Gateway - Netbook with AMD Athlon™ Processor - NightSky Black
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- Energy Star CompatibleYes
- Color CategoryBlack
- Processor BrandAMD
- Type of Memory (RAM)DDR2 SDRAM
- Optical DriveNone
- Direct-Disc LabelingNo
- Digital Media Reader or SlotsYes, digital media card reader
- Built-in WebcamYes
- Wireless NetworkingWireless-B+G
- AudioHigh-definition support
- SpeakersBuilt-in stereo
- Laptop WeightUltraportable (5.5 lbs. or less)
- Pointing DeviceMultigesture touchpad
- HDMI OutputNo
- Blu-ray PlayerNo
- Included SoftwareMicrosoft Money Essentials 2007, Adobe Reader 9 and more
- ENERGY STAR QualifiedYes
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 90 reviews(90 Reviews)
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Prove you that this can upgrade from 2GB to 4GBPosted .
thats true about Reviews saying this can upgrade from 2GB to 4GB RAM.. here site is http://forum.notebookreview.com/showpost.php?p=5135994&postcount=204 , there you goI would recommend this to a friend
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Fantastic, classy netbook, but needs TLC at firstPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
This is a really fantastic netbook, especially with the AMD/ATI chipset! It knocks the socks off other netbooks with the typical, slow-as-molasses Intel Atom processor. I don't expect any netbook to be a speed demon, but after my experience with my previous Intel Atom equipped netbook, this netbook has made me expect a bit more from this niche of the market. I'm very picky when I purchase PCs and peripherals, and especially at this price point, the appearance and build quality blew me away when I took it out of the box! It looks really classy and lacks the "blingtastic" and/or overly plastic qualities that so many other PCs on the market today have. I wouldn't be embarrassed to use it in a professional setting. I was also impressed that the amount of bloatware included on the Vista Basic preinstallation was pretty minimal, and everything I didn't want to keep uninstalled easily from the Programs and Features control panel. However, not everything about the preinstallation was great, especially in regards to the Synaptics touchpad driver that's installed as well as the Gateway Recovery Management software that you need to use in order to create recovery discs in the event your PC crashes catastrophically in the future. In order to save yourself the countless hours of experimentation I went through in order to rectify issues caused by the preinstallation, make sure you do the following upon receiving yours: * With the preinstalled touchpad driver (188.8.131.52), after you type on the keyboard, the mouse cursor becomes immobile for a full second before you can regain control of it. This gets very annoying, very quickly, and no tweaking of control panel settings corrects this issue. It's also the same driver version posted on the Gateway LT31 Series support site, so downloading an update from Gateway won't help. If you download the generic driver (10.1.8) directly from the Synaptics website, this quirk goes away but creates another equally annoying one - random phantom scrolling in all applications, even when you're not touching the trackpad! Thankfully, I found another version (10.2.4) on Gateway's support site by searching for keyword "Synaptics," and both quirks have gone away with this driver. Save yourself lots of headaches by downloading and installing this version of the driver as soon as you boot up for the first time! * I spent many infuriating hours trying to create recovery CDs using the Gateway Recovery Management application that comes preinstalled. Every single time, I'd get through the first of two DVDs, only to be told that the process failed. Again, it's all about the version. The version of the application that comes preinstalled, which I can't believe Gateway didn't test before releasing it to the masses, ends in .3005. The Gateway LT31 support site doesn't have an update (or even the .3005 version) available for download, but if you Google a bit, you'll find a version ending in .3008. Once I installed this version, the application was still a bit pokey, but I had no problems creating my set of recovery discs on the very first try. Again, save yourself lots of headaches and just get .3008 before you even attempt to create your recovery discs! Lastly, this isn't a huge deal to me since the Windows Vista Basic OS included seems to work just fine, but I initially tried to replace the Windows Vista Basic OS with Windows XP Professional since the Gateway LT31 support site offers XP drivers as well as Vista drivers for most of the installed components. This was just fine until I discovered that LCD auto-dimming - the annoying feature that makes your screen exceedingly dim the moment you disconnect the netbook from electrical power - is completely dependent on the power options that are a part of Windows Vista. In Windows XP, you have no choice but to put up with the auto-dimming feature and manually adjust your brightness every single time you switch from AC to DC power. Adjusting Windows power schemes, ATI PowerPlay settings (or deactivating PowerPlay completely), and even using the powercfg command line tool to shut off auto-dimming has absolutely no effect, and there are no settings in BIOS to shut this feature off unlike most other laptops I've used. If you can live with having to manually adjust your brightness all the time, XP will otherwise work fine for you, but if this is something that would eventually annoy you and you absolutely must use Windows XP, this is something to keep in mind.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Lo and Behold!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
