This must be an illusion. Are PC makers actually trying to out-cool Apple? Gateway might be running in third place in the PC market, but the company’s latest model suggests that it’s taking the lead in design.

The new One, a desktop with a wireless mouse, keyboard and all-in-one flat-panel LCD monitor, ditches the under-the-desk annoyance of the traditional tower with tangles of wires and cables snaking out the back. Like the iMac, the hard-drive and DVD slots have melded with the screen. Only a single power cord extends out the back. Sure, we’re not quite at the everything-wireless stage that some MIT scientists see in our future, but this is an encouraging trend.

News of the new PC broke two weeks ago, and USA Today‘s tech columnist gives Gateway’s One a strong review here.—Gregory Mone