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106 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2013
IN A NUTSHELL: This laptop is priced low, it meets all the basic needs, and it even has a few nice touches. If it were a car, it would be a silver and black, 2011 Kia Forte.

BACKGROUND: I bought this laptop as a dirt-cheap refurb from a short-term deal site. We use it as a family laptop in a multi-computer household. Here's what I think of it.

PROS:
Price. It's cheap. Given that it's so cheap ...

Performance: It's good. It works well with Kingsoft Office and Open Office (both free and compatible with MS Office). It handles big files. It streams HD videos from Amazon Prime and YouTube smoothly. It grabbed my wireless network tenaciously, hauling in a solid signal throughout the house. It plays youth-appropriate online games including kludge-y educational modules connected to the school district.

Keyboard: The keyboard feel isn't up to ThinkPad standard. But it's better than most, with a slightly dulled clicky feel, decent keystroke travel, OK spacing, and no flex. It is quite quiet. It is not backlit, and the white-on-black keys and thin font may confound hunt-and-peck typists in dim lighting. Neat features include the numeric keypad that doubles as a full-sized cursor arrow array. There are also half-sized dedicated cursor arrows and one-touch/two-touch keys. The social media launch key makes me smile, offering more affirmation than I'm likely to get from actual social media.

Touchpad: It has a nice feel. It supports multi-touch gestures, and has an up/down scrollbar on the right edge. The single left/right click bar feels solid and positive. The touchpad is centered on the typing keyboard, which prevents you from hitting it with your right palm while you work.

Not too much pre-installed software: Just a few things to get rid of and the usual things to install.

CONS:
Display: It's one of those "Tru-Brite" screens that reflect glare, white walls, light fixtures, your face, you name it. I've never understood why a device intended to be portable would have a display best suited to staying very still in a darkened room. Still, for its type, it's better than many others.

FURTHER DETAILS:
Windows 8: This is the first machine I've used with Windows 8. It'll take getting used to, but here's the big hint: think "tablet" or "smartphone." Win 8 is actually pretty intuitive, which is unusual enough that it sort of isn't intuitive if you're used to previous versions of Windows. It was easy to set up user accounts with age-appropriate restrictions.

HDMI: A lot of low-end laptops lack this. But this laptop has it, so I can stream content to my TV.

USB: There are three USB 2.0 ports, all located on the sides, toward the front of the machine where flash drives and connections interfere with paperwork.

Camera: Its webcam shows a lot of background. Skype video calls were fine, with clean images, good sound, and adequate volume.

Speakers: They're OK. With the volume set to maximum the sound is harsh but not super loud.

Battery life: No problem working all day on ordinary school/office tasks.

Construction quality: Better than I expected for the price, a marvel of cost engineering. Fit and finish are tight, and the keyboard, I/O jacks, and hinges feel solid.

Indicator lights: There's only one indicator light up top, a blue light on the power button. In addition, there are four tiny indicator lights along the front edge. There are no NUM LOCK or CAPS LOCK lights.

Appearance: The Gateway NE56R41u looks business-like with a black keyboard, silver trackpad and palm rest, and a glossy, slightly metallic gray top that attracts fingerprints.

UPDATE AFTER A FEW MONTHS OF USE: The laptop continues to perform well (and remember, there are four people sharing it on an occasional basis, including two kids, so although the total hours of use might be less than that of a single user, the amount of wear and tear is exponentially greater). The kids found it easy to customize their accounts, and move easily between this laptop, a desktop running Windows 7, and a truly ancient laptop running XP (!). Finally, the more I play around with Windows 8, the more I like it.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2013
I purchased this laptop from Wal-Mart -- but had exactly the same issues as rjhouse describes in his review. After a half hour or so of useless troubleshooting with Gateway support, I resolved to return it to the store and get a roughly-equivalent laptop from HP for $20 more.

But before doing so, I used Device Manager to "Update Driver" on the "Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter." which swapped out the Broadcom driver for one supplied by Microsoft. I have not had a problem since -- it has been working 100% great, not a single drop, and network performance has been fine.

I kept the laptop and haven't looked back. This laptop is pretty decent for the money. Performs well, good amount of storage, reasonably low price. Knowing what I know now about how to get the networking to work properly, I'd buy one again if I were in the market again.

I won't give it 5 stars though -- it's not all roses -- there are a few things I find annoying or unsatisfactory:
- Audio isn't loud enough
- The touchpad button is one long bar that acts as 2 buttons, depending on which end of it you press -- but this renders the center of the button unusable and the button is progressively harder to press the closer to the center you get. So you pretty much have to press the very ends of the bar.
- The touchpad is offset to the left. I guess this makes sense as it's more like a full-size keyboard since they fit a full numeric pad onto this one -- but since it isn't centered with the screen, it takes some getting used to.
- No caps-lock/numlock/scroll-lock lights (somewhat resolved using keyboard-leds.com app). But I think many laptops are like this nowadays.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2013
I know this is a cheap laptop, but it would have been nice to use it for more than three months (light business and very little web use) before it crapped out. Just a few weeks after I bought it, I had to restore it. Then it worked decent for a month or so before I started getting hard drive failure warnings, and now it's kaput. Luckily, they're replacing the hard drive and all I have to pay is shipping, but I shouldn't be sending off this item so soon.

I don't recommend buying this.

