Desktop reviews: Gateway SX2850-33 and the Acer Aspire Predator G7750-U222
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Whether you're looking for an unassuming desktop with impressive features, or something that will intimidate everyone who so much as looks at it, we have you covered today. The Gateway SX2850-33 gives you an excellent return on your investment, while the Acer Aspire Predator G7750-U222 lives up to its wild name, both in looks and performance.
The Gateway SX2850-33 is a budget desktop that combines compact design with impressive features and performance. At an average price of $550, the SX2850-33 is hard to pass up. Gateway backs the SX2850-33 with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
The SX2850-33 comes with a 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3-550 processor. The processor has multiple cores that help when running several applications simultaneously. You can browse the Internet, edit documents, view multimedia, and also do some light gaming without any difficulty. It will even allow you to stream HD video without any hiccups. You also get 4 GB of DDR3 SDRAM to help with multitasking.
Graphics on the SX2850-33 are handled by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500 HD chip. Plenty of storage space for your important files and data is available thanks to a 640 GB hard drive. The operating system that comes pre-installed on the desktop is Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit.
Extra features of the SX2850-33 include integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi. The inclusion of Wi-Fi is a nice surprise, especially considering that the SX2850-33 is a budget desktop. For entertainment, there is a DVD drive that you can use to watch DVDs and listen to CDs. A multi-in-one media reader is included should you ever need to transfer data from other digital devices.
If the standard configuration of the SX2850-33 is not up to your liking, Gateway did provide some room to make upgrades. If the 4 GB of RAM is not enough, there is room to upgrade it up to 8 GB. A 16X PCI Express slot is also available. There is no room for an extra hard drive or another optical drive, however, so the 640 GB of storage and the DVD drive will have to suffice.
The compact design of the SX2850-33 will likely attract many potential desktop shoppers who value every inch of their home or office space. It's supposedly so compact that it is one-third the size of many common desktop towers, which is quite impressive. The actual measurements of the SX2850-33 are 10.4 inches tall by 3.9 inches wide by 12.4 inches deep. Gateway went with a standard all black color scheme for the tower, but it is highlighted by a few chrome accents.
The front panel features the DVD drive hidden vertically behind a door. The bottom of the front panel contains some good connectivity behind a small door that includes microphone and headphone jacks, five USB ports, and the media reader. The very top of the tower has a recessed bay in which you can conveniently store devices as you sync or charge them.
The rest of the SX2850-33's connectivity resides on its back panel. You get six more USB ports, a VGA port, an Ethernet port, connections for a keyboard and mouse, a HDMI port, and audio jacks. The HDMI port is a plus in case you want to stream HD content to a HDTV. Unfortunately, there are no connections for eSATA or FireWire.
For its price, the Gateway SX2850-33 is hard to beat. When you add in its solid performance, well-rounded feature set, and compact design, you have a desktop that would make a nice addition to any home or office for casual everyday use.
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