Gateway has introduced the ZX Series, three all-in-one touch screen desktop PCs that boast power, options and a seriously streamlined aesthetic - so much so, that some users will find the keyboard optional.
The PCs resemble slim, black flat-panel televisions, and in some instances can be used as one. The keyboard and mouse are wireless, and the webcam, microphone and high-definition speaker system are built in.
The PCs' screens respond to one- or two-finger use, enabling users to easily launch applications, zoom in and out of photos or Websites, resize windows and even handwrite notes. Gateway, which is now part of Acer, announced the new ZX Series on Oct. 7.
The multitouch technology that Gateway is using with its all-in-one PCs is said to leverage the touch capabilities of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, which officially hits the street on Oct. 22. Gateway plans to use the new OS throughout the news ZX Series desktop lineup.
Gateway's TouchPortal interface, which lays on top of Windows 7, lets users interact with what Gateway calls TouchGadgets. These include the somewhat self-explanatory TouchMusic, TouchPhoto, TouchMediaShare, TouchFriends (maybe less self-explanatory, this offers one-touch access to Facebook and Flickr) and TouchMemo.
When users want to return to the Window 7 environment, "they merely peel back the Gateway TouchPortal interface with a quick swipe of a finger," explains Gateway.
"While touch PCs to date have been cost-prohibitive and somewhat limited in their capabilities, Gateway is making this new technology more accessible to average consumers, while using an industry-standard solution that isn't challenging to learn," said Ray Sawall, senior manager of product marketing for Gateway, in a statement.
"The functionality of Windows 7 and multitouch brings an entirely new computing experience to consumers, and our affordable all-in-one PCs are the perfect vehicle for showcasing this technology," Sawall added.
The ZX Series includes the ZX6800, a high-performance model suited to the needs of serious gamers. It features a 23-inch full HD, Ultrabright LCD widescreen, an Intel Core 2 Quad processor Q800s (2.3.GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 1333HMz FSB) and an Intel GM45 Express chip set. There's a 1TB hard drive, a 64GB solid-state drive and 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM (double-data rate synchronous dynamic RAM).
Also included are a SuperMulti optical drive, 6 USB 2.0 ports, a multi-in-one digital card reader, and connectivity options including 802.11 b/g/ and draft-n. There's a built-in HD webcam and a hybrid TV tuner with a remote control. Its starting price is approximately $1,400.
The smaller, more dorm-room-friendly ZX4800-02 features a 20-inch screen with a resolution of 1,600 by 900, an Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300 processor (2.1GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB), an Intel GL40 Express chip set and an Intel GMA X4500HD graphics chip. The SATA (serial ATA) hard drive is 750GB, and included is 4GB of DDR2 800MHz dual-channel memory.
From there, the ZX4800-02 more or less mimics the amenities of its larger sibling, minus the TV tuner. Pricing starts at approximately $750. Both the ZX6800 and ZX4800 will be available "late October, nearly November," says Gateway, and still later in the year a high-performance FX6810-01 will arrive.