Couch Potatoes Rejoice!

13 January 2001
There's a new, powerful tool in the arsenal of home bettors. Luxury armchair maker La-Z-Boy Inc. and software giant Microsoft Corp. this week officially launched a living room throne for the Internet age, complete with computer jacks and equipment for surfing the Web on a television set.

Dubbed the "Explorer," the seat comes with a Microsoft WebTV receiver, wireless keyboard and two free months of the service, which enables Internet surfing, e-mail and interactive programs on a regular television.

"We've developed the most technologically advanced recliner to date and have created a way for every customer to be comfortable with interactive television, e-mail and the Internet," Kevin Wixted, La-Z-Boy director of marketing, said in a statement.

The chair, hailed by the companies as the world's first "e-cliner," is fitted with an electrical plug for a laptop computer and jacks for regular dial-up and high-speed digital subscriber line, or DSL, Internet connections. A fold-out tray can hold the WebTV keyboard or a laptop. Of course, good old amenities like a drink holder and storage space for the TV remote control are standard, too.

The armchair is now in stores and carries a price tag of $1,049 for the fabric version and $1,299 for leather/vinyl.