December 1st, 1999

[3:30 PM] Dell, Gateway: Finally, A PC Maker Designs Different (With Pics)
by Staff

Gateway and Dell have both introduced new machines that depart from traditional PC form factors. Dell has introduced a new PC called the webpc (lower case) while Gateway has a new product called the Profile 2. Both of these computers follow similar design paths, but what is truly interesting is that neither follow the path of the iMac.

The Dell webpc

The Gateway Profile 2

Both models follow a stylized base with a flat panel monitor and are effectively all-in-one designs. The webpc is priced at US$2349. Dell has set up a nice Flash presentation that includes a 360 degree view of the webpc. The Profile 2 is priced at US$1999. The picture of the Profile 2 we have included in this article is the best one we could fin on Gateway's site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Some Mac journalists have expressed negative feelings on the design of the webpc. Indeed, the company offers a less expensive model with a CRT that is unbelievably ugly. However, the model with the flat panel display is at least different from typical PC fare we have seen in the last 18 months. The Gateway Profile 2 is nothing short of sexy looking, especially when viewed from profile which Gateway's TV commercials for the product do. On the other hand, Gateway's CRT-based al-in-one is also fundamentally unpleasant looking. Apple defenders should not confuse their (our) love for the Mac with a hatred of all things PC. In the case of these two products, the PC world has actually delivered a legitimate offering.

It has been more than 18 months since Apple first introduced the iMac, and 15 months since the product actually shipped. Gateway and Dell deserve kudos for finally introducing a truly different form factor that does not borrow from the iMac.

What is perhaps the most interesting is that the price points on these systems is well above even then midrange Power Mac G4, let alone the consumer priced iMac. In our opinion, even the iMac will not get much competition from these new PCs. Instead, more mindless Suits and upwardly mobile executive lemmings will be the ones to flock to these beasts.

With Apple surely planning a flat panel all-in-one for the next 18 months, it will be interesting to see how they approach the subject now that they have beaten to market.

And lest it need to be said, neither of these products holds a candle to Apple's offerings.

What do you think? Talk back at The Mac Observer Forums.

Dell - - Gateway