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21. Gateway 610XL Media Center PC
22. Gateway 610X Media Center PC (2.6
list($1,199.99)
23. Gateway 700GR Desktop PC (3.40
list($999.00)
24. Gateway 310X Series Desktop +
25. Gateway 300 Series Desktop + 15.1
26. Gateway 500 Series Desktop + 17.0"
27. Gateway 700 Series Gamer Desktop
28. Gateway FMC-901X Family Room Media
list($699.99)
29. Gateway 420GR Desktop PC (2.93

21. Gateway 610XL Media Center PC (3.0GHz Pentium 4, 512MB RAM, 200GB Hard Drive, DVD Burner)
by Gateway

Asin: B0001HM4SI
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 557
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Love/hate relationship.
I bought this system about four months ago and I agree with a lot of the reviews I've read, both with the positive and the negative. If you're looking for a compact system that does a lot this is it, but keep that in mind in practical terms as well. This is a small unit but also very powerfull, and it requires a lot of "juice." I would advise anyone who'll be using it often to buy a UPS (power supply) if they don't have one already. For $50-$100 they can be life-savers, especially if you're like me and have the AC going a lot. It's also rather fragile because of how compact it is, so if you have young kids be carefull, especially with the DVD drive. The last drawback is upgrading, people should know that the 610 is not user upgradeable, or at least not for the average home user. You'll have to send it into Gateway to add more memory.

As others have said though, the size and the picture can't be beat. There's one wire to worry about, and that's a major victory in itself. I wish Gateway would be more lenient as far as allowing customers to configure their own systems (see the upgrade issue) like Dell and HP are, but neither of them offer anything comparable to the 610 yet. I really wish this type of system was around when I was in College, it's a bit expensive, but it's the dream system for any dorm.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome PC
All I can say is I love It!
I'd give it 10 stars if I could.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
I bought this a couple of months ago, and at first, got a lemon. It crashed continuously, and when I was on the phone with the tech guy "Larry" (who was obviously in India), it crashed when scanning the disk for errors. And the tech guy offered extremely simple advice that most people with any kind of computer experience would've tried before calling.

However, my replacement has been relatively pain-free. The only problem was that it crashed when I was trying to install the software for Verizon DSL service. You may run into problems there as Verizon said it was a problem with the system registry of the PC (I did manage a way to get around the problem and am happily using DSL today).

A primary reason for buying this computer was for its DVD-burning capability, and for the possibility of capturing VHS tapes onto the computer, and creating DVDs out of them. I was under the impression that I would be able to plug my VCR directly into the computer and capture the video into the computer and create DVDs. You can't do that however. You can plug the VCR into the 610XL, and watch the video in the media center under the gaming device section, but why anybody with a TV would do that is beyond me, as the video shows in a small 3X4" window. Converting VHS to DVD requires a capture device (I suggest the Canopus ADVC-100), and some editing software (ULead Video Studio 7.0 SE and DVD Movie Factory 2.0 have done the job for me). That means an extra $400.

The documentation/instruction booklet is not that great. It spends an inordinate amount of time discussing the TIVO-like qualities of this computer, which unfortunately at this time I'm not using. But I can't imagine a better, more compact PC for my purposes (Video capturing/editing, DVD burning) than this machine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great all-in-one media center!
I purchased this pc, even though some of the reviews have been less than stellar. Going with the Gateway name along with some very glowing reviews I decided to take the plunge and I can say that it has lived up to my expectations so far. And for the TV quality, I can say from experience, that in general TV quality over cable to LCD displays isn't that good unless an HDTV tuner is used. I have had three lcd TVs now, and I can say the 610xl is on par or better than all of them. No regrets so far!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great PC, some disadvantages
This is a great PC. It sports 200 Gigs of hard drive space which once you start recording shows, is not excessive at all. It also has a TV tuner and PVR, which enables you to record shows, but the quality isn't as good as a standalone TV, even when you set it to best. Another thing is that even though is has a 7200 rpm hard drive, 1/2 GB of RAM, and a 3 gHz processer, the computer gets slowed down after on the computer for hours and if stuff is being downloaded or tv is being recorded, the computer easily slows down. The burning software is good for Audio and Data CDs but not for Video CDs and DVDs. You can't create interactive menus and often times, the disc can get messed up for whatever reason. All in all, this is one of the best PC for a cramped space with the convienience of laptops and the power, RAM, and hard drive of a desktop, this is a great PC if you have limited space or you're short on cash. For $2,000, it's not cheap, but considered its specs, it's pretty cheap compared to other PCs that have that power, hard drive, and features. ... Read more


