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Gateway debuts Media Center PCs

Southern California PC maker goes Hollywood with new desktops.

Gateway on Thursday unveiled two desktops loaded with Microsoft's latest entertainment-oriented operating system, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

The new machines, the 3250X and 7200S, support key features of the Media Center OS, such as support of multiple television tuners and personal video recorder (PVR) functionality. While the television tuner card is a standard feature in the high-end 7200S system, it has to be bought separately for the 3250X desktop.

The Gateway 7200S, priced at $1,399.99, uses Intel's P4 540 chip with Hyper-Threading technology. It has a 128MB memory graphics card, 250GB hard disk, 512MB DDR dual-channel memory and an 8-in-1 digital media reader that can sync with most popular media cards. The system is built on Gateway's new Balanced Technology Extended motherboard design, which helps cool the machine.

The 3250X Media Center desktop starts at $799.99 and is built around a Pentium 4 515 chip. It has 512 DDR SDRAM memory, a 160GB hard disk and a 48X CD-RW drive.

Starting Nov. 24, Gateway will launch the 3250X PC with an integrated TV tuner for a price of $899.99. The new desktops can be purchased directly from the Irvine, Calif., PC maker.