Gateway, AOL Team on Net Appliances

The companies announced at Internet World Wednesday three new Linux-based Gateway Internet appliances that will feature "Instant AOL," a slim version of AOL's client software. Gateway will offer a countertop unit, a wireless Web pad, and a desktop appliance, each priced at under $500, says John Spelich, Gateway's director of corporate communications.

The countertop unit will go well in the kitchen or family room, mounted and stationary. It will use a flat-panel touch screen and a wireless keyboard, and could ship by the end of the year.

The wireless Web pad will be a sub-three pound mobile device that works anywhere within the home. It will have a touch screen and a wireless keyboard, and will reach out to the Web through an Internet-connected base station. Gateway won't say which wireless standard the device will use, and the Web pad won't be available until 2001.

Finally, the desktop appliance will look similar to a desktop PC, with a standard CRT-type monitor, keyboard, and mouse. It's larger than the other two devices, will cost the least of all three, and should arrive late this year.

Each device will ship with a modem and an Ethernet port (to support a broadband connection). Each will also have some built-in home network connectivity, he says.

However, none of the units will contain a hard drive. Gateway won't say what type of processor they will use, but Spelich didn't rule out the possibility of Transmeta's new chips.

It's important to understand that each product is a true Internet appliance, Spelich says. That means they won't offer the same functionality as a basic PC. If you want to run a spreadsheet program, you should buy a Gateway PC, he says.

Their function is Internet access--fast and simple, the way people want it, he says.

Gateway Goes Gecko

The Gateway devices will have a simple interface that provides easy access to AOL's services using the new Gecko browser technology from Netscape. Gecko proved to be a perfect fit for the storage-deprived units.

"Gecko is very small; it doesn't take a lot of code," says Jim Martin, senior vice president and general manager at Netscape. "We needed to get something smaller and faster."

The Gecko browser is a mere 5.5MB, half the size of Netscape's current browser and even smaller than its competition, he says. And not only is it tiny, but it's fast and works with all the current Internet standards.

It's customizable, too. That means consumers can make their browser look just the way they want it. You'll be able to apply "skins" that change the appearance of the interface.

Gateway executives were quick to point out that the three devices announced Wednesday are only the first of many being developed in conjunction with AOL. The companies promise additional interesting hardware down the road.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Mainelli

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?