22. Gateway 610X Media Center PC (2.6 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 120 GB Hard Drive, DVD-CD/RW Combo Drive)
by Gateway

Asin: B0001HM4BA
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 580
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Gateway's new Media Center desktop computers are as unique as they are convenient and functional. Equipped with a big, wide LCD screen just perfect for multimedia buffs, each Media Center PC also features such welcome amenities as Intel Hyper-Threading processing, numerous high-end audio/video/data connections, and a visually distinctive, fully portable all-in-one tower-less design. This model, the Gateway 610X, is the midlevel member of the Media Center series, and as such offers a good balance between cost and power and far superior 3-D graphics capability than the base model Gateway 610S.

Outfitted with a reasonably fast 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading technology (Hyper-Threading allows a single CPU system to behave in some aspects like a dual-CPU system -- thereby boosting performance during key high-drain procedures such as multitasking), the Gateway 610X features enough raw power for most any standard home, home office or business environment. Gateway has added a solid allotment of memory -- 512 MB DDR SDRAM -- and a top-level graphics card in the ATI Radeon 9200 AGP with 128 MB dedicated (not shared) video memory. Even serious gamers and 3-D artists should feel at home with this system.

To help you manage your data, the Gateway 610X features a potent 7200 RPM 120 GB hard disk, a DVD/CD-RW optical drive through which you can burn and record audio CDs and play the latest Hollywood DVD blockbusters, and a handy 7-in-1 card media card reader for reading memory cards from high-tech gadgets such as digital cameras, PDAs and the like. In its stock form, the system does not support DVD burning.

To ensure fast interaction with peripherals such as digital camcorders, scanners and external drives, the system features a total of five high-speed USB 2.0 ports (including one mounted on the front) and an IEEE 1394 FireWire connector. Gateway has also enclosed a 5.1 line-out jack for five-speaker surround sound, a high-quality S/PDIF digital audio output, a composite A/V in, S-Video ins and outs, and an Intel 10/100 Ethernet adapter for fast network and Internet access.

The system's unique design offers several distinct advantages, not the least of which is a noticeable lack of external wiring. In fact, its large 17-inch widescreen display screen sports no wires at all, sitting instead atop a stylish integrated pedestal. Gateway has also included a wireless optical mouse, wireless keyboard, convenient wireless remote control, and built-in stereo speakers with subwoofer. Pre-installed software includes Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center 2004 operating system, which offers such perks as integrated widescreen monitor support, an FM tuner, and one-month free access to the Napster music download site.

More About Microsoft Windows XP Media Center

What sets this PC apart is that it is powered by Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, which offers the features, reliability, and power of Windows XP Professional, plus advanced digital entertainment capabilities. The Media Center interface offers you more types of entertainment to enjoy: TV, Personal Video Recording (PVR), Movies, Music, Photos, Videos, Radio, and DVD. Use the remote control to enjoy from anywhere in your room.

TV & Movies 
Pause live TV
Watch TV when and how you want, and never miss a moment of your favorite programs.Pause and rewind live TV. Record a TV episode, series, or category. Automaticallyrecord a personalized selection of TV programs using Keyword Record. Media Centerdownloads the latest program listings for you and even wakes up from power-savingstandby mode to record programs, so you can watch shows on your schedule.
  
Share your digital photos on your TV screen
Photos & Video
Easily edit your digital pictures and digital videos, and then launch a dynamic slideshow complete with animated transitions and your favorite soundtrack. While viewing a picture, zoom in to see more detail. You can rotate, correct red-eye, and print your pictures using the remote. Play slide-shows straight from digital storage devices.
  
Music & Radio 
A centralized place for all of your music
All your music is stored in one digital jukebox and using the remote, shuffle your entire music collection according to artist or genre or listen to your tunes through playlists that learn what you like. Tune in FM stations and pause live radio. Full-screen visualizations pulse to the beat of the music. Cool on-screen effects show music information, such as track title, track time, and artist.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of stuff in a compact system!
Great computer with additional features (TV tuner, PVR, etc.), and it takes up very little space.

