Just got and set up my new Gateway DX4860-UR11P Desktop this week, and I love it so far. The tower is a little bulky, but it's pretty stylish (lights up - oooh!) and is jam packed with USB ports and every kind of standard card reader you could probably need. Set up was very easy. I appreciate the 2TB hard drive, as I am using it for large digital art files. After running all day, the tower is still cool to the touch, and is fairly quiet. Everything seems to be running at lightning speed, including video/Netflix, etc.
The keyboard is lightweight, but feels nice and durable. I run an additional monitor (Wacom Cintiq 12x tablet), so I needed to purchase a HDMI-capable monitor (pretty standard).
The computed does not come with system recovery disks. You must burn your own, and it requires 4 DVDs to do so. So have some DVDs handy when you start up for the first time. Also, as usual with pre-built computers, there are quite a few cluttery programs (kids games, etc.) I deleted them immediately.
I am a graphic artist in my early 30s who uses my computer for digital illustration and basic internet use (along with a bit of light gaming here and there), but I feel this would be a great machine for most people!
Should I have any issues with the machine in the future, I'll come back and update, but for now, I'm really happy with my new computer!
EDIT: 2/26/2013 I've had my computer for a year now, and it's still working like brand new! The tower runs quietly, and the processor is still fast fast fast. I make sure to keep everything clean and free of dust on a regular basis, and take care of it well. It in turn, serves me well! Love it. :)
Ok, so here's the skinny on my experience with this computer. I ordered it a week ago and I used my Amazon Prime membership to have it delivered the next day for just $4. Pretty awesome. The computer was great and it's really fast and just what I need. The last 3 workhorse computers I've owned have been Gateway desktops. I have an ipad for casual surfing, email and netflix, but I use the power of the desktop and increased storage capabilities with an oversized monitor for photo editing.
I used this computer for two days without problems. Then I tried to burn a dvd of data files for the first time and the burner wouldn't work. It would get halfway and then spit out the disc with an error message. I tried several different types of discs and followed all the normal trouble shooting steps which led to ultimately calling the customer service line. As always, it was a huge pain just to get through the telephone menu. You have to find your serial numbers and they're difficult to figure out b/c there are a bajillion numbers on all the stickers on the tower. After 30 minutes of troubleshooting going through all the same steps I had already tried, the CS agent told me I would have to drive my computer an hour and half away to my nearest service center and wait 7-10 business days. Also, that I shouldn't worry b/c it's "under warranty". No Ship, sherlock. Great, right?!
I need to use my computer almost everyday and my business is dependent on it. 7-10 days is an eternity. I'd rather buy a new computer. I thought about it and called around to a few computer repair shops in my city and got an estimate of $90 to do a diagnostic and replace the disc drive if need be. My local guy computer repair guy determined that the disc drive shipped with the system was indeed faulty, and replaced it with a new one. Turn around was 2 days, and I was able to keep operating my business.
I would have mailed the whole thing back to Amazon and just requested a new computer all together had I not already spent 2 days loading a ton of stuff over from my old computer to my new one and installed a bunch of programs. Also, I had trashed all the boxes so returning it would have been a major hassle and last resort.
Despite all this trouble, it does seem to be a great computer. It works fine now after paying the $90 in repairs less than a week after I bought it. And the computer repair guy said he was jealous of how fast it is.
I might have just had bad luck and got stuck with a lemon dvd drive. I rarely review anything, but thought this was worth getting out there. At the very least, the lesson learned is....hang onto your boxes for at least a couple weeks in case you need to send something back.
I just got this computer (not from Amazon) and tried to make back up/recovery DVD's - it would start to write on the DVD then have an error message. Burned up 4 before I ran out of blank DVD's. Update: I bought new DVD's, finished windows updates, closed all apps and recovery discs burned fine. However, had the DVD burner been bad, a new one costs approx $25 and they're easy to put in. As for the rest: it's weird to open a brand new PC box and find no documentation, but it was easy to set up/start up and find docs on desktop. Very sleek design and lots of USB ports (USB 3 ports are not labelled, but do have a blue tab on/in them). It's very fast so far, but once hard drive is crammed full, we'll see.
I got my gateway as promised on Thursday. Set up was easy and I had no problems burning my recovery DVD's. I use my for photo editing and it is so fast that I haven't had any delays do to processing. The key board and mouse are low end but work ok. So far I think it was a good investment.