A sturdy built-in handle makes the Neo a snap to lift out of the box. The company includes an illustrated setup poster, as well as icons on the desktop for easy access to a system tour, sound and video controls, and help menus. Four USB ports, two on the side and two in the back, simplify hookup. The USB scroll mouse, which accommodates either right- or left-handers, fits into the keyboard's USB port, leaving three USB ports free for adding a printer or digital camera. However, there are no serial or parallel ports, so if you want to use older peripherals, you'll have to buy an adapter.
Performance and multimedia are not the Neo's strong suits. It integrates Intel 810 graphics that draw upon the PC's 64MB of system memory. Our preproduction system lagged at some tasks like playing 3D games. Forget about DVD movies - the unit comes with a 17x-40x CD-ROM drive and has no DVD option. The Neo's integrated sound and speakers produce a tinny, clock-radio sound with precious little bass. And the 4.3GB hard drive is small by today's standards; you can swap it out yourself, but Gateway expects most users will get help for this upgrade.
Gamers and multimedia buffs should stay away, but novices or those seeking an inexpensive second PC are likely to be satisfied.
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