Wireless keyboard is a pain, however - its reception to the system is poor and it eats batteries like crazy.

TV reception is snowy - don't buy it for the TV, buy it for the compact computer and the convenience of having the other things attached. You'll still want a regular TV.

This would also be GREAT for a college student in a dorm room. ... Read more


23. Gateway 700GR Desktop PC (3.40 GHz Pentium 4 (Hyper-Threading), 1 GB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, DVD+/-RW Drive, CD-ROM Drive)
by Gateway
list price: $1,199.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002YC3OU
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 170
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24. Gateway 310X Series Desktop + 15" LCD (2.6 GHz Pentium 4, 256MB RAM, 40GB hard drive)
by Gateway
list price: $999.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000YWU04
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 346
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Sitting atop the range of Gateway's entry-level desktop PC series, the Gateway 310XL is a great choice for the budget minded, balancing affordablilty with powerful features and including a 15-inch flat panel monitor. It comes equipped with everything for basic computing plus a built-in CD burner for backing up data, saving digital photos, and burning your own mix CDs. Other features include a 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 256 MB of RAM, and a 40 GB hard drive.

The Basics

  • Hard Drive: The 40 GB Ultra DMA hard drive offers enough storage for all your documents, applications, and digital photos. However, it's less than adequate if you plan on maintaining a large multimedia (digital audio or video) library.
  • Processor: The 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 processor offers more than enough power for everyday computing tasks as well as database and multimedia applications (from gaming to digital audio and video).
  • Memory: The 310XL comes with a 256 MB built-in memory (DDR SDRAM, 333 MHz), which is adequate for basic computing needs. However, you'll want to add more memory for gaming and multimedia usage (the 310XL comes with an additional memory slot for a total of two). It also has an L2 cache of 512 KB.
  • CD/DVD Drive: It is equipped with separate drives for DVD playback and CD writing. The DVD-ROM drive can read discs at 16x speed (the standard speed for DVD movie playback), while the CD-R/W drive offers a high-speed 48x (read)/24x (rewrite)/ 48x (write) capability.
  • Keyboard & Mouse: The 310XL comes with 104-key keyboard and a scrolling mouse with PS/2 connection.
Sound and Graphics
The 310XL features an integrated AC'97 (Audio Codec '97) that is built into the computer's main board. This computer also features headphone and microphone jacks, and two small, external speakers for enhanced music and gaming audio playback. The video/graphics card--Intel Extreme Graphics 2--is also integrated with up to 64 MB of dynamic video memory. It is suitable for basic needs, but it will need a better video/graphics card for professional design and graphics usage.

The included 17-inch flat panel monitor as a 15.9-inch viewable area.

Connectivity and Expansion Slots
You get a wide range of connectivity options with the S5400NX, including three PCI expansion slots and the following external ports:

  • 6 USB 2.0 ports (2 in front, 4 in rear) for connecting a wide range of peripherals--from digital cameras to MP3 players
  • 1 parallel port for connecting older printers and scanners
  • 2 PS/2 ports for connecting keyboards and mice
  • 1 serial port for older peripherals such as early PDAs

It also has an integrated 56K modem (V.92) and an RJ-45 LAN network port (for a 10/100 Ethernet connection to networks and DSL/cable modems).

Preloaded System and Software
The 310XL comes with the Windows XP Home Edition operating system, and it also features Microsoft Works (for working with word processing and spreadsheet documents). It also includes 6 months of AOL dial-up service and a 90-day trial with Norton Anti-Virus.

Dimensions and Weight
This micro-tower case measures 14.44 x 7 x 15.38 (W x D x H) and weighs 20.5 pounds.

What's in the Box
This package includes the Gateway 310XL desktop PC, 17-inch flat panel monitor, wired keyboard, PS/2 scroller mouse, power cord, and operating instructions. It is backed by a one-year limited warranty. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Little System for the $$
Gateway award winning desktops are always a good choice for customers. I wasn't disapointed a bit with the feature set of this machine. 256MB of memory and a 15 inch LCD were the primary feature sets that seperated this product from the other machines.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay system
Not a bad system though I reccomend getting a bigger HDD drive. I've had Gateway's in the past and had no trouble with the tech support, but then I haven't had any serious problems with any of my Gateway systems. ... Read more


25. Gateway 300 Series Desktop + 15.1 LCD (2.0 GHz Pentium 4, 256MB RAM, 60GB hard drive)
by Gateway

Asin: B00007EMS9
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 999
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Amazon.com Product Description

If you’re shopping for an affordable desktop computer that offers solid all-around performance and features well suited to first-time users or those seeking a supplemental home system, the Gateway 300X desktop PC is a great choice.

