PC is merely cheaper.

The limited-time offer may not be for everyone -- most budget machines are equipped only for Web browsing, word processing and low-end gaming. Still, if your ambitions extend no further, it may be a tough deal to beat.

For information, visit one of the three retailers in person, or www.compusa.com, www.circuitcity.com, www.bestbuy.com, or www. e4me.com.

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