The Bottom Line
- Strong Core i Series Processor
- Large Hard Drive
- Well Priced
- Integrated Graphics
- Could Really Use Wireless Networking
- Intel Core i3-530 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 5400rpm (Variable) SATA Hard Drive
- 16x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- Intel GMA X4500HD Integrated Graphics
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Nine USB 2.0, FireWire, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, 12-in-1 Card Reader
- 10.5" x 4" x 12.5"
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, Nero, Cyberlink MediaShow, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Gateway SX2840-01 Slim Desktop PC
Mar 5 2010 - Gateway has given their SX series of slim desktops a major performance boost in the SX2840-01. It is their first to use the new Intel Core i3 processor. While the Core i3-530 is a relatively low grade dual-core desktop processor, the overall performance easily outpaces the Core 2 Quad Q8300 in the previous model. The 6GB of DDR3 memory also helps it immensely with multitasking and memory intensive applications. This puts the Gateway easily on top of the low cost slim desktops systems.
Many small form factor desktops tend to skimp on storage features on the assumption that people won't be using them as much as a traditional desktop. Gateway has decided to include a large one terabyte hard drive in the system to provide plenty of space for applications and media files. The drive uses a variable spin rate to conserve on power but it shouldn't cause issues even when streaming HD video from the hard drive. A traditional full desktop sized dual-layer DVD burner is also included for handling playback or recording of DVDs and CDs.
One of the biggest issues with the Gateway SX2840-01 are the graphics. It uses an Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics solution. This is actually a perfectly fine solution for those looking to do HD video playback or standard web work. If you happen to want to play any sort of PC games that require 3D acceleration, it lacks any real performance. There is space for a PCI-Express graphics card within the system but it has to be a low-profile or half-height card in order to fit into the slim case design.
The SX2840-01 would very well as a low profile home theater PC if it had a few more items built into the system. More and more small form factor desktops are coming with wireless networking standard. It would be nice to see Gateway include this in the system but it would be possible either through an aftermarket USB wireless adapter or through a low-profile PCI-Express card. This would make integrating the system into a home theater setup much easier. Of course, a wireless keyboard and mouse would also be required.
Overall, the Gateway SX2840-01 is currently the tops in terms of performance among the current crop of slim desktop systems. HP may have a few more features standard in their Slimline models but the Core i3 processor is just too hard to beat, especially with the $560 suggested price tag for this model.