The 300X’s slick silver and black microtower case design houses a 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor that--combined with 256 MB of DDR SDRAM, upgradable to 512 MB--enables you to run several applications smoothly at the same time. A 60 GB hard drive offers generous storage capacity for data, application, and multimedia files.

The system includes a separate 15-inch LCD flat-panel display that combines with an integrated Intel Extreme Graphics video processor and up to 64 MB of Dynamic Video Memory to deliver clear, bright images. The 300X includes enhanced audio GCS300 speakers and audio ports for headphones, a microphone, and a line-in jack. A combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive (40x/32x/10x CD, 16x DVD) lets you enjoy DVD movies, listen to and create audio CDs, back up data quickly on CD, and play CD-ROM-based games.

The 300X offers three PCI expansion slots and a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, an integrated 10/100Base-T Ethernet interface for wired network connections and broadband Internet access, and a 56K modem. Ports include six USB interfaces (two on the front and four on the back), parallel and serial interfaces, a VGA output interface, and two PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors. The 300X includes a multifunction keyboard and Logitech USB Optical Wheel Mouse.

Bundled software includes Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Works Suite 2003 (including Microsoft Word and Encarta), and a Norton AntiVirus 90-day introductory offer. ... Read more


26. Gateway 500 Series Desktop + 17.0" LCD + Epson C62 Color Printer (2.40 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 80GB hard drive)
by Gateway

Asin: B00007EMSA
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 435
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

If you’re shopping for a high-performance computer for a home or school setting that offers some of the latest features and technology and breezes through demanding multimedia tasks, the Gateway 500X desktop PC is a terrific choice.

The 500X’s slick silver and black mid-tower case design houses a 2.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with 512 KB of L2 advanced transfer cache that--combined with 256 MB of 266 MHz DDR SDRAM, upgradable to 1 GB--enables you to smoothly run multiple applications simultaneously. An 80 GB hard drive offers voluminous storage capacity for data, application, and multimedia files.

The system includes an 18-inch analog/digital LCD flat-panel display that combines with a 128 MB nVidia GeForce4 MX440G graphics chip with TV-out to provide large, sharp, bright images. The 500X includes Boston Acoustics BA745 speakers with subwoofer and a SoundBlaster Audigy audio card with a FireWire interface for streaming digital video directly into the computer at lightning speed.

A DVD-ROM drive (16x DVD/48x CD-ROM) lets you enjoy DVD movie releases, and a CD-RW drive (48x/40x/12x) allows you to listen to and create audio CDs, back up data quickly on CD, and play CD-ROM-based games.

The 500X offers five PCI expansion slots and a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, an integrated 10/100Base-T Ethernet interface for wired network connections and broadband Internet access, and a 56K modem. Ports include six USB interfaces (two on the front and four on the back), parallel and serial interfaces, a VGA output interface, and two PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors. The 500X includes a multifunction keyboard and Logitech USB Optical Wheel mouse.

Bundled software includes Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Works Suite 2003 (including Microsoft Word and Encarta), and a Norton AntiVirus 90-day introductory offer. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior desktop machine at a reasonable price
It's true that you can get a decent desktop pc...these days. But that usually means (at best) 256 mb ram, 40 gb hard drive, a modest pentium 4 processor and a big ol' crt-monitor that takes up a lot of space on your desk. However, if you invest a little more you can end up with the Gateway 500x with 512 mb ram, a 120 gb hard drive (I axed the printer and upgraded the hard drive instead), P4 2.53 ghz processor and a sweet 17" flat panel monitor. I've had my 500x for a few months now and absoultely love it. If my buddy Renato were here he'd give you all the overly in-depth technical details, but he's not so here's the deal in laymen's terms: Unless you're a heavy (and I stress heavy) duty gamer or do tons of video editing, the 500x has more than enough muscle to meet your everyday computing needs (and then some), including web surfing and downloading all your favorite images, movie and sound clips. Both the cd and dvd drives have worked flawlessly for me. I work with multiple applications open at all times (including those that are known to be resource hogs) and have had zero reliablity problems with virtually no notice of speed degradation. Everything about this machine has been rock solid and it performs tasks at a blindingly fast speed. The sound system and video graphics are great. For the price and quality, you could do a heck of a lot worse than the Gateway 500x (and not that much better). ... Read more


