Gateway, Acer Put New Face on Desktop PCs

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2003-10-27

Gateway Inc. and Acer America Corp. are rolling out products designed to give small and midsize businesses alternatives to full-size traditional desktop PCs.

Gateway next week will start shipping the latest version of its all-in-one Profile desktop, which features greater manageability functions and a larger screen. At the same time, the Poway, Calif., company will launch its newest desktop replacement notebook.

Gateways Profile 5, which is priced starting at about $1,200, runs on both Intel Corp. Celeron and Pentium 4 chips with Hyper-Threading. Unlike previous versions of the Profile, which offered limited access to system components, all of Profile 5s components are easily accessible by removing the rear panel, making it simpler and less expensive to maintain, officials said.

The unit features a 19-inch, 17-inch or 15-inch LCD screen, which can be detached and used with other systems.

On the portable front, Gateways M675 notebook will replace the current 600 series. A key option designed to attract enterprise users is the availability of three drives—one of which will act as the main hard drive, the second as a backup and the third as an optical drive or hard drive.

The additional hard drives are important for security, financial and convenience reasons, said Gateway PC user Levone T. Ward, executive director of computer and information technology services at Baltimore City Community College, in Maryland. Staff and faculty members, who are becoming more mobile, can keep sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, safe on one drive while carrying around other information on the other drives, Ward said.

"It [enables] documents on demand because I have it all electronically," Ward said. "If I need a hard copy, I can print it out. But most times, I just need to be able to call it up during a meeting at my desk."

Having data stored electronically also saves on the cost of paper, long-term storage and having employees move paper files around, Ward said.

Acer, of San Jose, Calif., last week introduced its third-generation convertible Tablet PC, the TravelMate C300. The computer is priced starting at $2,299 and features a 14.1-inch display and a full-size keyboard as well as an internal optical drive. The C300, powered by a 1.7GHz Pentium M processor, offers wireless connectivity.

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