Hands On Usage
I really didn't know what to expect from an AIO machine given that this is the first AIO review I have done. A quick look at the spec sheet for the Gateway ZX4800-06 will tell you that this is a mainstream focused machine and after using the AIO for a while, it hits that mark pretty well.
The average computer user will find that the Gateway ZX4800-06 is capable of general computing tasks as well as any machine. The screen is big and bright with crisp graphics and enough space to get several things open on the screen at once.
I use a big 30-inch Dell display on my standard desktop and looking at the Gateway ZX4800-06 it's very impressive that every bit of the hardware needed for a full PC is crammed into a display case just about the same thickness as my Dell LCD. The machine looks fantastic sitting on the desktop and the wireless mouse and keyboard that are included add to the aura of minimalist design.
Speaking of that keyboard, it is thinner than your average keyboard and lacks a wrist rest. Thankfully, the keyboard is thin enough that despite not having a wrist rest you can type comfortably. The keys are well spaced and tactile feel is decent. A wireless mouse is also included with the Gateway ZX4800-06 and inside its battery compartment hides the USB adapter needed to connect the mouse and keyboard to the AIO PC.
Having to take up one of the six USB ports with a USB adapter for the included mouse and keyboard is very odd to me. How much harder could it have been to simply build the receiver into the computer so you don't lose one of the precious USB ports right off the bat? - I really appreciated the fact that the Gateway ZX4800-06 is dead silent. In fact, I hear no sound from it at all. It is likely passively cooled on the inside.
I briefly mentioned the screen earlier and I will talk about it in more detail now. The 20-inch screen has a 1600 x 900 HD resolution. It looks great with good colors and contrast, though it does have lots of glare. I fired up Hulu and went to watch some streaming video and found that HD quality video stuttered noticeably. The stuttering was bad enough that I would not have finished watching the video if I was so inclined. The stutter was less frequent on SD video, but was still noticeable.
The big touch screen has a touch layer built in. The touch properties of the screen are very nice and the screen is accurate in most instances. A few times I did have to touch a bit above where my eye told me the button I wanted to hit was. The onscreen keyboard works surprisingly well, but certainly won't replace the standard keyboard.
The onboard sound system was loud enough to hear music and other audio in a normal room environment without straining. However, the sound system has little bass and is focused towards the mid range mostly.
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