Budget desktops might not be all that exciting, but the Gateway SX2870-UR10P slim tower shows you can still find a worthwhile day-to-day PC for under $500.
Underdelivering on the promise of its stylized exterior, the Gateway FX6850-51u is a subpar gaming PC, but its fast CPU and a $999 price tag may entice those looking for a strong, affordable computing foundation.
The unique-looking Gateway FX6840-03e offers respectable productivity speed, but it's relatively limited in gaming and multimedia, which is ironic considering its flashy appearance. Gateway's FX line offers some strong configurations, but this isn't one of them, and you should look for more-complete PCs in this price range.
The Gateway SX2801-01e is just one of several new budget slim tower systems available this season. We're impressed by its compact design and the HDMI port makes it easy to use in the living room. For a $520 system, the SX2801-01e's performance and upgradability put it in the same top tier as the Editors' Choice-winning models that came before it, and we recommend it to anyone shopping for a powerful, flexible, cost-effective computer.
We're fond of the Gateway DX4300-11's clever design, but halfhearted performance scores mar its overall worth. The TV tuner and 1TB hard drive may tempt you to stick it in your living room as a media center PC, but your money is better spent on the Asus Essentio CG5270-BP004.
Gateway's DX4300-03 is a game attempt at a digital media hub-style PC, but the value proposition just isn't here. Slow performance in particular drags this desktop down, and unless you particularly value a TV tuner, you'll find faster, more capable computers not much farther down the retail shelf.
Gateway's SX2800-01 offers a strong combination of performance and features all wrapped up in a design that fully embraces the merits of a slim tower PC. We recommend this system to anyone looking for a fast, affordable desktop for the home office, the living room, or anywhere in between.
The affordable Gateway LX6810-01 scores high points for offering high-end components right off the shelf. We recommend this system for multimedia editors and light gamers who can make use of its hard-working Nvidia 3D card and full 8GB of RAM. However, if you're looking more at straightforward performance, Dell offers a system with a faster CPU and a similar feature set for about the same price.
With lots of useful features (some cleverly hidden), Gateway's FX6800-01e stands out from the boring mainstream pack. It also uses Intel's new CPU and motherboard combination to provide speed and upgradeability. You can find faster PCs for a similar price, but few with this much promise.
The Gateway FX400XL makes an attractive, well-priced PC for mainstream users, but high-end users may be put off by some of its configuration limitations and lack of expansion.