UPDATE: I spent twenty-five bucks for shipping with insurance to have the hard drive replaced. The laptop arrived in the mail today, and after spending hours moving my files back to the laptop & reinstalling programs, I'm getting a blue screen telling me the PC ran into a problem and has to restart. I've contacted Gateway support and requested a refund.

UPDATE #2: Acer (apparently when I bought a Gateway, I was actually buying a disguised Acer) support tried multiple times unsuccessfully to fix my many problems with this computer, then asked me to send it in for repairs again. I refused, as I am not investing another dime in this piece of junk. They refused to give me a refund, so I asked for a new unit to replace this one, as it is completely useless. They refused to do that as well. "We do not offer refunds or replacements," they said. I will never buy anything Gateway/Acer again, and I strongly discourage anyone else from doing so.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2013
First of all, what happened to the cow boxes....?
This is my first gateway computer and a replacement for a Toshiba satellite that i purchased with no research whatsoever bedsides being inexpensive and having a number keypad.
First impressions- Not a bad computer at all! 3 USB slots and a HDMI so thats an upgrade for me. Windows 8 is kind of funky and I don't like it one bit but that has nothing to do with the computer itself. the screen is clear and large enough and the camera works good enough for video chat

bad stuff- speakers suck,
great buy for the price!
edit*** a few weeks later
speakers are stil low quality but you get used to it. I wish there was a caps lock and number lock indicator light but I guess I can use my eyes as i type.
I am happy with the battery life and I think this computer s a keeper.
No as far as Microsoft goes..........grrrrrr making Office super expensive and a horrible interface.
But the computer is good once chrome takes over :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2013
This is a decent computer, I am really happy with my purchase.

PROs:
-Large screen allows for great video/ movie watching
-Keyboard is easy to use
-Trackpad is offset, so that I don't hit it with my palm.
-Number pad is included
-Easy to set up and use
-Lots of space for pictures with half a Terabyte
-Pretty good RAM to handle multitasking and video conferencing.
-Durable material
-Well made

CONs:
-Function keys seem backwards, in order to use the F1 through F12 keys you have to hit FN first.Takes some getting used to.
-The number pad functions as the computers only source of Home, End, PG Down, PG Up keys, so you have to turn off Num Lock to use them. However this is how it is on my other computer, so it's not like I'm not used to it. It's just a way to save space.
-The Really Big Kicker is: there is no indicator lights for Num Lock, CAPS Lock, or Scroll Lock. I just have to check my paper as I go. The computer does come with a program pre-installed that allows for some indicator, but you have to have the screen open at all times. You do get used to it.

Overall, I am happy for with this computer, and I am actually buying another one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2013
I liked the first one so much I bought another one. Both were spotless and worked well. Other reviews said the speakers were bad - they were right - all laptop speakers are bad. Buy some amplified speakers $20 - $40.
Nice computer Great price
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2014
Okay, unlike some of the other reviews i've been seeing, this one will be covering it from a gaming perspective:

So i've been using this laptop for about a month now and there are good arguments to buy this for gaming and arguments saying not to.

PROS:

- It WILL play a good amount of casual games as well as a few above casual. I've been playing War Thunder, Rift, Vindictus, Maplestory, League of Legends, Dawn of War, and many other games on this laptop and it has kept up at a cool temperature with a comfortable 40 ~ 60 FPS.

Not exactly a PCmasterrace battlestation, but I got mine for $225, so eh. There are some problems regarding the gameplay, but i'll get to that in the Cons.

- Cooling is decent, 7 straight hours of War Thunder and League and this guy kept pace without burning my fingers from overheating.

- Comfortable layout is comfortable. The keypad on the right side is a plus for extra keybinds when using skills/ abilities in games like Vindictus.

CONS:

- Quality. Yeah, it's a Pentium, but these used to be pretty great for gaming a little while ago and they hold up okay. I had to play a lot of my games in lower quality settings such as War Thunder, which was on the lowest setting (still looked pretty good), and Vindictus.

- Screen glare. This catches some serious glare, not a big issue, but a nuisance nonetheless.

- Intel HD graphics. *exasperated sigh* . . . yup, I guess it's, uh, something.

Conclusion:

For $225, which was what I paid for it, it's a good buy. I needed something on the go for notes, work, and some light gaming which became a bit more than light. I could have gotten an i3 or i5 for some more money, but that doesn't mean I dislike this laptop at all. It performs pretty damn well for what it is, and surprised me a little bit too.

Side note:

- Plays HD videos pretty well

- 3 USB ports are a good plus

- Touchpad isn't in the way

- HDMI port. Aw Yiss.

Protip: Use Libre Office or 3rd party instead of slapping down $80 for Microsoft office. Please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2013
I've had this laptop for 2 months and have been pleasantly surprised by it, given the price. Speed is good. Battery life is very good. Display is good.

The only thing that I worry about is the power plug connector. It's a little wobbly and I'm very careful to not put any strain on it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2015
I love my Gateway. I have had MANY Laptops & this is by far my best Laptop..FAST no freezing no pop ups the anti virus that came with it new has worked Perfectly. Would not trade it for anything. I travel all over I see people on there laptops. While they are waiting to download something mine has already done it & were moving on.. ALL I CAN SAY IS (I LOVE IT)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
I own this laptop and is great laptop. Got it, because my desktop of 4 years had damage motherboard so i got this and I'm not looking back. Upgraded to windows 8.1 and runs great, I love it. It has bluetooth but still trying see how it works, wifi works great and screen is pretty good.
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