The new, curvy Gateway Profile 2 combines a 15.1-inch flat-panel display and an Intel Celeron chip into one unit. The basic system, with a 433-MHz processor and a CD-ROM drive, starts at $1,799. The systems go on sale on Monday.
With the new PC, Gateway stops its use of AMD processors. The two kicked off a relationship this past February when Gateway started to incorporate K6-2 processors in certain consumer computers. Although the volumes weren't huge, Gateway's deal was seen as a psychological blow to AMD's rival Intel. The deal also meant that Dell Computer was the only top ten computer company not to use AMD processors.
The relationship, however, became tenuous in the summer when Gateway stated that it would only incorporate Pentium III processors in its high-end PCs, implying that the company would not adopt AMD's Athlon chip.
Gateway had been expected to come out with an Athlon system, sources said. Some have speculated that negotiations between Intel and Gateway contributed to a demise of that effort.
Following that, Gateway began to phase out its use of K6-2 chips. The original Profile computer is in fact the last AMD-based system made by Gateway, a spokesman said, and that is being phased out. Gateway will sell the machine only as long as current inventories last.
"The original Gateway Profile PC was a breakthrough in balancing the benefits of form and function with Gateway's traditional value," Todd Bradley, senior vice president of the Gateway Consumer unit, said in a statement. "Functional, stylish, affordable PCs that do what clients want them to do have suddenly become chic, but Gateway has always worked toward these goals. The Gateway Profile 2 continues our leadership in the area of creating products that are driven by client need."
The new system is one of a coming wave of stylized computers. Inspired by the success Apple and Sony have enjoyed with, respectively, the iMac and the Vaio notebook, PC makers have moved to adopt cutting-edge industrial designs for their PCs so that they might stand out better in a crowded marketplace.
Although actual costs vary by manufacturer, these systems can also cost less to build because they are smaller.