Our benchmark tests demonstrate the Gateway's clear advantage over its Windows desktop competition. HP, Sony, and others offer all-in-ones over $1,000 that would likely compete with this Gateway, but the ZX6900-01e posts a convincing win over Windows-based all-in-ones under four figures. Alternatively, Apple's most affordable iMac separates itself from the Gateway by a fair margin on most of our tests, the one exception being CineBench, which leverages the Gateway's dual-core Core i3 chip and its HyperThreading feature to emulate a quad-core CPU when a program calls for it. On that test, the dual-core iMac falls behind.
What that means is that for most common types of productivity scenarios, the iMac is the better bet performance-wise, but if you have a particular app that will take advantage of a multicore CPU, you might still consider the Gateway. In either case, if performance is a concern, we'd pick this Gateway over any other Windows all-in-one under $1,000.
Its features and its performance make the Gateway ZX6900-01e a compelling PC for its price, but we have one last nit to pick. The Gateway's connectivity options are mostly reasonable for a PC in this price range. You get a handful of USB ports, an SD Card slot, various analog audio inputs and outputs, as well as an eSATA jack for fast external data transfers. We also appreciate the HDMI output, but this system would be an Editors' Choice winner if the HDMI also supported video input. With that feature facilitating cable box and game console connections, this system would be the best home entertainment hub available for the money. Without it, the ZX6900-01e is still a good deal, but its input issues become a bit more apparent.
|Gateway One ZX6900-01e||Average watts per hour|
|Off (60 percent)||0.88|
|Sleep (10 percent)||1.99|
|Idle (25 percent)||43.14|
|Load (5 percent)||70.26|
|Annual energy cost||$19.09|
Despite its large display and fast performance, the Gateway posts competitive power consumption numbers. Next to the Gateway, it's hard to justify HP TouchSmart's power draw, especially considering its smaller screen and slower performance. None of these PCs are overly inefficient or expensive to operate, but we still find the differences between them interesting from a competitive standpoint.
Gateway's service and support policies are in line with the rest of the industry, although the company finished last in a recent Consumer Reports survey on customer service satisfaction. At least on paper, Gateway offers a yearlong warranty, 24-7 phone support, and a variety of support resources on its Web site.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570; 320GB 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive
Apple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1; 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7600; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.93GHz Intel Core i3 530; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 640GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
HP All-in-One 200-5020
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.7GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.7GHz AMD Athlon X2 235e; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3270 integrated graphics chip; 750GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive