You can't buy them yet, but Gateway seems to be the first major PC vendor with a new Windows 7-equipped PC announcement. Surely every other major (and minor) player will follow, but the Gateway One ZX6800 and ZX4800 series are the first systems built specifically Windows 7's touch capability in mind.
We've already reviewed the $1,399 One ZX6810-01, which you can read all about here. This higher-end model comes with a 23-inch touch screen, a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200S, a 64GB solid state hard drive, a 1TB storage drive, and a 1GB ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4670 graphics card. Sadly there's no Blu-ray drive, but will a TV tuner make up for it? It didn't for us either.
We found the ZX6810-01 actually made a strong first impression as far as its performance, but the touch input could be frustratingly unresponsive. The apps Gateway includes to take advantage of touch are also less than amazing, ranging from a semi-useful note taking program to crash-prone video chat using the Web cam. We're not too down about touch falling flat here, since without a wider selection of useful programs touch is really just a novelty at this point. We'd wait to see what other vendors cook up in this price range, but the One ZX6810-01 is a solid start thanks to its other features.
On the lower-end of the scale, the $749 Gateway One ZX4800-02 has a 20-inch touch display and a slower, dual core Intel Pentium T4300 chip, along with a handful of more pedestrian features (DVD burner, 750 GB hard drive). The touch input becomes a more important selling point in this system, as it has no high-end doo-dads to distract from it. Perhaps a smaller screen will result in fewer tracking errors. Let's hope.
Both systems will be available in fixed configurations via online and brick-and-mortar retail stores towards the end of October/early November.
Read our review of the Gateway One ZX6810-01.