Even though summer has only barely begun, Gateway's eMachines is already looking ahead to the upcoming school year, having just announced five new Vista-ready desktops for the student on a budget. Starting at the "top of the line," we have the T6536 (pictured, with optional monitor) and T6534, which both feature Athlon 64 processors from AMD (3800+ and 3700+, respectively), nVidia GeForce 6100 graphics, and 250GB of storage, but the extra $90 you're spending on the $540 T6536 doubles the RAM from 512MB to 1GB and bumps the OS up to Windows XP Media Center Edition. Next in line is the T5046, which will set you back the same $450 as the T6534 but changes up the specs with a hyper-threaded Pentium 4 processor, Radeon Xpress 200 graphics from ATI, 512MB of RAM, a 200GB HDD, and the same dual-layer DVD burner found in both members of the 6000-series. Finally, the super-budget-conscious consumer has the option of either the $350 T3506 or $380 T3508, with the former machine offering a Celeron D352 CPU, Radeon X300-based graphics, 512MB of RAM, 120GB HDD, and a CD-RW/DVD combo drive, while the latter rig steps it up to a Celeron D356, Radeon Xpress 200 chip, 160GB hard drive, and that good old multi-format DVD burner. All of the new machines are available immediately, which gives you plenty of time to load up the software you'll need for surviving next year's vigorous academic schedule -- namely tunes, vids, and games.

Read- T6536
Read- T6534
Read- T5046
Read- T3508
Read- T3506
[All models via Yahoo]

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eMachines releases five desktops for cash-strapped students