If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the folks at Apple Computer should be pleased—and maybe a tad worried, too.
Borrowing a page from Apple, computer maker Gateway Inc. has introduced an all-in-one PC with a flat-panel display, called the Profile 4.

Modelled after Apple’s newly redesigned iMac, the Profile 4 boasts a lower entry price and faster processing speeds than the iMac, while maintaining the features that have made the iMac such a hot seller: a self-contained design with a smaller footprint and crisp, flicker-free screen images.

Independent, head-to-head performance tests completed in August by eTesting Labs of Foster City, Calif., revealed the Profile 4’s superiority over the iMac on three-dimensional video performance, boot-up time, internet browser performance, and time to load large files. For example, the Gateway Profile 4 XL completed a web browsing test more than seven times faster than the iMac, running the script in just three seconds compared with the iMac’s 23 seconds.

The Profile 4 features six conveniently placed USB ports and can support two displays—a useful feature for students sharing a computer. The machine is available in five different configurations to meet a wide range of needs, from a base model with a 1.7 gigahertz Intel Celeron chip and a 15-inch screen to a high-end model with a 2.4 gigahertz Pentium 4 processor and a 17-inch screen. Prices range from $999 to $1,999.

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