I have 35 e-mails, seven Web browsers, four Word documents, iTunes, Excel, Adobe Acrobat and an instant messenger client open right now. I had even more than that open yesterday and the day before, and haven't rebooted my Gateway E-6610D in four days.

My work here at Government Technology causes me to constantly bounce from task to task. I open a document. I get distracted. I open something else. I get another e-mail -- anywhere from 150 to 200 per day. As usual, at day's end, I haven't had the chance to wrap up everything or respond to every e-mail I opened, so I leave everything as is, lock the computer and head home. 

This beast typically goes about two weeks without rebooting, and I rarely have any problems with speed or functionality. With everything I put it through, it still has never crashed on me (knock on wood). 

My test unit was outfitted with an upgraded 2.40 GHz Core 2 Duo E6600 processor with 1.99 GB of RAM -- a little better than the default CPU, which is 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo E6300 processor. The top-of-the-line model includes 2.66 GHz Core Duo 2 E6700 processor, which can support a whopping 8 GB of RAM. 

The E-6610D also carries a 128 MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 550 graphics card, which has a dual-link DVI port, so it can support a 30-inch flat panel display. Though Gateway doesn't yet offer such a display, the DVI port allows a user to connect another vendor's 30-inch monitor. For me, however, the 24-inch display was plenty. 

There are also three Firewire ports for connecting high-speed peripherals, and the six USB 2.0 ports -- two of which are on the front -- are extremely handy for users with various cables and flash drives. Other ports include one serial, one parallel, two PS/2, one RJ-45 Integrated LAN, one microphone, one headphone and five rear audio ports. The E-6610D also comes with a 16x double-layer multiformat DVD. 

I do wish I had Adobe Photoshop CS on this unit to assess its ability to handle such a meaty program in addition to the multitasking. 

Photoshop usually sucks the life right out of other PCs I've worked with: If other programs were running while Photoshop was in use, everything slowed to a crawl until I closed the other programs in frustration. Those PCs couldn't handle the multitasking to which I'm accustomed, but I imagine the E-6610D would fare quite well with the processing that program requires. 

For this multitasker, the E-6610D is a safe bet.
Jessica Jones  |  Assistant Editor