Gateway Debuts $599 Media Center PC

Gateway late Wednesday announced the availability of a low-cost PC equipped with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 through its recently acquired eMachines product line. The desktop computer, which will sell for $599 and is available now in retail stores, is the cheapest Media Center PC to date.

The company says it is targeting the back-to-school crowd with the eMachines T6520, as well as offering three other low cost non-Media Center systems starting at $339 USD.

While the computer may be cheap, it still carries many of the features of its higher-priced competitors. The T6520 includes an AMD Athlon 64 3400+ processor with 1 GB of DDR SDRAM, and a 200GB hard drive. The system utilizes the new ATI Radeon Xpress 200 platform, which has received rave reviews by tech outlets.


For portable media, the system includes an 8-in-1 media reader, and both a rewritable dual-layer DVD drive and CD-ROM drive.

At $599, the eMachines Media Center PC comes in at same price as the recently announced Nvidia 7800GXT graphics card, which was also launched Wednesday. An equivalent system from Dell equipped with Windows Media Center Edition 2005 would cost nearly $200 more than the eMachines T6520.

All the new PCs include software and a free three-month membership to America Online. Microsoft Works and Money will come standard with the machines; however, the company will also provide a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition with the PC.

Gateway acquired the eMachines brand in early 2004, replacing the company's cow-themed retail brand after closing all of its brick-and-mortar locations due to poor sales.

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