27. Gateway 700 Series Gamer Desktop + 19.0 CRT (2.66GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 120GB hard drive)
by Gateway

Asin: B00007EMSC
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 1055
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Some computer users demand nothing less than the pinnacle of performance and cutting-edge technology that enables functions such as digital video and digital photo editing. If you identify strongly with this group, the Gateway 700X desktop PC should be high on your short list.

The 700X’s spiffy silver and black tower CPU houses a 2.533 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with 512 KB of L2 advanced transfer cache that--combined with 256 MB of 266 MHz DDR SDRAM, upgradable to 2 GB--enables you to smoothly run multiple applications simultaneously. An 80 GB hard drive offers vast storage.

The system includes an 18-inch analog/digital LCD flat-panel display that combines with a 128 MB nVidia GeForce4 MX440G graphics chip with TV-out and DVI graphics accelerator to provide large, sharp, bright images. The 700X includes a five-piece Boston Acoustics BA745 subwoofer satellite speaker system and a SoundBlaster Audigy audio card with a FireWire interface for streaming digital video directly into the computer at lightning speed.

A combination DVD-ROM/-R/CD-RW drive (48x/40x/12x CD, 16x DVD) allows you to watch and edit DVD movies, listen to and create audio CDs, back up data quickly on CD, and play CD-ROM-based games.

The 700X offers five PCI expansion slots and a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, an accelerated graphics port, an integrated 10/100Base-T Ethernet, and a 56K modem. Ports include six USB interfaces (two USB 2.0 on the front, and two USB 2.0 and two USB 1.1 on the back), parallel and serial interfaces, a VGA output interface, and two PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors. The 700X includes a multifunction keyboard and Logitech USB Optical Wheel mouse.

Bundled software includes Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Works Suite 2003 (including Microsoft Word and Encarta), and a Norton AntiVirus 90-day introductory offer.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Numbers Don't Tell the Story
Most people who buy a pc do so for predictable uses: wordprocessing, games, internet, and off the shelf software. Even for those who deem themselves power users often find that one pc is pretty much like the other. The tiebreaker in the decision to buy is often a function of price and aesthetic appeal. The GATEWAY 700X desktop is a harmonious blend of the very best qualities that one could seek in a computer. I have a Master's in Computer Technology so I already knew its potential before I bought it, but when I had a chance to put it through it paces over an extended period of time, I was enormously impressed. First the obvious: it did whatever I asked it to in quick time. Whenever a potential buyer checks out computers, he most often looks at the CPU speed as a barometer of how fast the CPU works. This GATEWAY 700X boasts a 2.533 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor, but it is not for that which invests it with lightning. Of equal importance to the CPU numbers is the less recognized internal bus speed. A modest bus number is 133. The GATEWAY 700X hums along at 266, a number sufficiently quick to make even jaded power users smile. When I go online, from the time I start to the time that I am ready to chat is measured in seconds. On my previous Compaq Presario, I had to wait nearly four full minutes for that. Computer salesman like to trump the size of a pc's hard disk storage. When I first bought a pc more than 10 years ago, it had 10 GB for storage, and I never came close to using it all. This GATEWAY has 80 GB, so it's nice to know that if you plan to input a database of several million items, you need not worry about exceeding your hard drive's capacity. The 18 inch LCD flat-panel monitor presents both text and visuals with crystal clarity--no eyestrain here! The speakers are far more sensitive to nuances in sound than you might be used to. The CD/DVD combo works quite well. The numbers bandied about for such devices (48x/40x/12x for the CD and 16x for the DVD) simply mean that what you see on the screen is about a clear as you can get. Not many users care about such arcane concepts as expansion slots. I'll be willing to bet that most do not even know what an expansion slot is, but for those readers of this review who do, rest assured that this pc can be bulked up to rival Colossus in THE FORBIN PROJECT. Further, for those with digital video on the mind, the GATEWAY 700X is a sterling, reliable performer. Finally, the GATEWAY 700X even looks good. Its ergonomic appeal is not unlike the feeling that you might have felt the first time you slipped behind the wheel of your first Corvette. What all the numbers in the salesman's brochures boil down to is this: you can probably find any number of computers that are comparable, but only a few can often first rate performance and reliability at a price that won't bust your wallet. The GATEWAY 700X is just such a computer. ... Read more


