Fujitsu Announces Major Drop in Plasma Price

Plasma displays have taken a big leap toward affordability. On June 10, Fujitsu General America Inc. announced a major reduction in the price of its Plasmavision 42 at the InfoComm International '99 confab in Orlando, Florida. The new price of $6995 is a 30% drop from the former suggested retail of almost $10,000---and half the price of the 42's predecessor, which was introduced at CES in 1997.

Such a huge price cut---accompanied by a stunning rise in quality in only 30 months---is great news for home-theater fans who have been waiting for plasma displays to reach a more affordable level. Fujitsu has made good on its promise to bring the technology to a wider market---something the company has been promising since the 4203 was introduced in January 1998. "One of our primary objectives is to make this model more affordable," says Michael Gleason, national sales manager at Fujitsu General America, Inc. "This considerable price move is attainable because of our factory's ability to minimize costs, especially on this model, which they have been producing for over 18 months."

The model PDS-4203 measures 42" diagonally and features a 16:9 aspect ratio and compatibility with most video and computer standards. It has won praise from many reviewers and home-theater journalists. Fujitsu is a supplier to many companies throughout the world, some of which simply re-brand the 4203 as their own, and some of which provide their own electronics. The technology, which is based on using electrically energized gas as a light source, was originally developed for commercial signage to be seen at a distance.

The 4203 boasts a resolution of 852x480. Among its advantages over other types of displays are its light weight (80 lbs.) and shallow depth (6"). The unit can hang on a wall, sit on a mantel or coffee table, or be mounted on a rollaway stand. And its 160° viewing angle---lateral and vertical---means that everyone in the room can enjoy a bright, clear picture.

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