updated 10:30 pm EDT, Wed September 26, 2007
(Updated with launch info) PC maker Gateway today fired a salvo at Apple with a new all-in-one home desktop that bears strong design similarities with the recently introduced aluminum iMac. Called simply the One, the design is far sleeker than Gateway's earlier Profile systems and fits the entire design within a single metal shell just 3.6 inches deep. The entire front face is black to hide the borders of the 19-inch widescreen LCD and blend into home decor, such as the living room. The One also builds on Apple's minimalist emphasis: where the iMac plugs all cables directly into the back, the One feeds gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and AV ports to the external power adapter to take clutter away from the desk. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are standard and eliminate the need for a wired mouse or keyboard.
Other echoes of Apple's design are found in a slot-loading, side-mounted DVD burner as well a main casing with three USB ports, one FireWire, and audio in/out connectors. The new design has a 5-in-1 card reader and is easily opened to replace the hard drive or memory, however. Buyers can also add a mounting kit to hoist the One against a wall, or a USB TV tuner for watching live programming.
Gateway says it will ship the series in late October with two retail models and a single online-only version. The retail line starts at $1,300 with a 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, and Intel X3100 graphics; a high-end model boosts speed to 2GHz, memory to 3GB, hard disk space to 500GB, and adds Mobility Radeon HD 2600 dedicated video for its higher $1,800 price tag. Both have a 1.3-megapixel webcam hidden in the chassis, Gateway says. The online model sits in between the two store models with the same hardware as the base PC save for a 400GB hard drive and Radeon HD 2600 chipset. It should be available for $1,500.