The All-In-One is in full effect this year, with some very hot models: the Gateway One, the Dell XPS One and Apple's new iMac. While it's nice to pick favorites and all, the fact is, each of these are better than most computers out there, and each has particular design traits that stand out. I've given awards in different categories at the end of this piece, but in the meantime, this is really a walk through of different design choices. If it seems to lean heavily on the Dell XPS One, that's because it's newer, and we've already spent more time on the Apple and the Gateway. So take a leisurely stroll through all of this stuff, compare and contrast, and at the end, hell, call your own winner.
Nice looking from the rear:
Apple avoids the clear glass look, but both Dell and Gateway are suckers for it. The Dell has a clear lucite base that makes us wonder why the designers didn't go further. The Gateway has a funky clear keyboard arm rest that makes us scratch our heads a bit.
All mice are not created equal. Apple's wired mouse is, of course, not a favorite, but even the Wireless Mighty Mouse doesn't always behave. Dell's mouse is okay, very standard. Gateway's is the best, with a touch pad down the center for scrolling, and a cool one-piece two-tone design.
Keyboards are another accessory that can vary a ton. Dell's is my favorite because of all the stuff it can do. It has a full touchpad for mousing around, has full media controls, so you can ditch the ugly silver remote, and it's better looking than Gateway's, even if it doesn't quite have the otherworldly sleekness of the Apple. (Again why, Apple, do you ship ANYTHING with a cord?)
Here you can see all of the fun stuff on the Dell keyboard:
For the most part, these remotes are standard. In fact, the Gateway's controlled the Dell, and the Dell's controlled the Gateway. I know Apple's statement is that the remote is simple, but let's face it, that's because, compared to Windows Media Center, Front Row is too simple. I went with Goldilocks on this one: Gateway's remote is just right, a nice compact model that matches the rest of the system.
The Dell is the only one with controls on its face. They're triply redundant given the fact that both the remote and the sweet keyboard also give similar controls, but they are cool when they light up. I particularly like the disc-indicator light, which only glows when a disc is inside, and the screen shut-off switch, which does nothing to mess with your system:
The Official Gizmodo Awards Chart: