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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2011
I bought this little laptop for my wife last week to replace her aging Dell Inspiron e1505 (which was also a fantastic laptop), and I can tell you (as an IT expert since 1979) that this is the best bang for the buck out there in the world of laptops! The only thing missing is that it does not have USB 3.0 (which some specs say it has, but it does not). You can't beat the new Intel i5 2nd generation CPU for speed (Sandy Bridge Core), and the Intel HD graphics are fine unless you plan to be playing games with high demand on video. You can easily upgrade the memory from 4 to 8gb for cheap, and the 500gb hard drive should be plenty for 98% of folks out there. We got ours at Best Buy for $450 plus tax. Take my advice and don't spend more for a laptop - you don't need to. Also, keep in mind that if a laptop breaks it usually isn't worth getting it fixed unless it is really simple, or you can do it yourself (as I do). So, don't invest BIG money (not over $600 in my opinion) in one. My 2 cents based on many years of experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
Lets be basic. Here are the pros and cons.
PROS:
As long as you don't run super intense programs, or high graphics on games, the computer functions very well.
Comes with I5. Its much better than I3, and you will see the difference.
For a laptop, it has a GIANT screen. In today's world 15.6" may not seem like a large screen but when you get your hands on it, it is.
Portable. Fits in any case and is easy to carry around.
3 USB drives. 2 on the right and 1 on the left. you would be amazed with how convenient it is to have USB drives on each side of the computer.
60 day free norton security. After that you have to pay, but for internet security, norton is great. While its only 60 days, it avoids the hassle of installing and paying for it on the website.
Windows 7 is great.
for the 500 bucks, its a great value.
The touch pad works well
CONS:
when you use it for a while, the computer starts to heat up. While it doesn't affect performance, it just makes you a little weary about the computer, and can be uncomfortable at times. (but during the winter it is amazing.)
while it can run many games at decent settings, you will not be able to play games at maxed out settings.
There is no obvious visual division between the left and right click. While when you use it you will figure it out, it can be a little confusing at first.
the F1-F12 buttons also serve as the display buttons. so if you need to hit any F# button, you need to hold down (Fn). It is just a little hassle.

OVERALL:
Great laptop for daily use and basic gaming. Takes a little while to get used to the little differences. Good price, good hardware, good buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2012
Bought it at Best Buy for just under $490 after taxes. Had everything I wanted, mostly the processor (which is pretty awesome). The very first one I bought had a broken left-mouse button. Managed to return it through Best Buy at another store (was the last one in stock in San Antonio). The second one (that I have now) worked flawlessly for about two months.

Now, the cooling fan barely works. The laptop gets as hot as an oven under load and I either have to send it back to Gateway for "7 to 10 business days" once they receive it from out of state "if the parts are available", or pay a local shop $150 to fix it. That and out of the box, the speakers are laughably quiet. I ended up having to spend an hour on google to finally figure out how to increase the volume output to a level I could actually hear my music above the normal ambient sounds of a house (which isn't much).

As for performance, it's fast. Damn fast. The only gripes I have about performance is for video games, this thing is a pig. And that's 100% because of the GPU. I knew this going into it, buying an Intel over AMD (I wanted the raw power), but I truly did not expect the video performance to be so bad. Playing HD videos and DVDs, it does great. But for lower end games like SWTOR (the new big MMO), this thing can run it find, with EVERYTHING on low settings. Not an issue for that kind of game, but it still sucks. It does handle StarCraft II fairly well, though turned down as well. (Those are the only games I've played on it, so take from that what you will).

That I'm going to end up shelling out $50 for parts to have to repair it myself after only owning it for three months, I am not happy. I'd be less happy paying someone else more to do it, or sending it to Gateway and very likely getting it back in ANOTHER three months.

