Tag Archives | Gateway

IFA: A Cow-Spotted Yoda Laptop Vesta Makes

The Empire Strikes Back’s Yoda has appeared on notebooks–of the spiral-bound kind. PC manufacturer has been synonymous with cow spots for more than two decades–but if they’ve ever made a cow-spotted PC, I’ve forgotten about it.

And then there’s Turkish electronics and appliance manufacturer Vesta. Here at IFA, they’re showing a notebook that A) has a “Yoda” label (though no imagery of the little guy–it may have nothing to do with Mr. Lucas’s creation) and B) is covered in cow spots:

Maybe this makes sense if you’re Turkish…

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Are Macs More Expensive? Round Three: An All-in-One Free-For-All

So help me, I’m addicted to comparing the prices of Macs and Windows PCs. That’s okay, though–judging from site traffic, a startling quantity of Technologizer readers seem to be addicted to reading and discussing my comparisons. On Thursday, I contrasted a mid-range MacBook with custom-configured Windows laptops. On Saturday, I followed up by comparing the cheapest MacBook to cheap Windows laptops from Best Buy. And today? Well, today I’m in the mood to look at desktops aimed at consumers.

Apple, of course, makes no typical desktop PCs for consumers; we’re now in the second decade of the all-in-one iMac. The unified-monitor-and-CPU form factor never conquered the Windows world, but several major manufacturers offer units that combine that design’s space-saving virtues with a splash of Apple-like flair. What say we compare the current 20-inch iMac to some Windows-based iMacalikes?

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Are Macs More Expensive? Round Two: Survival of the Cheapest

On Thursday, I began my multiple-part look at the cost of Macintoshes by comparing a mid-range MacBook to some Windows laptops which I’d configured to be as similar to the MacBook as possible. Compared to those machine, I concluded that the MacBook was in the zone in terms of price and power, or, in other words, “not expensive.”

I also managed to stir up lots of controversy, in the form of dozens of comments and discussion elsewhere on the Web. So as promised, I’m back with another round of price comparisons, and based in part on comments to my original post by a reader named Michael, I’ve decided to stick with the MacBook and compare it to Windows laptops that happen to be on sale at Best Buy at the moment.

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Gateway: Direct Sales No More

This is kinda sad: On Friday, Taiwanese PC giant Acer announced that its Gateway subsidiary will stop selling PCs direct to buyers over the Web and will focus on indirect sales–that is, through retailers such as Best Buy, Circuit City, and Costco. Along with Dell, Gateway created the direct-sales PC market starting in the mid-1980s; for a long time, it was the only way to buy a Gateway, and the company’s whole reason for being centered around the idea that the best way to buy PCs was directly from the manufacturer.

There was a time when it looked like most PCs might end up being sold direct. And at its best, it was and is a wonderful way to buy a computer. Now only Dell remains as a major manufacturer focused on the direct market, and it’s dabbling in retail itself and generally no longer a shining example of the virtues of buying direct.

Today’s news is no shocker, since Acer not only doesn’t sell direct but has thrived in recent years by actively spurning direct sales in order not to compete with the retail outfits that sell its PCs. Only a really schizophrenic company could have done business both the new Acer way and the old Gateway way.

A lot of us whose memories of PCs go back to the 1980s probably retain some residiual fondness for Gateway–the plucky, quirky upstart founded as Gateway 2000 by Ted Waitt in in Sioux City, Iowa in 1985, with the wacky, cow-centric marketing. That company disappeared a long time before Acer bought it–it was certainly gone by the time it launched an ill-fated attempt to reinvent itself as a consumer-elecronics company and then ended up acquiring eMachines, and eMachines’ business strategy. in 2004. But the warm fuzzies for the Gateway name have helped sustain it, even though the company in its current form has almost nothing in common with its original incarnation except the word “Gateway” in its name.

Okay, the cow spots remain, too…

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