Pros: VERY WELL CONFIGURED YOU CANT EXPECT MUCH MORE FROM A 64BIT PC.
Cons: LIMITED POWER SUPPLY AND SHARED VIDEO, IT DOES RENDER WELL THOUGH.
I must admit, I shopped quite extensively when I needed to upgrade my pc. I was considering a custom built pc after using a pIII 512mb machine for 5 years, but for the value a custom machine wasnt an option for the money.
I have had no issues with this unit whatsoever. I bought it with the gateway 19" LCD and they paired very well. I really like the esthetics of the gateway model. However at this point I have upgraded to the 22" gateway but this is just preference.
They only concern I may have had about the machine was the limited power supply, and the video card, although it works well I just dont like sharing ram memory to support my video. The card does a great job with handling TV functions and ties the media center capabilities together very effectively. I do recommend getting an additional external hard drive that is slightly larger than the one in the pc 320 GB, this gives you complete RAID support, I have essentially my whole pc on an additional hard drive, which is a huge thing if you have ever lost everything on your pc due to a drive error or horrendous virus.
I like the light scribe dvd/cd burner that was a very nice touch, it labels light scribe CDs or DVDs with a laser system, thats right no more labels! I love the card reader built into the front of the unit, and it is very convenient with any memory card configuration. I also like the USB 2.0 ports they include in the front as well as the back; I found this to be very convenient too. The audio card performs very well with my Logitech z5500 5.1 THX system. I love the 22' monitor with 4 ore USB 2.0 ports, its all much cleaner, I dont have to have an additional card reader sitting on my desk, nor do I have sloppy wires all over the place.
I like the media center pc operating system, which is essentially Windows XP Professional with the media center bolted on, XP PRO is a very proven and stable operating system, I bought this unit just before Christmas and this was the timeframe I was looking for. With the anticipated Windows Vista coming out, I wanted to make my purchase prior to its release; I have always tried to stay away from new releases of windows to avoid conflicts and problems. Which many are having with VISTA.
I am noticing how pcs are becoming cheaper. alot of the software you get on pcs now are trial versions, even anti virus is only good for a couple of months where you used to get full versions of everything.
For the future, I am excited about the VIIV technology that Intel is putting in their chips, this unit is VIIV enabled and will make the whole media center pc experience much easier and seamless in the future. You can always do a search for the sharp aquos VIIV network flat screen TVs. This is a huge consideration when you are considering tying all of your entertainment and TV together with your pc. I found too many people buy a large LCD or plasma for their TV and then have limited capability because they didnt wait for the VIIV technology to evolve.
Altogether, YOU GET ALOT OF BANG FOR YOUR BUCK FROM THE GM5260