VIA Technologies has teamed up with Mecer, one of South Africa's leading PC manufacturers, to bring a new low-cost education PC suited for Africa's straining electricity infrastructure.

The new Mecer Education PC leverages the energy efficiency of the VIA C7-D desktop processor running at 1.5GHz clock speeds and is part of VIA's pc-1 initiative which seeks to empower millions of people to improve their quality of life through technology, especially in emerging markets, focusing on communication, education and information.

"Through the Mecer Education PC, we are further extending our VIA pc-1 mission to extend access to computing and communications to new users," said Werner du Plessis, Business Development Manager for Africa, VIA Technologies, Inc. "By leveraging the advanced capabilities of the VIA C7-D processor, Mecer is able to offer its customers a leading edge desktop solution that delivers on the unique demands of the region with exceptional levels of energy efficiency and performance."
In addition to the 1.5GHz VIA C7-D Desktop Processor, the Mecer Education PC sports the VIA CN700 Digital Media IGP Chipset, a VIA UniChrome Pro 2 graphics processor, a 3.5-inch IDE / SATA hard drive, up to 2GB of DDR2 400 / 533 SDRAM and an optional 5.25-inch CD or DVD drive.

The new PC is now available at most major retail stores in Southern Africa and reportedly works with a number of operating systems, including Windows XP Starter Edition. The price of the computer was not mentioned on VIA's press release.