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Gateway One ZX Series Review

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Gateway One ZX Series Review

Highs
  • Attractive acrylic-trimmed, LED-lit body
  • Gorgeous 23-inch capacitive touch screen
  • Fun suite of pre-installed touch applications and toys
  • Superb desktop and gaming performance
  • Excellent sound for size
  • Competitive pricing
Lows
  • Laughably cheap mouse and keyboard
  • Fan noise can become annoying
  • Touch remains a novelty
Our Score: 8
User Score: 1.0
As an all-in-one PC, the One ZX hits a home run with an attractive design, potent hardware and a price that's downright reasonable.

Check out our video on the Gateway One ZX Series.

Introduction

Windows 7 has arrived – and brought with it a slew of all-in-one computers riding on its bevvy of new touch-savvy features. Gateway’s One ZX Series offers a 20-inch screen coupled with modest-but-capable hardware starting from $720, or a more spacious 23-inch screen driven by hardware that wouldn’t look out of place on a gaming machine, for $1400, along with several options in between.

Specs

Our top-of-the-line Gateway One ZX6810-01 came equipped with an Intel Core 2 Quad processor clocked at 2.33GHz, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB hard drive, ATI Radeon 4670 graphics card, and 1TB hard drive, all under a 23-inch full HD touch screen. The system also includes an integrated Hybrid TV Tuner, HD webcam, 802.11b/g/Draft-n Wi-Fi, and 5.1-channel audio support.

Design

Gateway doesn’t always impress with fit and finish, but the One ZX felt ready for the living room the moment we removed it from the box. The gloss-black monitor bezel gets a thin surrounding stripe of acrylic trim that widens and forms stubby feet at the bottom to give it some rise off the desk. It’s made even classier by a discreet little lighting button cycles on hidden white LEDs to illuminate the front speaker grille, legs, both or none in the dark. Budget or not, the One ZX exudes style.

That is, of course, until you get to the peripherals. The flimsy keyboard and mouse included feel like Stryofoam props meant to be smashed over a pro wrestler’s head in a staged fight. They’re laughably cheap. Our first order of business would be replacing them with something adequately stylish like Logitech’s Illuminated Keyboard, which matches the build of the rest of the machine much more closely.

Ports and Connections

Like most all-in-ones, the One ZX uses a slot-loading optical drive, this one conveniently located on the right (and unlike some other all-in-ones, you don’t have to expect the disc to plop out onto the desk when you eject it). You’ll also find headphone and microphone jack, the aforementioned light switch, and an SD card slot. Around the other side, the One ZX offers dual USB slots for conveniently connecting thumb drives, MP3 players and other frequently disconnected accessories. Four more USB ports around back make room for even more, along with four additional analog audio jacks for 5.1 surround, and an Ethernet jack. Gateway also has some interesting extras hanging out out back there: a coaxial jack for a TV tuner antenna, a high-speed eSATA port for external hard drive and other accessories, and an IR Blaster port. All-told, there’s nothing overtly missing from this well-equipped all-in-one, but we should note that like any box in its class, your options for expansion are quite limited

Accessories

Besides the aforementioned Playskool mouse and keyboard, Gateway throws in a variety of accessories meant to work with Windows 7 Media Center, including a cheap but useable remote, a cable to convert the mini coaxial connector on the back to standard size, and a miniature pair of bunny ears for sticking up somewhere around the computer (a suction cup and adhesive pad are both included for mounting).

Sound

Desktop speakers add significant bulk and wiring mess to any desk, which is why we’re happy to report you won’t need them with Gateway’s One ZX. The forward-firing speaker bar below the monitor delivers sound right on par with a pair of modest standalone speakers right up until about 80 percent of its volume, where treble because harsh bass begins to bend. It’s more than enough for YouTube videos, engrossing PC gaming, and casual music listening, provided you don’t plan on any headbanging.

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