I'm a writer. And as a constant user of mobile telecommunications equipment, I can tell you how difficult it has been to meet my telecommunications needs while traveling - both in the United States and abroad. That is until a couple of weeks ago when I asked a Best Buy clerk if there weren't such a thing as a broadband modem for my laptop that I could purchase and use - without signing up for an expensive contract. As if she were being watched, she carefully slid open the door to a back counter and revealed a shelf full of Virgin Mobile "Broadband2Go" USB modems. She said that I could use one of these without a contract and quickly slid the opaque door closed. Whoa! I said. What's in the fine print? Nothing - she said. Just buy it and use it; no strings attached. You can even buy time over the internet. I felt like Sir Galahad must have felt when he finally found the Holy Grail. It gets better. I only have to spend $10 to get ten days worth of connection time (or 100Mbytes). And not spend a whole lot more if I want longer times or more Megabytes. My problem was not entirely solved, however. I still had to lug around my laptop: > 4 pounds not including the power supply and all the wires and gadgetry. I normally need an extra bag just for it. All the stuff ends up weighing 10-12 pounds - including bag - when fully provisioned - and needs its own wheels. Not to mention the battery life: I won't So I had been looking at the new PDA/cell phones - none of which comes close to the capabilities of my old Samsung ip830w with a Sprint connection. But I can't possibly write articles on those devices, so I looked at the netbooks with 10 inch screens running XP (huh?) and with keyboards not much bigger than those on the PDAs, and screens with pixels rationed out as if they were sugar granules during the London blitz, and using a CPU that has been panned by every reviewer on the planet. But - Lo and Behold! - another miracle at Best Buy. Sitting next to the scrawny netbooks was a brand new Gateway LT31 Netbook. They had just put it on the shelf. Real keyboard; real screen (11.6 in. and 1366x768 pixels); real OS (Vista 'homeboy' package: note: I realize that some people don't like Vista: I find it no better or no worse than all the other OSs I've been suffering through for the past 30 years - Unix and its scions included); an AMD 32/64 processor; half the weight of my laptop; two-thirds the surface area, and only half as thick. I can carry it easily in my briefcase or knapsack: with the power supply. AND - I plugged in an external DVD drive (an LG Slim, also from Best Buy) which sucks power from the USB port - didn't even faze the LT! The standard battery keeps the LT alive for almost 5 hours! The 250 GB hard drive has more data storage than my 15" hp "laptop." Finally - I can now travel ANYWHERE Sprint has a signal in the US (Virgin Mobile uses Sprint towers) - no longer dependent on the whimsies and inherent dangers of wireless - with the gear that I need to get the job done, and not be charged for or lug an extra bag in the process. On to "Alice" from Telecom Italia!
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
The most powerful netbook on the marketPosted .I would recommend this to a friend
I have over 6 netbooks in my arsenal. They include the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, 1008HA, the 1005HA, HP Mini 1000, Dell Inspiron Mini 10, and now this Gateway netbook. I luckily hold a job title where I can upgrade my netbooks on a constant basis but this Gateway was a personal purchase. It is the most powerful netbook on the market. The 1.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 processor is more powerful than the Atom N270 (1.6GHz), Atom N280 (1.66GHz), or the lower power consumption Atom in the Dell Inspiron Mini 10. The reason for this is that the AMD processor has a higher FSB speed and different processor architecture. This netbook is easily the best value for the price. $399 seems to be the norm these days when it comes to netbook prices. This is the only netbook that will give you 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive for that price. It also comes equipped with the (current) most powerful GPU in a netbook as well (this may change when the nvidia ION platform is released). I have not had any issues playing 1080p mpeg-4 AVC content (with 5.1 256kbps AAC audio and a video bitrate of around 10Mbps). This will drastically reduce the battery life (on a single charge). However, this is a feat that other Atom-GMA950 netbooks just can't pull off. HD videos look great on the LED LCD. It has a higher resolution than most other 10" and 11" netbooks. A resolution of 1336X768 makes for a better experience when browsing the internet and watching 720p videos. I have owned this netbook for a total of one