28. Gateway FMC-901X Family Room Media Center (3.0 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, DVD-Burner)
by Gateway

Asin: B0001K5OAA
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 865
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Convergence is a reality
I got one as an all-in-one center for images, video, TV, music, etc. It does the job well. TV image quality is excellent, and so is TV recording. Burning your favorite shows to DVD with a few button clicks is incredibly easy.
If you want something for your den, this is a machine that should definitely be on your list for consideration.

5-0 out of 5 stars A nearly perfect living room PC.
The Gateway FMC-901X blends an innovative case design with high performance components. The first thing that strikes you about the Gateway Media Center is that it looks more like a piece of stereo equipment than a computer. In fact the stackable design computer is fits perfectly on top of a VCR or stereo. This was a big selling point with my wife.

The next best feature is that it comes a super-sized 250GB hard drive with a personal video recorder that lets you record TV shows and watch them on your schedule. The advantage over Tivo is there's no monthly fee or any way for some corporation to keep track of what you watch and when.

Now from the comfort of your couch, you can watch video, TV, play digital music, watch digital video, surf the Internet, play games, arrange digital photos and play or record DVDs.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine-tuned media powerhouse.
Finally a piece of gear that looks like it belongs in an AV rack. I've been Very pleased with the appearance and usability of the system. Be aware that although it looks and performs like a component, it's also a PC. It comes with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004. That means music- and photo-playback features are excellent, and the PVR functions are a close match for a dedicated TV recorder.

Since it's a computer and not a TV it takes a couple of minutes to boot-up. To power the media center, you need the remote control unit and the wireless keyboard and mouse. I've taken to leaving the system on all the time. The mouse uses a new motion-sensing technology that lets you control it with natural hand movements. Unlike most wireless mice, this one actually has range. I can still operate from outside the house through the window, 25 feet away, as long as I stay in the line of sight.

The AV-component look of the FMC-901X is helped by the flip-down panel on the front, which hides many of the myriad of controls and ports: FireWire port, two USB 2.0 jacks, and slots for Compact Flash, SD, Memory Stick, and Smart Media memory cards, making it easy to move digital photos & MP3's into the system.

Bottom-line: this system is perfect for any true media enthusiast

4-0 out of 5 stars Noticeably better than the Dell unit
TV quality using the Hauppauge TV tuner card is substantially better than in other Media Center Edition PCs.

It does do Tivo-like functionality, which is highly addictive once you have it.

The system is still a little louder than I would like due to the cooling fans, but no louder than my Tivo box.

The sleek design is what really makes it stand out from the competition. The 901 looks like an A/V component and not a clunky PC.
Now if only there was support for multiple HDTV tuners or multichannel SACD, it would be nearly perfect. ... Read more


29. Gateway 420GR Desktop PC (2.93 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, DVD+/-RW Drive, CD-ROM Drive)
by Gateway
list price: $699.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002X9AOC
Catlog: Personal Computer
Manufacturer: Gateway
Sales Rank: 215
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon Product Description

The Basics
Sporting many of the high-tech innovations and amenities of Gateway's new top-of-the-line PCs but with less power, comparatively mediocre 3D graphics performance and half the memory, the Gateway 420GR Desktop PC is nonetheless a strong midlevel computer that delivers impressive bang for the buck. The unit is suitable for business, home, entertainment and all-purpose environments, though fussy and/or demanding users will probably need to upgrade one or more components relevant to their chosen applications and requirements. But even without upgrades, the Gateway 420GR is both ready for the future and nicely equipped for the vast majority of duties today.

Processor
At the heart of any computer lies the CPU (or processor), a massive collection of miniature transistors that governs the speed and power of the entire unit. The Gateway 420GR features a fast Intel Pentium 4 515 CPU. New for 2004, this is an upgraded version of the venerable Pentium 4 chip, featuring one full MB of Level 2 cache for a more generous data "pipeline" than prior models. Operating at a 2.93 GHz and of course sporting Intel's Hyper-Threading technology (Hyper-Threading allows a single CPU system to behave at times as a dual CPU system, thus adding substantially more speed to some high-end applications), this is a strong processor in all but the toughest situations.

