on October 28, 2012
So I decided I would do a review on here even though I didn't purchase this product from Amazon.
I bought this computer from Fry's Electronics today for significantly less than advertised on Amazon or anywhere else for that matter. I picked it up for $315.00 USD with tax, so it seems like I got a really good deal.
I'm very impressed with the overall feel and use of the computer, 4 Gigs of ram is a huge plus. The 500 GB drive is great for all the music and video storage needs of today.
Seems like it has good battery life so far, not so sure about the 4.5 hours as advertised, I would say it's more along the lines of 3.5 but it all depends on what you do with your computer. Still, I can't complain! The only downside is that it's a Windows 8 machine and windows 8 is designed for touch screen, which this computer does not have. Also, this computer does not include a windows or system restore cd, so if your computer crashes then you better have access to a windows cd or you're in trouble.
I would say shop around for the best price because they seem to vary from store to store.
The only downside is Windows 8..... I am not a fan so far of the Windows 8 system, it seems to be geared towards social media and not so much a easy to use operating system. If you have the patience to fight with the operating system changes and basically re-learn how to use windows then this is for you.
on January 8, 2013
Like a previous review I read, I bought my NE56R34u from fry's for $289. With tax it was around $320. I consider myself a knowledgeable person when it comes to computers and I did my homework on this one. I was looking for a PC with the new i3 processor for its multi processing capabilities but the B960 process incorporated in this laptop is the equivalent in overall performance. I am quite happy with the speed and with Windows 8. I wan not so sure that I was going to be able to adapt to the new interface of Windows, but I really like it. I do plan on upgrading this PC to a max of 8gig ram to help with the processing power as I use the PC for Pro Tools, which is a pretty demanding piece of software. So far it handles the software pretty well. I am hoping that by upgrading the RAM some of the smaller glitches will go away.
I would definitely recommend this PC to anyone.
on April 30, 2013
This computer offers everything a computer 3 times the price can. My 18 year old daughter wanted a MacBook Pro. I was unwilling to spend that kind of money for a laptop so I did a lot of research and with the help of the many reviews I read from others who had purchased this laptop, I chose this one. Well, my daughter was dissapointed for a half a second because when she turned this one on she raved about how great it was and was even better than the Mac. The screen display was impressive and 2 months later and she still "loves it'! I never told her the price ;)
on April 17, 2013
I weighed this purchase heavily, looking up all reviews I could find. I'm glad a researched this item, and can tell you it's worth the investment. This laptop was a replacement for a $1000 plus one that quit on me. I am so pleased, it's working great. Windows 8 isn't any better or worse than any other Windows version I've tried.
on April 29, 2013
My daughter tells me the keys started to fall off the keyboard within two weeks of receiving it. The Geek Squad people told us this was a common problem for this laptop, so we returned it.
on November 7, 2012
First off, I paid $367 for this laptop including shipping in October 2012... so I'm not sure why it's listed at $40+ more expensive almost 1 1/2 years later (I'm updating/rewriting this review... February 2014). I got this laptop to replace my 4 year old Acer. I have not been impressed with Gateway, and Windows 8 is a pain in the @$$ (I realize this isn't Gateway's fault).
My 3 overall complaints:
1) The time on this thing is never right! Every time I let it sit and come back to it, usually over night, the time changes itself to 2 hours behind, and I have to change it back manually. Not really a major issue, but it is annoying and I'm not going to lie... it's had me thinking it's 2 hours earlier in the day than it actually is more than once.
2) The battery life isn't great. On a full battery just surfing the web/Facebooking, the battery lasts about 2 hours tops.
3) Start up has never been an easy task. I don't shut it down as often as I should, like overnight... I usually just close the lid and let it hibernate. It's always taken several minutes to wake up, and I have to type in my password 2-3 times due to the fact that it lags when typing it in. If the battery dies while I'm using it, for example, it takes another several minutes to get the screen to turn back on. Usually I end up having to hold down the on/off button to reboot, because pushing the space bar or the on/off button one time doesn't wake it up.
A year and a half ago this computer was an upgrade to my 4 year old Acer, that was so slow by that point I could barely get it to start up. But now, a year and a half later, I can clearly see that the Acer was a better computer in general. It took twice as much time to get to the point that this one is getting to already (slow and misbehaving, freezing a lot). If you're buying this for the Gateway brand, or if you've never tried a Gateway and are thinking about switching, I suggest researching other models instead of/on top of Gateway. I highly recommend Acer.
on August 20, 2013
It worked well for a few days, but then began shutting down at random times. I made sure all the power settings said never to shut down automatically. Gateway support suggested resetting the BIOS, which I did, but that didn't solve it. I had to send it back to them (and I paid the shipping, even though it failed after only a week!) They sent it back a week later, and the problem just occurred again yesterday (two weeks after we got it back.) I'm calling this a lemon.
After sending it back TWICE, the problem persists. Gateway refuses to refund or replace, even though the second time it was in for a repair they couldn't reproduce the problem. Amazon says that my window of opportunity to return the item expired. (Hey, I've been trying to get it repaired!!)
Third time's a charm, right? Maybe not.
The first time I sent it back they replaced the hard drive.
The second time I sent it back they couldn't reproduce the problem (they left it on for 24 hours), so they returned it with no changes.
The third time I sent it back they ... wait for it ... replaced the hard drive. Yes, the same thing that didn't fix the problem the first time. Folks, something is telling this computer to shut itself down and I'm pretty sure it's NOT the hard drive.
