In this article we have a look at one of Gateway’s recent laptops that was launched earlier this year. What makes this model interesting is that Acer’s sub-brand has managed to fit a 14-inch widescreen display in the chassis of a 13-inch notebook. Priced at $699.99, this an affordable which is more portable in comparison to other similarly priced models since it measures 9 x 13 x 1.1 inches (H x W x D) and it weighs just 4.4 pounds.
Aside for the small package in which it comes, the Gateway ID47H07u is full of features, including Intel’s Wi-Di technology and a USB 3.0 port. If you haven’t heard about the Wireless Display technology developed by Intel, it allows you to stream various types of content to an HDTV without having to connect these two devices with an HDMI cable. However, what you will need instead is a compatible adapter for the TV which will cost you about $100. One fine example of an adapter is the Netgear Push2TV. This technology along with an Intel Core i5 processor are the two features which differentiate this model from the Gateway ID47H02u which has just about the same price tag.
The Gateway ID47H07u comes with a very nice lid made from an aluminum alloy, while the keyboard deck is made from the same material and it houses island-style keys. Despite the fact that this isn’t a backlit keyboard, you will certainly appreciate it as it’s not only very precise while you are typing but it’s also smooth. However, there is something a bit strange concerning this keyboard as the Page Up, Page Down, Home and End keys are doubled up on the cursor arrows because instead of those dedicated buttons which you’ll find on most laptops, Gateway wanted to install keys for controlling the volume, social network and muting the laptop. The social network button will fire up YouTube, Facebook or Flickr.
The touchpad of the Gateway ID47H07u has a decent size and it incorporates the buttons in the left and right corners of the pad, rather than coming with separate left and right mouse buttons. If you have read the reviews we’ve made with other laptops that have a clickpad, you remember that we usually are not big fans of this configuration, but in this case it works very well. The bad news is that the plastic coating of the touchpad offers a bit too much finger resistance but after the while you will probably get used to it. As a general rule, it’s better for a touchpad to offer more finger resistance rather than being too sensitive because with the latter it leads to accidental cursor movements which can get very annoying right away.
This Gateway ID47H07u has been equipped with a 14-inch screen that has the usual resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels or some of you may know it as 720p. This is the standard resolution among the laptops that have a screen at up to 15.6 inches, but on more premium (more expensive) laptops the screen can have a higher resolution. For the money you’re paying for this laptop, the 720p resolution is decent but keep in mind that you don’t get a lot of vertical space. The good news is that the display manages to provide vivid colors and the text is sufficiently crisp.
Above the keyboard of this Gateway laptop you’ll notice the inscription “professionally tuned” which refers to the speakers that work in combination with the Dolby Home Theater software, managing to pump a sufficiently loud volume, with a decent quality but as you would expect, without a noticeable amount of bass.
Let’s move on with our Gateway ID47H07u review and have a quick look at the features available on this 14-inch laptop. Let’s start with the right side where you will have access to the dual layer DVD optical burner so you don’t get Blu-ray but this is understandable taking into consideration the affordable price. Also on that side is a USB 3.0 port, as well as the Ethernet port. The left spine is home to two additional USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA ports, along with the usual headphone and microphone jacks. The front edge of the laptop is occupied by the multi-format memory card reader.
Aside from offering support for the aforementioned Wi-Di, the Gateway ID47H07u comes with 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, but the bad news is that it lacks support for WiMAX which some similar models can offer.
At the heart of this notebook is a dual core, four thread Intel Core i5-2430M processor that is from the Sandy Bridge platform and has a clock speed of 2.40 GHz. It is the exact same processor that powers the Toshiba P745-S4320 and the Sony VPC-EG27FM/W. The laptop has been configured with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a decent 500GB SATA HDD spinning at a speed of 5,400 rpm. On this hard drive you are going to find a 60-day trial of Norton Internet Security, as well as the Starter version of Microsoft Office 2010.
We end our Sony VPC-EG27FM/W review by talking about its non-removable battery which remains sealed within the case of the system, just like on most ultrabooks and also the MacBook Air laptops from Apple. This configuration will prevent you from carrying a spare battery or replacing the original one in case its start to tire with age, which it will certainly do after a year and a half or so. To prolong the life of the battery it is recommended that you charge it up to an 80% level and recharge it when it goes down to about 30%. The bad news is that since it will be connected to the notebook at all times, it will start dying faster since on the laptops that have a removable battery you have the possibility of taking it off in case you don’t plan on using it for a while.
Anyway, the battery in this Gateway ID47H07u should provide enough juice for approximately seven and a half hours, which is a good performance coming from a compact laptop that doesn’t have a bulky battery, but we still can’t get pass the fact that the user is not able to remove it.