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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?