Have I mentioned that I'LL NEVER BUY ANOTHER GATEWAY PRODUCT AGAIN?
Final update: After the 4th return (this time they replaced the motherboard/CPU), we got it back on Friday, unpacked it Saturday, and within an hour it failed again. Back to Gateway's customer service to fill out a report. Monday I get an email from Gateway saying they can't process our request, and they give an 800 # to call. I call, give the serial # of our computer, and the automated service responds, "That's not an Acer product. We can't help you." (Acer bought Gateway and now handles their service.)
Fed up, I contacted Amazon. Their return policy says 30 days and we're way past that. I explained the situation, pointed out that I've bought a lot of technology through Amazon, and said that if I didn't get satisfaction out of this situation that I would never buy another computer or expensive item from Amazon again.
Within two hours I received a reply from Amazon saying that although it's against their policy, they would grant an exception in this case. They even sent me a free shipping label so I could return the computer to Amazon and get a full refund.
So kudos to Amazon.com for still caring about its customers (even if all they were responding to was a threat), and a one-finger salute to Gateway/Acer for making crappy products and providing even worse customer service.
on February 18, 2013
When my latest desktop computer died, I decided to join the 21st century and buy a laptop. Expecting to pay twice as much, I was very pleasantly suprised to find this Gateway priced under $350, and I have yet to find anything it can't do. The computer recognizes almost all my peripherals and finds drivers for them automatically. Internet access is easy and fast. The 450 GB of usable hard disk space is larger than my previous drive plus 2 backup drives combined. Very acceptable screen size and very lightweight. Runs cool enough to keep in my lap without any discomfort. The built-in DVD player recognizes and plays all my DVDs and CDs, even the homemade ones, and automatically displays the closed captioning for us deaf guys. I have always kept it plugged in, so don't know about battery life yet. Would have been nice to get Microsoft Office suite, but I was able to load an old version of Office XP that I had purchased a few years ago. I preferred the older versions of Windows Media Player, but that's not the computer's fault. Not a big fan of Windows 8, but getting used to it - took me a while to configure my desktop to look like my old one. And I uninstalled a lot of the prepackaged software tools, utilities and links. The installed pdf reader is literally useless, but it's easy to download a free one from Adobe. Only nuisance is the DVD door - it is right where I pick it up, so always popping it open accidentally. Only had it a few weeks, but so far, best computer I have ever owned.
on February 4, 2013
I am unsure as to if I am just unlucky and have a poor wireless chipset or if there is something more amiss. The wireless browsing of the internet is slow at best. It often times out. By plugging in an ethernet cable it works just dandy. Despite my great knowledge of these little babies if a hardened developer cannot get the wifi to work there is either.
1) bad chipset ( mine is the broadcom one)
2) missing firmware update.
I have contacted Gateway and am awaiting a response. But I expect that I will have to return this laptop and seek out another for my daughter.
I never did return this item. Gateway gave me the run around , restore to factory defaults, stand on one leg and hop up and down whilst chanting I shall not complain. None of their suggestions worked. As for myself I will never buy from Gateway again and nor will the company I work for. There has to be some upside to working in IT and not supporting gateway is one of them.
Do not buy this model.
update Nov 1st 2013
even with new windows 8.1 updates , no wifi
this really is so upsetting.
on December 27, 2012
I bought this for my girlfriend for Christmas, but not through Amazon. I only paid $290 for it, and luckily it had Windows 7 instead of 8. Also it came with 3 GB of RAM instead of 4; it's still fast enough for HER, but not for me. The boot time is right at a minute, which is OK. It takes our Getacs with i7 processors 55 seconds, by way of comparison. I am upgrading it to 8 gigs soon, so I will let you know how quickly it boots then...if I remember, that is.
This is a solidly built laptop with a glossy black finish. It looks good, the screen is huge, and it blessedly has the 10-key number pad, which my $1,200 work laptop lacks for some reason...No backlit keys, but really, who needs them? The speakers are cookie-cutter laptop, meaning they suck. But for $10 one can go down to the nearest electronics retailer and buy some peripheral speakers. The screen itself is great. The viewing angles are huge, which is helped by the LCD being backed by LEDs.
I am a processor snob and vastly prefer AMD processors, but this little dual core Intel is fast, especially given the underwhelming 3 GB of RAM that came with it. It does have a ton of "bloatware" on it, which I immediately took off using CCleaner. No need to format and do a clean install, in my humble opinion. I had a time getting the Gateway Backup application to work, so I had to use Windows Backup for the rescue disks. It froze on the last disk anyway, and I tried hard closing it in Task Manager, that did not work, but it finished anyway. I don't know if the 4th disk worked correctly, so I must do it again. I am not a fan of Norton (Symantec) and I got rid of that as well. Try uninstalling Norton and you'll understand why I don't like it. It takes more than one try to get rid of it.
It definitely needs a chill pad as any laptop does, but all around it was a very good deal. I seriously doubt that it will serve as a serious gaming laptop, but neither would my work laptop that sports an i5 processor. I don't get the consumer/manufacturer love affair with those processors, as they are much slower than my 2 year-old, non-modded A6 quad core. Even the i7, which we have on our military grade laptops, doesn't impress me. IMO, Intels are as overrated as Mac products, which have failed to awe me, especially to justify spending 4 times what I paid for this one.
I will answer any questions, unless they are Windows 8 questions. The only experience I have with it is when I was shopping for THIS laptop.