Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
Pros and cons
on March 24, 2011
Unlike the post above mine, I shall not fluff the review. This laptop is great for the money, mind you, it comes with WINDOWS, that said, I'm a linux user.
Display: Great, plenty big enough, which was a deciding factor in buying this laptop. The image is sharp and crisp. No issues with High Def movies. 5 stars here.
Keyboard: Finally a gateway laptop with something other than smooth keys, a little more tactile IMHO. This will make a difference a few years down the road where I would normally encounter heafily "polished" keys from thousands of keystrokes. Polishing will be further delayed with such a texture.
Memory: It comes with 4 GB of ram and it **IS** upgradable to 8. I have yet to NEED 8 GB of RAM and 4 GB is PLENTY, upgrades are relative inexpensive as to memory. After ripping out much of Windows bloatware products and loading up Open Source stuff, such as GIMP (think photo-shop), there was plenty of memory to handle heavy image processing.
Sound: This is a PROBLEM. Windows 7 comes on this little gem with a few issues deliberately put into play to "help" prevent you from blowing your speakers. However, when you have volume up to 100%, you're still only getting 20% or LESS of the speaker's capabilities. Google the fixes, they are arduous for the non-tech savvy types, EASY of you are tech savvy. Of course, replacing Windows with LINUX makes the sound a NON-ISSUE. Blast away!
Battery Life: This could be MUCH better, it's short, if you fly with this machine, pray it is a short flight, about 3 hours is being generous in description. However, if you have your power cord handy and are in a facility that has a place to plug in, same as being home. 'nuff said on that.
Touch pad: It works as they say it does, however, I elect to use a USB wireless compact mouse. It's just my style. The touch is functional as it should be, maybe you'll like it more than I do.
Case: The case is FLIMSY! Plastic through and through, unlike previous Gateway laptops that I have owned which had some harder and metal parts to the case, this one is weak. USE CAUTION. If you need to use this in Law Enforcement, (i.e. in a police car) you need a solid docking station in the unit, for military admin applications in garrison, it will do fine. For the average home user, this will be meaningless.
Software: Come on, it's WINDOWS! For the average home user, it's what you know already, Windows 7 is much improved over VISTA, for you BETTER than average users, Ubuntu, MINT and Fedora distros will ROCK on this box. No hardware issues. However, if I had to comment on Windows 7, it is the best OS MS has put out since DOS 5 when Edit replaced Edlin. (The PRE stacker days)
HDD: Plenty of space, 640 GB is TONS! I have a 1 TB external that I back-up to, other than that, bigger will be pointless unless you are a REAL audiophile or file junkie to the extremes or just too much a slob to clean up your file system for duplicate bloated files.
SD card port, it comes with a "plug" to keep the port clean, which is redundant, really. It works in a snap. No issues and I like this feature.
Bells and gizmos, yeah, it's got it with Windows 7 as well as dedicated keys for them including social networking, a nice hotkey for Facebook. Several hotkeys for other things you may find useful. Of course, if you're using Linux, simply remap your keys to what you want with ease.
Value for the money is excellent, good internals, RAM is easy to be had if you actually want more, go for it, what it has already is nice, the wireless nic works well with either OS as mentioned. This computer can be had for as low as 599.99 as of this writing, shop around online. Amazon last week was able to beat everyone else's deal, so, I with with them. Buyer be frugal, you won't be disappointed with the system.