Gateway has launched its home internet appliance that allows internet connection from home without the need for a PC. Supplied with a touch-sensitive screen and wireless keyboard, the Connected Touch Pad will face competition from Compaq’s second Hybrid Ipaq and Amstrad's email-phone combo machine.

AOL is the ISP for the Connected Touch Pad. AOL is currently the only option for users, said Brad Williams, communications director at Gateway, but in future other ISP services may be added. The Connected Touch Pad will be available in the UK early in 2001. In the US the Touch Pad is priced at $599, which is around £420.

Gateway's has also released two new Solo notepads. At the bottom end of the range is the legacy-free Solo 1150 model, which has a 550MHz Intel Pentium III processor and 64MB RAM. Gateway is pitching this at the student market due to its £1000 price tag.

According to Richard Bull, Group Product Marketing Manager, Gateway has managed to cut costs by removing the majority of ports on the machine. This is what makes it legacy-free. Users must therefore run peripherals, such as DVD drives, through the two USB ports located at the side of the machine.

The second model, the Solo 3350, is at the top end of Gateway's notebook range. The laptop, which offers a 600MHz Intel Pentium III processor and 64MB RAM, is lightweight at 1.6kg.