All in all, I wish I'd have bought the ugly brown HP they had next to it. Same specs exactly, but it was an ugly brown, and it was HP. That Gateway is now an ACER company played heavily in my decision to buy this thing (not crazy about the blue, but at least it wasn't turd brown), as ACER and I go back a decade, and their computers and parts have always been beyond good to me. Until now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2011
of all the prices listed here, it is actually cheaper at bestbuy for around one hundred dollars less than this
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2014
The laptop does everything I'd expect it to. The keyboard is nice to use, everything feels quality enough. It may not be top of the line, but it's certainly powerful enough to do anything I need it to do. The screen quality is solid. The only complaint is the odd placement of the USB ports near the front side of the case. It can interfere with some accessories a little.
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on December 7, 2014
I got this laptop about 3 years ago, and it's still holding up very well. When I got it, it had been on sale at Best Buy for $429, and looking at the prices for many of the i5s now, I realize even more so how great of a deal this laptop was.

Pros: It definitely does the job. I'm a grad student, so this laptop was heavily used, and touted everywhere. The processor is great, compared to an i3, and I'm usually able to multitask with sometimes 10 tabs, music playing, 4 documents, and an excel sheet opened. This also came with Windows 7 at the time, and while the Windows 8 is all fancy and touch-screen compatible, I like to come back to the basics at times with Windows 7. Gateway also has alot less bloatware than other brands, say HP, so you won't have to spend time perusing and deleting programs you never even installed or needed.

Cons: Speakers!! These shouldn't even be called speakers, since the highest volume is barely a whisper. I guess the reason they skimped on the sound quality is to be able to pack the i5 processor in a $400 price tag, but listening to it without headphones has been miserable.

This laptop is also obviously not as aesthetically pleasing as all the newer, sleeker, 2-in-1 models now out there. It is pretty hefty at close to 5lbs, so carrying it all day is a workout. Also, the material for the laptop is cheap, since I can't ever move the screen or the laptop as a whole without hearing plastic creaking.

However, despite the appearance and sound of this model, I still depend on this laptop alot, since it functions well for the more important tasks, and thought it was great it was on sale back then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
I paid a bit too much for it, $540.00, but it's a very good computer and I would recommend it highly.
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on August 10, 2013
Great pc... Wish it had blue tooth it never said it had usb 3.0.... It always said it had 3 usb ports... No problems
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on August 18, 2012
For a 15 inch notebook, this only weighs 5.65 lbs which is really light for its size. I upgraded from a 14 inch 4.65 lb notebook and the difference is significant but not too bad. I have a bad back but when I carry it to school I don't feel that its too heavy. I can definitely feel it there but its really not bad. Its still this light even though it has an optical drive with it which my previous notebook didn't. Not bluray though..

The keyboard is unique because its similar to mac where you can see a little bit of the metal casing between the keys (like a chiclet keyboard).

The touchpad buttons are a little annoying because you have to put a lot of pressure to press. The side of the touchpad has little arrow markings for scrolling. You just slide your finger up to scroll up and vice versa.

The thickness of this thing is amazingly thin at around 0.85 inches. Everything but the screen is nice and matte although its not necessarily the coolest design around.

This thing is really quiet (at least from what I'm used to anyway). You can barely hear it most of the time. The keyboards are a bit loud though but I think most laptops are like that. It stays cool and you can put it on your lap. It won't scald you but it will feel a little warm.

This is really fast. I was planning on putting in an SSD but I really don't think its necessary because its really fast. Boot time is under 30 seconds. Haven't really timed it yet but its really fast.

Screen is nice and big. Its glossy so it has better colors but don't use it against the light because all you will see is your reflection and glare. Might work with a very light background though..

No problems watching HD videos on youtube. Nice and smooth. Don't know about gaming because I don't really do games.. I'm horrible and I always die in the first stage. I do use adobe light room and it runs quite smoothly.

Lack of bluetooth may be a deal breaker for some.. Sheesh every laptop should have bluetooth. You can buy one of those USB bluetooth devices but I hate that I have to.
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on February 9, 2012
I like my laptop except for 2 things. The speakers are pretty quiet and the keys on the keyboard are flat so it is easy to hit the wrong keys.
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