week. I installed the 64-bit version of Windows 7 RC on it the first day I took it home. The OS runs extremely smooth as it is able to take advantage of the netbook platform more so than the sluggish Windows Vista (which comes pre-installed). I am not sure what the maximum amount of RAM that this netbook can support but I am hoping that a 4GB stick will work due to the use of a 64-bit OS. The multi-touch touchpad is also pretty accurate. I think that the touchpad on the Asus Eee PC 1005HA is better but the Gateway's touchpad is more accurate (and doesn't have a large delay) than the Dell Inspiron Mini 10's. They keyboard is sturdy and feels like traditional notebook keyboards. I prefer the island chicle styled keyboard but this one works just as good. My complaints about this netbook are as follows: short battery life, the battery sticks out the back, no bluetooth, and it includes a low resolution webcam. I am able to get 5 hours of real world usage out of the battery. This is with the screen backlight set to 60% and browsing the internet over wi-fi. This is also while running Windows 7, Windows Vista Home Basic would continually give me approximately 4.5 hours of real world usage. 5 hours just doesn't cut it these days especially since Asus is offering $400 units that can go for 9-10 hours without needing to be recharged. Unsightly batteries that stick out of the back of netbooks are becoming a trend of the past. Asus' 1005HA and 1008HA are aesthetically pleasing in that their batteries are flush with the units. The lack of bluetooth isn't killer for me but it is a standard feature of many netbooks. I don't know why Best Buy continues to sell netbooks without bluetooth. Lastly, a 0.3 MP webcam is low resolution especially since Asus is offering 1.3 MP webcams. I know that HP and other brands still use 0.3 MP and it is fine. However, 1.3 MP is the standard. All-in-all, this is my netbook of choice. I suggest that people purchase an external battery for it though since 4-5 hours may not be enough time. The AMD processor and ATI GPU are nice but they aren't as efficient as the Atom-GMA950 combination. Still, it is the only netbook on the market that can playback 1080p video content without issues. I can also easily playback 720p iTunes Store videos. Atom-GMA950 netbooks just can't do this, they can barely playback 720p WMV content. The Gateway netbook is solid, runs Windows 7 (it is not the basic version either), had a high quality screen, a powerful (for the netbook platform) CPU and GPU, a and nice multi-touch touchpad. So I suggest that people look into purchasing an external battery if they want more than 5 hours of time on a single charge (I have an external battery and am able to get 11 hours of real world usage). I also suggest that people purchase Best Buy's extended warranty if they don't want to deal with Gateway's terrible support (which I believe is being handled by Acer, they were the ones who made this netbook).
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Very Good Netbook!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
I was looking to upgrade my 10.1" inch Samsung netbook to something just a tab bit larger. I wanted to keep it portable, but needed a bit more screen and keyboard size. I actually ordered the 12.1" Samsung NC20 and was waiting for it to arrive in the mail from Amazon when I spied this little beauty at BestBuy. After testing out the Gateway, I immediately returned the Samsung, which was larger, bulkier (is that a word?) and more costly. Let me just say that the Samsung netbook is a well built and well-performing little machine, so I wanted something that would perform comparably or better. The specs on the Gateway LT31 immediately caught my attention. For $399 (Samsung NC20 was $509.99) it came with 2GB vs. 1GB standard in Netbooks; a 250GB HD vs. 160GB or less standard in netbooks; and a 1366x768 res screen. Great value for the money! And it's an 11.6". Larger than the standard netbook, but perfect in that you get more screen and keyboard real estate but still keep the light, portability factor (only 2lbs). Overall Function: I think the Gateway performs very, very well...that is, now that I've removed VISTA BASIC! Who's idea was it to load Vista on a netbook? Vista made this netbook run slow and sluggish. The internet crawled along so bad that I almost returned the netbook to BestBuy b/c it was unbearable! I read a review by another person, as well as watched a Youtube review both recommending changing the OS to either XP or Widows 7. So I decided to install Windows 7 RC. It's like having a brand new system! It was great! And RC is a test version of Ultimate! If you're going to get this unit, I highly recommend doing this, or downgrading to XP if you can stomach the process. Vista just doesn't work. BUT BE SURE TO DO A FULL SYSTEM BACK AND MAKE RECOVERY DISCS BEFORE HAND JUST IN CASE! As others have stated, I find that Youtube and other web based videos stream and play well, particularly on higher bandwidths (which may be stating the obvious). I don't have a problen with the webcam, as others have taken issue with it. The on screen quality is fine (better than some of the 1.3 mp cams on other netbooks, including my Samsung). I guess if you're planning to print out stills, then