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Gateway gets behind the camera

The PC maker unveils a new miniature camcorder, the Gateway DV-S20 Pocket Multi-Cam, which takes its place in a wider effort to tap the consumer electronics market.

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Gateway wants to put a camcorder in your pocket.

The Poway, Calif., company on Monday unveiled a new miniature camcorder, dubbed the Gateway DV-S20 Pocket Multi-Cam.

The $199 device, which appeared on Gateway's Web site ahead of its official introduction, can record videos or take digital photographs.

Like other digital photography products, the camcorder is part of a wider Gateway effort to tap the consumer electronics market. The company believes it can use its business model, derived from PCs, to bring out a broad range of Gateway-branded consumer electronics products that all share data, but sell for lower prices than devices from competitors.

Gateway said earlier this year that it would introduce 50 new products in 15 categories to help bring that strategy to fruition. If successful, the effort could lift the computer maker out of the doldrums of a string of quarterly losses by adding revenue and profit from five or six new revenue sources, in addition to PCs.

So far, Gateway has launched several new plasma and LCD televisions, several digital cameras, a portable music player, home networking gear and several new PCs. It also plans to renovate its retail stores.

The camera, which comes with 64MB of built-in memory and a Secure Digital memory card slot for adding more, will connect to a PC using a USB (universal serial bus) cable. It will also come with photo-editing software. In addition, it includes a foldout, 1.5-inch LCD screen.

"This is a great companion product to our digital camera line," said Matt Milne, general manager of Gateway's digital solutions group. "It's really a great utility product for the on-the-go person who wants to capture the moment."

Gateway is not alone in its move toward the consumer electronics market, which is beginning to grow more crowded.

Dell, for one, declared earlier this week its intent to enter the game with a number of new devices, including a music player and an LCD television.

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