Memory
Computers typically store information on their hard drive, but they keep frequently and recently accessed data in Random Access Memory (RAM) for faster retrieval. More RAM means more efficient computing, superior multitasking and less strain on your hard drive. For the 420GR, Gateway has installed 512 MB of speedy 400 MHz DDR memory, configured in a dual channel setup for even faster response. This is a typical allotment for a midlevel computer, and more than enough for most multitasking situations and complex applications. Moreover, the system's mainboard is constructed to support RAM upgrades to a stunning 4 GB, though most users will never need to do so.

Video
CPU's are usually so busy doing basic calculations that they need help translating visual output to the viewing screen. This is the duty of the graphics card (or graphics controller). A graphics controller with "dedicated" video memory is preferable to a controller that "shares" the system's main memory, as it will better handle complex procedures.

The Gateway 420GR features a new style of video controller -- a sort of hybrid between high-end standalone "dedicated memory" cards and less impressive integrated "shared memory" controllers. It's called the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900, a module that is indeed integrated on the motherboard but features more refined components than traditional integrated controllers. However, though some variations of the Graphics Media Accelerator 900 can utilize up to 224 MB or more of the system's memory, thus generating better 3D performance, this particular controller is unable to use more than 64 MB. As a result, anyone seriously involved in 3D gaming or 3D graphic design will undoubtedly need to add a standalone graphics card. But if you're usually involved in 2D and/or undemanding 3D work, the system will suffice nicely as is.

Display:
Gateway has not included a display screen, thus allowing you to continue using your current monitor or select from today's many alternatives.

Sound
The Gateway 420GR produces stereo and surround sound via an Intel High Definition Audio chipset with support for six distinct audio channels and one subwoofer. Gateway has also enclosed a pair of amplified desktop speakers, though serious audiophiles will undoubtedly upgrade to a three-piece subwoofer-enhanced set or a surround sound configuration.

Hard Drive
At 160 GB, the unit's internal hard drive is substantially less roomy and costly than today's latest high-end monsters yet spacious enough for a massive allotment of files and applications and a comprehensive music, video/photo and multimedia library too. Furthermore, this particular hard drive is exceptionally quick -- sporting a fast 7200-RPM speed, an 8 MB buffer, and a high-speed Serial ATA connection. These are all comparatively recent innovations, each increasing the overall performance of the system.

Optical Drive
An optical drive is essential in today's computing world. A "CD-ROM" drive allows you to install CD-based applications and play music CDs. A "CD-RW" drive adds CD "burning", so you can also backup your important files to long-lasting discs and create personalized music CDs. With a DVD-ROM drive you can enjoy all of the above plus watch the same big budget DVD movies you watch on your home entertainment system. And with a DVD-RW drive, you can also "write" home movies to durable discs and archive files to DVD (DVDs boast more than seven times the storage capacity of a CD).

Like its pricier Gateway brethren, this system features two optical drives -- a CD-ROM drive for playing music and data CDs, and a DVD +/- RW Double Layer Multi-Format drive through which you can not only do all of the above but also make use of double layer DVDs (twice the capacity of standard DVDs). What's more, with two optical drives you can make extremely fast CD copies.

Connectivity and Expansion
With a total of seven high-speed USB 2.0 ports, you'll have plenty of room for plug and play gadgets such as digital cameras and printers. Gateway has also included a trio of IEEE 1394 "FireWire" ports (commonly used for fast data transfer from digital camcorders) and a versatile 8-in-1 card reader for reading memory cards from devices such as digital cameras, PDAs and more. Communication options include an integrated 10/100Mbps Ethernet LAN interface for high-speed access to networks and the Internet, and a 56K data/fax modem for low-speed dial-up connections.

Operating System and Software
The Gateway 420GR features a comprehensive software package headed by Microsoft's beefy Windows XP Home Edition operating system. Gateway will also pre-install Microsoft's Money 2004 financial center, Microsoft's Works 8.0 productivity package, Microsoft's Picture It! Premium photo and graphic editing suite, and a variety of sophisticated multimedia utilities such as the excellent Nero 6 Suite CD and DVD burning package.

Control
Completing the system is a Gateway Premium Multimedia Keyboard and a two-button mouse with scroll wheel. ... Read more


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