David Pogue has written about iMac-like Wintel boxes in a new
New York Times
The iMac-Like PC
(subscription required, but free)
Lauding the advantages of a flat panel-equipped all-in-one design like the iMac, Pogue noted that Gateway and NEC have both recently introduced new all-in-one designs of their own; Gateway with its Profile 4 system, and NEC with its PowerMate Eco system.
How do they fare? Pogue is unimpressed with the Gateway box’s design, calling it “hunchbacked,” and said that you can’t turn the Gateway’s screen like you can the iMac. It is fairly cheap, however, starting at US$999. That’ll get you a system with a higher clock speed than the iMac, but without some of the features the iMac has. That’s not to say the Profile doesn’t have its own arsenal, including half-a-dozen USB ports and a PC card expansion slot.
The PowerMate goes in a different direction, according to Pogue. He likens it to the “offspring of a laptop and desktop PC.” It swivels and tilts, although you can’t adjust screen height like you can with an iMac, and it’s less bulky than the Profile 4. NEC is also catering to ecologically minded users through its avoidance of toxic elements in the manufacture of the device and its power conservation. This comes at a price, though — the PowerMate is slower than other PCs and comes with less storage capacity. It also has fewer expansion options than the Profile.
Either way, said Pogue, Gateway and NEC’s attempts come with drawbacks and limitations, though they both seem to be valiant attempts. “Here’s hoping we haven’t heard the last from the designers of these two new machines.”