capsule review

Gateway 510XL

At a Glance
  • Gateway 510XL

Gateway 510XL
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

At $1500, the Gateway 510XL is a good choice for office users who need a system for a variety of applications. With a 3-GHz Pentium 4 processor and 512MB of DDR400 SDRAM, the 510XL earned a respectable score of 125 on our PC WorldBench 4 tests--about average for systems with its processor and memory.

In addition to standard office applications, the 510XL handles multimedia tasks nicely. Outfitted with an NVidia GeForce FX 5200G graphics card with 128MB of DDR SDRAM, it posted respectable frame rates on our graphics tests at resolutions up to 1024 by 768, with smooth game play of Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Unreal Tournament. DVD playback looked clean and smooth through fast-action scenes, and the two Gateway GMAX 2100 speakers with subwoofer produced strong, multilayered sound for DVD and music.

The bundled 15-inch Gateway FPD1530 LCD showed somewhat dark colors but good detail and skin tones in our test photo of kids. Text looked fuzzy in the smallest sizes of our multifont test page, but it was much sharper at 10-point type and larger.

Gateway offers a nice mix of features with the 510XL, despite its value positioning. Two of four RAM slots are open for memory upgrades. Externally accessible drive bays include a dual-format DVD burner, a 16X DVD-ROM drive, and a media reader with slots for a variety of cards, with one available bay; a flip-up lid neatly covers the drive bays when they're not in use. A 160GB hard drive takes up the only internal drive bay. Six USB 2.0 ports--in two separate groups--are on the back of the case; two more are handily positioned on the front. A FireWire port is also on the front of the black-and-silver minitower (a second one is located at back). The 510XL came with disappointingly sparse documentation, including only a setup poster and a few component manuals, and no overall user guide.

With all the power necessary for standard office tasks plus a few amenities, the Gateway 510XL is a strong all-around machine.

Lisa Cekan

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At a Glance
  • Gateway 510XL

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