yes, you'll be disappointed in the 0.3. But on screen messaging through things like Skype have been more than sufficient. I've gotten about 3.5 hours of battery life with the system set to optimize high performance. I would imagine if I bumped the settings down I would get about 5 hours. This may be low compared to most netbooks out there, but you have to take into account you're getting a processor that's more powerful than the Atom, and in general a larger unit. And if you're running Vista, it will require more system resources. One minor issue is that the system can run a little hot. It's not anything extreme by any means, but noticeable as the air blowing from the vent on the upper left side gets warm. Something to consider but not a deal breaker by any means. The wireless works just fine in my experience. Although, I also have it tethered to my Blackberry. If I can't connect or don't want to pay to connect (Borders Books), I can run it through my phone and it works great! I found the track pad to be a bit stiff at first. But after playing with the settings I haven't had any issues with it. It's larger than the one on my Samsung NC10, and more responsive as well. I do wish it had two select buttons, but the single bar feels sturdy and works fine. Other Concerns: If you need Bluetooth, the Gateway LT31 does not have it. But that's easily remedied by buying a Bluetooth adapter. Also, the unit is a fingerprint showroom! Keep a soft cloth nearby if you're a fanatic like me and constantly want that sleek look all of the time. The build is sturdy and it's very attractive. You'll be more than happy to use it at work in meetings, for example. Overall: Great unit! Fits my needs perfectly and runs very well. I think it's the best netbook out there in terms of what you get for the money, overall performance, and overall form factor. It's a nice bridge between netbook and laptop. Not too big, not too small. It's JUST right!
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Ultimate ultra mobile/power PC w5.5 HR BATT LIFE!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
My first time writing a review because I have never been so excited and satisfied with a purchase from Best Buy for a long long time. This is a killer netbook/laptop cross over. A genre making/changing item to thats both affordable and powerful and just blasts the other netbooks to shame! I got this literally the week it first went on sale from Best Buy. I setup for my wife with Windows 7 ultimate RC. She's so happy she has become possive of it. Yes 5.5 hours while emailing, surfing and watching videos. Very light and keyboard is great even for my big clumsy hands. Quality is excellent and feels good to touch. Let me tell you YES you can watch Netflix on this! So awesome. However, netflix player must optmize streaming because youtube and hulu are OK but not great. And yes you can play Warcraft III and Starcraft and SimCity. For you techies: How To Setup PC for instant Recovery Vista Basic is OK but why settle? I wiped the harddrive and installed Windows 7 Ultimate RC. You might have to search for graphics drivers I forgot the site but I found it here on BestBuy site in the very first weeks reviews. Windows 7 run great on this machine along with rest of applications I installed. Downloaded and installed McAfee Site Advisor (free toolbar), OpenOffice 3.1 (free MS Office 2003/07 compatible suite), Avira Antivirus 2009, Lavasoft Ad-Aware 2009 Anniversary Edition, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 2009, ImgBurn and Paragon Drive Backup 9 - all freeware with top reviews by PC Pro and PC Plus. NOTE: At this point Install any non-trial software you've purchased and really use. Once you've updated Windows, Ad-Aware and Malware with latest security patches, (and any other isntalled applications) perform full system scans with Windows Defender and then independently with each of security software to prep for system recovery: 1- perform disk cleanup and defrag the hard drive and increase recycle bin size to 8-10%. 2- activate guest account to use for general web surfing - it is always safer using most restricted account when online and plus there's added benefit of automatically clearing out cookies and temp files when you log out. 3-setup non-administrator account WITH strong password (not same as email or bank login) for each home user - this is added measure to aid in preventing virus or maware from impacting entire system. 3 - turn on Windows System Restore, turn OFF remote activation 4- shrink the 250 GB partition and create a D: partition of say 40-50GB. 5- use Paragon Drive Backup (free edition) to backup a compressed copy of entire system partition and save as file to your D: partition NOTE: this may take an hour or so but so worth it 6- use Paragon Drive Backup to create a recovery boot USB or CD 7- use recovery boot USB or CD whenever you've messed up PC to restore your system in about 30-40 minutes. 8 -Allow for updates to system recovery backup by a- using Windows built in File Backup to automatically backup user files to D: partition b - perform full system recovery using boot USB or CD c - update Windows, sercurity software and applications d - run Paragon again to backup c: partition now updated with latest patches to system and applications. You can really customize a system with this netbook and its powerfully enough for some level of developer programming. So not just a surf and email kind of machine. So awesome and fun to use.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Best Of All The Current Netbooks!Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
