Acer Discontinues eMachines Brand, Gateway and Packard Bell Still Kicking

Remember eMachines? The company was founded in 1998, the same year Saving Private Ryan and A Bug's Life hit the big screen. For those of you who weren't in the PC scene back then, eMachines built low-cost computers that became popular because of their price tags, but were generally disregarded by power users. Gateway purchased the company in 2004 for $262 million in cash and stock, which in turn was acquired by Acer in 2007 for $710 million.

So there's a quick and dirty history on eMachines, a brand that will soon be history. Acer announced that it intends to discontinue the eMachines brand, though it will still offer Gateway and Packard Bell products, the latter of which it acquired in the Gateway deal.

"As computing devices are used in new ways, both on the go and throughout the home, Gateway and Packard Bell will adapt their product portfolios to meet these needs," Acer spokeswoman Lisa Emard told PCWorld in an email.

eMachines Desktop

Emard didn't clarify exactly what kind of products it will sell under those brands, saying only that it would be a "variety of devices that would have been thought of as beyond the PC in the past."

That leaves the door open to a wide range of products, from tablet PCs and hybrid notebooks, to smartphones and set-top boxes, and everything in between.

As for the eMachines brand, no more branded products will be sold, but the website will remain live to offer customer support.