The lowdown on a client PC

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The client

What is it? A client PC is a personal computer with a network interface, running client software that connects to a network.

Why do I need it? Cheap PCs are more versatile and powerful than terminals and just might cost significantly less.

What factors should I consider? Cost, reliability and size are normally the most important factors to consider when selecting a client PC.

Must-know info? If you're buying multiple identical units, cost can be critical. Be stingy with the PCs' features and power but splurge on monitors and keyboards; they will have the most influence on user satisfaction. Reliability is important, but most PCs are pretty reliable.

Chart note: You'll find a surprising entry on the accompanying chart'Wal-Mart. The company resells very inexpensive Microtel Linux systems from Microtel Computer Systems for online sale only, versions that are not listed by Microtel on its Web site.

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