The Good Small size, quality video playback, and HDMI output make it a viable home theater PC; virtualized quad-core Intel CPU offers competitive performance for its price; massive 1TB hard drive; room for half-height expansion cards.
The Bad No wireless networking; relative power hog compared with the Mac Mini.
The Bottom Line Gateway's SX2840-01 remains the budget PC to beat. Its combination of small size, fast performance, and living room competence makes it one of the most flexible desktops on the market. That it has room to upgrade makes the deal that much sweeter. We recommend this desktop to anyone looking for a powerful, versatile low-cost computer.
Editors' note: This review is part of our , which covers specific fixed configurations of popular systems found in retail stores.
This review was updated February 5, 2010, to indicate that the Core i3 530 CPU is a dual-core CPU that can emulate two additional processing threads, making it a virtual quad-core chip.
How to make a Raspberry Pi solar-powered FTP server
You've set up your Raspberry Pi and had a look around at what the amazing micro computer can do. How about a fun project?
Photos: Hands-on Asus Eee Keyboard that's a Media Center PC
Wow. We really didn't see this one coming. Asus has just shown off what is perhaps the most bizarre addition to the Eee range ever -- an Eee keyboard
Year in review: The rise of the Netbook
As consumers clamped down on expenses, it appeared a prescient move that PC makers began touting the smaller, cheaper machines.
Gateway: From PC powerhouse to buyout bargain
Suitors once offered $7 billion for Gateway, but after a decade of missteps and bad luck, the company is snapped up for a modest $710 million.
Acer seizes opening with Gateway
The Taiwanese PC maker has been growing fast. With Gateway, it gets a bigger foothold on U.S. soil.
Gateway makes first foray into China
The computer maker will sell its PCs through Digital China, while Dell tries to target upscale consumers in the country.
Global PC shipments grow, but revenue remains flat
Hewlett-Packard, the largest PC maker in the world, expanded its lead over Dell in the fourth quarter worldwide.
PCs aren't coming to America
Slow PC growth in the United States during the third quarter leads IDC to downgrade its expectations for the full year.
Intel's Viiv low on holiday shopping lists
It's the most wonderful time of the year for the PC industry, but a major piece of Intel's home entertainment strategy remains out in the cold.
A $100 laptop prototype for $150
The One Laptop per Child project's "$100 laptop" for school children in developing nations currently costs $150 to make.
Gateway begins AMD server push
Gateway becomes the latest computer maker to begin selling x86 servers using Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processor.
HP regains spot as No. 1 PC maker worldwide
Despite slowing growth in the PC market, HP edges Dell in global shipments.