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 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

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?