The Bottom Line
Sep 13 2011 - Gateway's SX2855-UB21P may not be the highest performance slim desktop on the market, but it has a number of things going for it. It offers one of the largest hard drives to be found in this price segment and more than enough peripheral ports for those with all sorts of accessories. Add to this that the system can be found for under $500 and it is a very solid value. Of course, buyers will be missing out on a few features including the ability to make many internal upgrades, and new high speed peripheral ports and the dread preloaded software to be found on many Acer group PCs that makes it take longer to boot.
- Large Hard Drive
- Lots of USB Ports
- Limited Internal Upgrade Options
- No USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Lots Of Trialware
- Intel Core i3-2100 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1.5TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 2000 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 5.1 Audio Support
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Nine USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 12-in-1 Card Reader
- 10.1" x 3.9" x 13.9"
- Winodws 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Gateway SX2855-UB21P
Sep 13 2011 - Gateway has been producing slim form factor desktops for some time with the SX series. To keep up to date, the SX2855-UB21P now uses the second generation Intel Core i3-2100 processor. This is the lowest grade of Core i3 processor that features just two cores and does not support HyperThreading. Still, for many users the performance from this processor is more than enough. Only more demanding tasks such as desktop video will really show the limitations of it. It is matched up with 6GB of DDR3 memory which helps limit the slowdowns of the system with Windows 7. The downside is that it only has two memory slots and both are currently in use. It is possible to upgrade to 8GB of memory by replacing the 2GB module with a 4GB one if you are so inclined.
One thing that is definitely going well for the Gateway SX2855-UB21P is the storage space. Most slim desktop systems are shipping with one terabyte or smaller drives. Gateway has packed in a one and a half terabyte drive that provides roughly 50% more space for applications, data and media files. The one downside is that the drive is of the green variety that spins at a more sedate 5400rpm rate. This means that performance is a bit lower than comparable 7200rpm drives but the higher data density in the drives does make up somewhat for it. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD and DVD media.
The large hard drive will probably be plenty for most users but if you do need more, you will run into a few complications. First, the internal space doesn't really allow for any internal drives to be placed inside. This means that users will have to rely on external storage. While there are a total of nine USB ports on the system, none of them are the new USB 3.0 variety that allows for near internal drive performance. Similarly, there is no provision for eSATA either.
Like the majority of smaller desktops, the Gateway SX2855-UB21P relies on integrated graphics. Thanks to the second generation Core i3 processor, it features the graphics engine that resides on the CPU. The Intel HD Graphics 2000 is certainly an improvement over the past GMA graphics system but it still isn't going to be very beneficial for 3D gaming. It does support Direct X 10 and could play older games at lower resolution and details but it certainly won't be playing the latest and greatest at all. What it does offer though is the ability to boost certain applications such as desktop video work via QuickSync. Those wanting to put in a dedicated graphics card do have that option but the space only allows for a single wide card and the 220 watt power supply will limit it to the most basic of dedicated cards.
Preinstalled software has been a major problem with the various PCs from the Acer group including Gateway over the past couple of years. This is likely to help reduce the overall cost of the systems to consumers. After all, the SX2855-UB21P has a list price of $580 but it is possible to find it for under $500. The downside is that all of the software that is installed in the system can cause issues. Most notable of these is extended boot times from the various modules that get loaded by the programs. Buyer's should take some time to remove unwanted programs in order to help boost the boot times.