After months of speculation, Gateway finally unveiled their One “all-in-one” PC. Once out of the box, all that’s required to get up and running is a single power cord. We had an opportunity to take a good look at the machine today and relay our thoughts here.
Gateway unveiled their One this morning at the DigitalLife convention in New York. In this quick article, we will take a look at what it is, what it does and who it’s designed for.
The name “One” is representative of how many wires are required to get the PC up and running. Because both the keyboard and mouse are wireless, the only cord required is the power. At first glance, the unit might remind you a lot of Apple’s iMac. That’s fine, because if it didn’t, you are probably new to the technology world. That said, considering the goals of the computer, it’s not easy to differentiate the styling of your product from another. While the latest iMacs sport a two-tone color scheme, Gateway’s One will be sold in pure black.
Like the iMac, the One is developed for those who want small, stylish computers without sacrificing speed and comfort. The entire unit is 3.6″ deep, 17.9″ wide and 17.4″ high. The display is a 19″ widescreen capable of a 1440×900 resolution, which turns out to be one of the few gripes I have with the product. While I understand that most 19″ monitors don’t support resolutions higher than this, some laptop screens are mind-blowing lately, some 19″ models offer 1920×1200. I would have loved to see a higher resolution here, since in this day and age, it’s hard to multi-task without a lot of available desktop space.
The idea behind the One was simple… one cord. Everything that can be wireless, is wireless. Everything that can be put inside the unit, was put inside the unit. This includes the speakers, which are behind the large black front, underneath the screen. This is comprised of NXT SoundVu technology and includes an internal digital amplifier. For those who want to use headphones, no worries as there are both a headphone and microphone jack on the left-side of the monitor. If you want to use an external surround-sound speaker set, you will need to use a USB sound card.
To continue the theme of wireless connectivity, there is a WiFi card built-in, offering a, b, g and n configurations. If you feel that the lack of wires makes you uncomfortable, there is also a standard RJ-45 port available.
As for other functionality, there are a total of 7 USB 2.0 ports, a single Firewire, 6-in-1 memory card reader (SD, Micro SD, MMC, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro and xD) and also a slot-loading super-multi DVD-RW drive. Interestingly, the power brick contains a few connectors as well, including a few USB ports and firewire.
For peripherals, Gateway will ship each model with a 108-key 2.4GHz wireless keyboard that can remain stable for up to 10 feet and also a small wireless mouse. Both are stylish and add to the overall package nicely. Because Windows Media Center is included with Vista Home Premium, Gateway also includes a small, but capable IR remote control. All of this bundled together really does make this an “all-in-One” experience.
Of course such a product is catered more towards those with less demanding computing needs, but gamers are not totally left in the dark. Three models of the One will be available, the top two will include an ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600 XT. This is obviously not designed for high-end gaming, but most games you wish to run at the monitors native resolution should play reasonably well.
Not surprisingly, the innards of the One are similar to those found notebooks. This includes a custom Intel desktop board, Intel GM965 chipset and a mobile processor. The lowest-end model includes an Intel GMA X3100 integrated graphics solution. Gateway offers 2GB of DDR2-667 SO-DIMM on each model, but that can be user-upgraded to 3GB or 4GB.
One feature that impressed me was that despite such tightly-packed components, the One has upgradable components that can be performed by the owner without voiding any warranty. As far as I could tell, only the hard-drive and SO-DIMM could be upgraded. As you can see in the below image, the ram is to the bottom right-hand side of the unit (when look at it while opened) and the hard drives are located directly behind the monitor. Installation of those could not be any easier. Place the hard-drive in, push down and you are done. Both the power and S-ATA connectors are located below, so there is absolutely no way to screw up that installation.
I admit at first, I didn’t like the styling of the One. At all. I’ve never been a fan of the all-in-one design, because styling suffers. I still consider that to be the case, but after staring at it for a few minutes and using it, those hasty thoughts are close to being out-of-mind. I still don’t believe that it’s the best looking computer in the world, but one thing is for sure, it’s sleek, stylish and will do well to compliment any room.
Because of Gateway’s continuing cooperation with Best Buy, the lowest-end and top-end models of the One will be available to them exclusively. From what I remember, this exclusivity will last for around ~6 weeks. The middle model will be available through Gateway’s website and presumably other e-tailers/re-tailers that normally carry their products.
I was surprised to learn that the One is not that expensive when compared to other similar-specced computers. The lowest-end model retails for $1,299.99 and features a 1.5GHz T5250 processor and 2GB of RAM, while the next step up features the same components but offers a hard-drive upgrade and discrete video-card, for $1,499.99.
The top-end model will sell for $1,799.99 and offer a faster 2.0GHz T7250 processor, 3GB of RAM and an even larger hard-drive, settling in at 500GB.
Being a hard customer to please, when I first spotted the One, I had some doubts and didn’t expect to leave impressed… but I did. Though their on-stage demonstration consisted of constant dull humor and stretched information, it was my personal investigations that allowed me to settle on my conclusions. The idea of keeping everything in one single package and requiring only one wire seems simple, but Gateway did a great job of pulling it all together and delivering a great package.
To find out even more information about the One, you can head over to the comparison page.
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