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Gateway Unveils Digicam Lineup, Two Game PCs

Gateway made its first foray into the digital camera market and introduced two dedicated gaming PCs.

In digital cameras, Gateway has introduced four aggressively priced models, including a 5-megapixel digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens for a suggested retail of $299. The $299 price point represents new ground for the industry where prices for 5-megapixel/3x units typically hover in the $400-$499 range.

The computer manufacturer/retailer-turned-CE-contender’s entry into the market is a part of its larger plan to launch 50 Gateway-branded products in 15 CE categories this year. The digital cameras, like the 42-inch plasma TV that preceded them, will be marked by aggressive prices in an attempt to quickly grab market share. The chain said it will continue to sell digital cameras from competing manufacturers in its stores and on its Web site.

The lineup will consist of two compact-sized cameras and two more traditionally styled units.

In the compact line, Gateway will offer a 2- and a 5-megapixel unit priced at $129.99 and $399.99, respectively. The 2-megapixel DC-T20 can take motion JPEG video up to 47 seconds at 320 by 240 resolution. It features a 2x digital zoom, multiple flash modes and 1.5-inch TFT display.

The 5-megapixel DC-T50 features a 3x optical zoom, 1.6-inch TFT screen and auto, fill, off and red-eye reduction flash modes. In movie-mode, the camera can also record up to 60-second clips of motion JPEG in 320 by 240 at 15 frames per second (fps).

Both the Gateway DC-T20 and DC-T50 cameras use SD memory cards. The DC-T20 comes with two AA alkaline batteries and 8MB of internal memory while the DC-T50 comes with a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, charger and a 32MB SD memory card.

Gateway is also offering two standard-size models in 4-and 5- megapixel resolution at suggested retails of $199.99 and $299.99, respectively.

Both models, the 4-megapixel DC-M40 and the 5-megapixel DC-M50, accept CompactFlash media, offer 3x optical zoom lenses, take motion JPEG clips at up to 320 by 240 resolution at 15 fps and offer auto, fill, off, red-eye reduction and slow-sync flash modes.

The DC-M50 features a 1.8-inch TFT display and is bundled with ArcSoft imaging software, while the DC-M40 has a 1.6-inch TFT screen and ships with Adobe PhotoShop 5.0 LE.

On the gaming side, Gateway has introduced two dedicated gaming PCs built around two high-end NVIDIA graphics cards that will place the company in direct competition with Dell and other firms vying for the highly desirable high-end customer.

The Gateway 700X and 500X Gaming PCs are derivatives of two current Gateway models, the 700XL and 500S. The Gaming PCs will compete with The Dell Dimension XPS gaming PC that was launched in April and models from companies like Alien Ware, that specialize in the high-end gamer market.

The 700X is powered by a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading technology, the 256MB NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra graphics card, 512MB of DDR SDRAM, 160GB hard drive, DVD-R/-RW/CD-RW drive and a 19-inch CRT monitor with a $2,099 suggested retail . The 500X uses a slightly slower 2.4GHz Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading processor, 128MB NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra, half the RAM and hard disk space and a 17-inch monitor for $1,149.

The computers are bundled with a variety of software, including the full versions of Madden 2004, Battlefield 1942 and Need For Speed — Hot Pursuit 2.