Internet appliances - stripped down computers containing only a chip, modem and screen - are offering consumers another way to log onto the Web, according to a report from Reuters.

Devices can access Internet and e-mail without all of the technical difficulties, such as crashes and delays, caused by more advanced computer systems. Startups introduced the concept of Internet appliances more than a year ago, but now Compaq Computer Corp., America Online Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are a few of the power players introducing these simplified units.