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CNET First Look
Gateway SX2840-01Gateway's SX2840-01 remains the budget PC to beat. Its combination of small size, fast performance, and living room competence make it one of the most flexible desktops on the market. That it has room to upgrade makes the deal that much sweeter. We recommend...
^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:07 >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for cnet.com. Today we're going to take a look at the Gateway SX284001. So this is an Editor's Choice winning budget PC. We like it because it's fast, it's versatile, it can do pretty much any mainstream task you might want to throw at it. This is actually an updated version of an older Gateway slim tower that we really liked last year. This new one comes with Windows 7 and it's also the first desk top we've seen with Intel's Core I3 Quad core processor. That's a 2.93 GHz chip which means this PC can tackle pretty much any photo editing, file conversion, or any...really and day to day task you want to throw at it. Now the front it's actually pretty simple, you'll see there's a DVD burner here, behind the front panel here, you see there's whole bunch of USB ports, there's a mini fire wire port, media card reader as well as a couple of audio outs. We say the system is versatile both because of its size and its HEMI output. Now with HEMI, you can plug this system into any modern HDTV and it will play video content off the web or through the DVD burner. We tested it on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, with Apples on line HD movie trailers, all that content worked fine, it was all smooth, no hitches. So we're confident that you can plug this system into your living room and have a pretty solid home theater PC for not very much money. Now while we're on the back you'll see the other ports, you get 7.1 audio, Ethernet, four more USB's, eSATA for fast external storage as well as VGA output for a standard monitor connection. There are definitely other PC's out there you can plug into the living room, some of them even cost a little bit less than this 559 system, the problem with those budget living room PC's though is they tend to either be too slow to handle video off the web or they're self contained and you can't upgrade them, that's where the Gateway stands out. Not only can it handle pretty much any video you want to throw at it, you can also crack the case and make upgrades. Now the side panel comes off and it's a slim tower case so you're going to have to stick with half [inaudible] extension cards, but that still gives you room up here in the back to add wireless networking, you can add a budget graphics card if you want to do a little gaming, you really have a few options if you want to expand what the system can do out of the box. Most budget living room PC's can't say the same thing. Now we can go over the basic parts while we're inside the case, you can see the CPU here, there's four memory sticks next to it and underneath the DVD drive there's a hard drive, you only get one hard drive bay but the system comes with a terabyte drive out of the box, so because of its speed, its affordability, and its flexibility, this Gateway is an easy Editor's Choice winner. Last year the older model beat out pretty much every budget PC that we threw at it, in comparison. We're interested to see how this system holds up over the next couple of months. So I'm Rich Brown, this is the Gateway SX284001. ^M00:02:41 [ Music ] ^M00:02:44