Japanese consumers looking for a slim-line tower PC on the cheap could probably do worse than Epson's latest Endeavor desktop, the AT960, which features a 2.53GHz Celeron D processor and 256MB of DDR2 RAM for $420. More yen lets you step up to a Pentium 4 chip as fast as 3.8GHz, up to 2GB of RAM and 250GB of hard drive space (compared to  the sparse 40GB in the base configuration), WiFi, and a DVD burner -- but no amount of money can improve upon the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 integrated graphics. Likewise, there's not much you can do about the dearth of input options, so the four USB 2.0 hookups and serial and parallel ports are gonna have to stand in for the missing FireWire.

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Epson's budget slim-line tower, the Endeavor AT960