Even without games and video files eating up storage space, you might bump up against the DX100X's small 80GB hard drive. You can upgrade to a 160GB drive for just $50 extra, a worthwhile investment. Likewise, consider investing another $50 for Logitech's X-230 2.1 speaker system, which would be a major improvement over the muddy-sounding pair of Gateway speakers that ship standard with the DX100X.
Alas, Gateway's FPD1565 LCD monitor can't be remedied quite so easily. The 15-inch LCD--definitely on the small side for a modern PC--produces fuzzy text and washed-out color. But the real crime is that although the monitor includes both analog and DVI inputs, the DX100X itself has only an analog VGA port. It may be possible to get a sharper, more colorful image from the FPD1565, but not from this PC. A more easily viewable 17-inch LCD is $90 more than the 15-inch option.
The rest of the DX100X's features include a double-layer DVD writer, an 8-in-1 media reader, a somewhat archaic 56Kbps fax/modem, and an attractive, multimedia-savvy Gateway keyboard, which sports not only dedicated playback controls, but also Web-navigation and document-editing buttons. Besides the Windows XP Home operating system, Gateway also provides , a 90-day subscription, and a six-month AOL membership.
We wouldn't expect a spectacular warranty from an $800 PC, and Gateway's default support plan lives up (or down) to our expectations. To keep costs down, parts and labor coverage lasts a mere 90 days, and tech-support calls are on your dime; there's no toll-free number for basic warranty buyers. The most basic upgrade, $49 for one year of support, including onsite service, is a must-have. On the plus side, Gateway does provide extensive Web-based help, including real-time chat with technicians.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating||SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating|
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Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3500+; ATI Radeon RS482 chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; WDC WD2000BB-22GUC0 200GB 7,200rpm EIDE
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.93GHz Intel Celeron D 341; Intel 915G chipset; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; integrated Intel 915G graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Western Digital WD800BD-22JMA0 80GB 7,200rpm SATA
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 3.06GHz Pentium 4 519; Intel 915G chipset; 5124MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; integrated Intel 915G graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Seagate ST3160023AS 160GB 7,200rpm SATA
HP Compaq Presario SR1620NX
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.0GHz AMD Sempron 3400+; ATI Radeon RS480 chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics chip using 256MB shared memory; Seagate ST3160021A 160GB 7,200rpm EIDE
Shuttle XPC K6200h
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.8GHz Intel Celeron D 335; ATI 9100IGP chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI 9100 graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Western Digital WD1600JB-00GVA0 160GB 7,200rpm EIDE