Gateway preps $800 dual-core media center desktop

Irvine (CA) - Gateway is building on its newly found success in the US retail business with three new desktops that aim at the sub-$900 segment as well as two notebook models for light gaming and multimedia applications.

The system builder is going increasingly aggressive after retail-shoppers with desktop and notebook models that typically highlight low pricing rather than exceptional features. Today, Gateway announced its lineup for the holidays which will focus on Windows Media Center-based desktops as well as multimedia-capable notebook computers.

Especially the desktop model GT5012 reflects the dramatic price drop of Intel's dual-core Pentium D processors and their rapid movement into the mainstream and even entry-level segment. The system will offer the low-end Pentium D 820 with a clock speed of 2.8 GHz, integrated GMA 950 graphics as well as 1 GByte of DDR2 memory and a 250 GByte harddrive for $800 suggested retail.

For $900, there will be the upgraded GT5014 model, which will add an integrated TV tuner and remote control, and a DL DVD burner that is built into a BTX chassis. The entry-level media center system of Gateway's Christmas products will be the $650 838GM that comes with a single-core Pentium 4 630 (3.0 GHz) chip.

The only device with an AMD processor will be the MX7515 notebook, which promises to be powerful enough for mainstream gaming. The computer integrates a mobile version of AMD's Athlon 64 4000+ processor as well ATI's X600 graphics chip which accesses up to 128 MByte of the notebook's system memory. Other features of the notebook, which will sell for $1350, include 1 GByte DDR memory, a DVD burner and a 100 GByte harddrive.

For the thin and light segment, Gateway continues to rely on Intel's Pentium M-based processor with the new MX3560, which runs on a 1.7 GHz Pentium M 735, and comes with a 14" screen and 512 MByte of system memory. Suggested retail pricing for the MX3560 is $1050.