Gateway Invents Plug 'n' Play Web Appliances

Gateway has partnered with America Online to produce a device called the Connected Touch Pad, a tabletop appliance that can surf the Internet using AOL. At a price of $599, the system comes with a 10-inch touch screen to enable users to access email and surf the Web. The typical AOL monthly fee is extra.

Another new jointly-produced device is called the Connected Music Player, and is designed to play audio files stored on a PC into a stereo system or MP3 player. It's price is $299.

One key advantage of the new products is that they will interface with new mid- and upper-range PCs through a shared network, made available by Broadcast.com.

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