Gateway One ZX6810-01 review: Gateway One ZX6810-01

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MSRP: $1,399.00

The Good Handsome case design; kicks-off the new generation of Windows 7-based all-in-one PCs with fast performance; decent mainstream gaming capability; solid-state hard drive speeds OS and application loading.

The Bad Occasionally unresponsive touch input; lacking higher-end multimedia features like Blu-ray and wall mounting; TV tuners are lame.

The Bottom Line The Gateway One ZX6810-01 makes a strong first impression for Windows 7-based all-in-ones PCs, with fast performance and an attractive case design. Its touch input and accompanying applications fall flat, but there's enough respectable computer here that it's worth a look. Our only suggestion is that you wait to inspect the rest of the new Windows 7 crowd once they are released.

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7.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Support 7

Congratulations to Gateway's One ZX6801-01 for sending in the first official Windows 7-based PC to CNET Labs. We've already reviewed Windows 7, so we'll spend most of our energy here talking about Gateway's new PC. We like the One ZX6810-01 well enough. When it goes on sale for $1,399 at the end of the month, you'll get a 23-inch touch capable display, and a strong core of components in a well-designed chassis. However, we'd change a few of its features, the touch interface is marred by slow response time and glitchy applications and we anticipate a slew of new all-in-ones will debut alongside this one toward the end of October. All of those factors keep us from handing Gateway a clear victory. We'd recommend it to those looking for a new large screen all-in-one with strong hardware performance, but you'd be wise to wait before buying to see what else might emerge in the flurry of new Windows 7-based PCs.

The Gateway One ZX6810-01 doesn't have a revolutionary all-in-one design, but it's certainly an improvement from the original Gateway One back in 2007. The 23-inch display in the new model is indeed touch sensitive, and it comes with a new Microsoft-provided touch programs as well as five Gateway specific touch applications, although you can, of course, use your fingers to drive almost any program on the system.

Gateway's TouchPortal gives you a home base for touch-friendly-programs.

Unlike HP and its TouchSmart line of laptops, all-in-ones, and now printers, don't expect to see Gateway suggest that its touch capabilities will revolutionize the way you use a computer. With only a modest library of touch-friendly programs on the market, and few of any significant value, touch computing, especially on desktops, remains an early stage technology. Gateway isn't shying away from the One ZX6810-01's touch capability, indeed it's the first feature mentioned in the news release announcing the system. However, since Windows 7 includes native multitouch support and the necessary hardware for touch has become more affordable, most higher-end all-in-one PCs will have touch-based input. Gateway certainly won't be unique in supporting Windows 7's multitouch capability, but it also wisely keeps your expectations in check.

What we hope is unique to this system is the poor responsiveness of its touch input. Using your finger to launch applications from the main Windows desktop works well enough, but we found noticeable animation lag when we pulled down the "flap" icon in the upper right corner of the Windows desktop to get to Gateway's TouchPortal. The touch-specific programs vary from casual games, to basic art and media browsing programs, to a Microsoft Surface-branded globe program, but we encountered several apps that wouldn't launch, crashed after launching, or whose interface lag was bad enough to render them unusable. Whether the performance issues lie with Windows 7 itself or Gateway's implementation of it, we can't say. All we know is that for a technology with questionable utility when it works, touch input doesn't need performance problems turning users away.

  Gateway One ZX6810-01 Apple iMac 24-inch
Price $1,399 $1,499
Display size/resolution 23-inches, 1,920x1,080 24-inches, 1,920x1,200
CPU 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 64GB Toshiba SSD, 1TB 7,200 rpm 640GB, 7,200 rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner dual-layer DVD burner
Networking 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g, Bluetooth Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n, Bluetooth
TV Tuner Yes No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium Apple OS X 10.6.1 (Snow Leopard)

Even if we're not enamored of touch input, Gateway's new all-in-one is a robust performance-oriented PC that should satisfy anyone looking for an all-in-one for more serious purposes. Comparing this PC with older all-in-ones is only so interesting, as we expect every vendor, including Apple, will have a new all-in-one out before the end of the year. We can only write about what we know, though, and Apple's performance-oriented 24-inch iMac makes the best comparison of systems available now.

Gateway has a few major advantages over the iMac. Its 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad chip helps it close in on Apple's traditional multitasking performance advantage over Windows-based systems. A 1GB midrange ATI graphics card (not to mention the vast library of Windows games), also makes the One ZX6810-01 a viable gaming PC compared with the iMac. We're also impressed by the Gateway's 64GB solid-state hard drive. Installing the operating system and most applications on the SSD ensures fast load times, while a 1TB traditional hard drive handles the mass data storage for media files and other less speed-sensitive bits.

Our only issue with the Gateway's features has to do with its multimedia capabilities. For the most part, Gateway has chosen a performance-oriented configuration for this system, which is fine, but we question the value of the included TV tuner. We don't know the cost structure behind each component in this system, so we can't say whether Gateway could have traded the TV tuner in for a Blu-ray drive, a faster CPU, or a larger display. Surely, though, Gateway could have found a better way to spend its features budget than on a TV tuner, a technology made virtually obsolete by the video streaming and download services available from Hulu, the iTunes store, and numerous other online sources.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
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Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
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(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  
Velocity Micro Edge Z30
Gateway ZX6810-01
Sony Vaio LV250B
HP TouchSmart IQ816

Unreal Tournament 3 (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Gateway ZX6810-01