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Gateway mimics Apple with 'One'

Jumping on the design-and-simplicity bandwagon, Gateway unveils a desktop it touts as an alternative for those who don't want to shell out the bucks for, well, Apple.

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And here it is, officially, the Gateway One.

Touting the slim, all-in-one desktop as the first move toward a new strategy focused on industrial design (is there any PC manufacturer that isn't doing that these days?), the once-mighty Gateway described the minimalistic machine as an ideal centerpiece for the digital home.

The announcement was made Thursday morning at a press breakfast at the DigitalLife consumer technology convention in New York.

It's a striking-looking machine: black with a glass front and brushed-aluminum back that evokes none other than Apple, the company that remains the leader in aesthetically inclined PCs. The One is intentionally decluttered, with a single cable connecting to a power brick, a wireless keyboard and touch-sensitive mouse (which executives called a "river rock mouse"), a detachable 1.3-megapixel Webcam that connects to a USB port atop the monitor, speakers integrated into the front panel, and a power button located on the back of the 19-inch LCD display.

As for specs, three models of the One are available: a $1,299 version with a 320GB hard drive and a 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor; a $1,499 version with a 400GB hard drive and the same 1.5GHz processor, along with a higher-end ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 graphics card; and a $1,799 version with a 500GB hard drive, a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, the ATI graphics card, and an analog-digital TV tuner.

All three versions weigh slightly under 22 pounds and come with Windows Vista Home Premium. The upper and lower models of the Gateway One are sold through an exclusive retail partnership with Best Buy; the $1,499 version is sold directly through Gateway's Web site.

Rich Brown of CNET Reviews offers his hands-on take here.