AMBRA Computer Corporation

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AMBRA Computer Corporation was a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM.

In 1992 in Europe and in 1993 in the USA, it introduced a personal computer line-up targeting the home user, sold mainly through mail-order. The AMBRA had a main volume production run of just a year or so, being discontinued in 1994 in favour of the IBM Aptiva, apart from Canada where it was not discontinued until 1996.[1]

AMBRA models[edit]

  • 386
  • 486
  • Achiever 2000
  • Achiever 3000
  • Achiever 4000
  • Achiever 5000
  • Achiever 7000
  • Achiever 9000
  • Achiever D
  • Achiever DP
  • Achiever S
  • Achiever T
  • Achiever Anthem
  • Achiever Hurdla/Sprinta
  • Notebook
  • Ispirati (Canada)

Positioning[edit]

AMBRA PCs were generally positioned at the low-end of the market, and made use of their ties with IBM in marketing materials in order to make the machines appear better quality than the host of clones, since 'real' IBM PCs were known to be expensive. In reality the machines were fairly low specification, having shadow-mask screens, minimal onboard peripherals, and using low-end processors with the minimum memory and hard disk size at each price point.

Television advertising for the brand in the UK used the slogan: "Take your mind for a run."

Aesthetics[edit]

The machines were coloured off-white, which was unusual at the time, since most machines were beige. Generally the cases were compact and offered little room for expansion.

One notable aspect was the original Ambra mouse, which differed from almost all other designs in the position of its buttons. Conventional mice have the buttons on top: the user clicks by pressing down. The Ambra mouse had the buttons on the front, either side of the cable: the user clicked by pulling their finger backward, in a manner similar to squeezing a trigger. Criticisms led to Ambra changing to a more conventional design: one UK magazine review described the mouse as "looking like a torture device."

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9907EFD81739F93AA15754C0A962958260