Four months ago, i purchased a much cheaper netbook. Well, just 3 months later, the screen went black. Needless to say, i was now in the market for another one. I spent a month researching and, after doing so, i "pulled the trigger" on this one! Boy am I glad I did! The quality of this machine is outstanding! Everything including the screen, keyboard, trackpad, and mouse buttons just feel very solid. The screen is awesome. I'm really enjoying the 11.6 inches of space and the HD resolution. Once you try it you will not want to go back to a 10 inch lower resolution screen. The keyboard is excellent. Again, it is very solid. It is a full size keyboard and the keys are big enough for my hands. It is very comfortable. I am a touch typist, and my accuracy has improved greatly on it when compared with my old netbook with its cramped keyboard. The AMD Athlon 64 processor runs much faster than the Intel Atom. It also has 2 GB of memory and it's own dedicated graphics card featuring ATI Radeon graphics. Don't get me wrong, you won't be able to do hardcore gaming on this. But it will allow you to play some older 3D games with medium settings without any slowdown. You can adjust the video card settings for even greater performance. Internet is fast using Firefox. I am able to watch Hulu and Youtube videos with no hiccups! Microsoft Office runs great! Skype runs well and the camera and mic are clear enough for my needs. Battery life is great considering everything on the machine. During normal use, (Internet, Word Processing, Skype, Hulu/Youtube), i average anywhere from 5 1/2 to 6 hours of battery life with the brightness turned down just a little. Plenty for my needs! I was concerned with the fact that it had Vista Home Basic as its operating system, but after the initial set up it runs good, although I'm sure it would run even better with Windows XP. The Best Buy associate told me that this thing was set up perfectly for Windows 7. I can't wait to try it when it is released! On the down side, it does run a bit warm. The fan runs the whole time it is on. It's not loud, but it is noticeable. It may be good to invest in a cooler. I also wish that the status lights were on the outside of the unit rather than inside, especially the battery indicator. You can't see it when the lid is closed. But this is just a minor gripe. Can't have it all, and I feel this machine's pros greatly outweigh the cons! Gateway definitely got this netbook right. It has received positive reviews from various sites. Overall, it is a great netbook and it really starts to blur the line between a netbook and a notebook!
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Simply outstanding....Posted .I would recommend this to a friend
If you are looking for a higher class netbook - look no further - this is it. I'll compare this briefly to the other Netbooks I currently own which include the HP 2133, HP 2140 HD (1366x768) Acer Aspire One 10.1", EeePC 1000HA and the Dell Mini 10... Performance: Simply outstanding compared to the Atom/Intel GMA offerings. Yes - with a few tweaks, 1080p videos play on this system without blocking, skips and stutters. Apple iTunes HD videos play in HD quality without skipping and/or stuttering. Further - HULU 480p and higher resolution videos play well (but those are also dependent upon your connection speeds, so a faster connection is a huge +). In short - where my other competitive netbooks lack the graphics horsepower - the Gateway delivers outstanding performance. Processing Power - Let's be honest, this is NOT a dedicated full power laptop, but it certainly blurs the line between "notebooks" (thin & light) and laptops. The Gateway Athlon 64 pushes this netbook into a new class. Graphic editing programs open and handle large TIFF images which won't leave you wondering if this "netbook" isn't really a "notebook". Gaming - Some games that are impossible on other netbooks - come to life on this Gateway product. While it won't handle something like CODWaW - it will handle previous versions and most early FPS gaming engines with great efficiency. Battery Life. I'm not having an issue with battery life as other reviewers have had? But - it may be an unfair comparision - as I'm dual booting XP Pro SP 3 and Windows 7. In fact, I found the factory preload of Vista Basic a little dodgy - so here is a suggestion: When you get this netbook - backup the system preload and Applications/Drivers. It will take about an hour and three DVD's. Next - wipe the Vista install and install your copy of XP. After the install, almost ALL the drivers from the Vista DVD you created will load under XP. The exception is the Atheros Wireless driver - which may take a bit of playing to get work by manually over-riding the XP default install (look for the correct driver by searching Atheros Wireless Driver Version: 184.108.40.206)... With either XP or Windows 7, I'm getting about 5 to 5.5 hours of battery life with wifi on and internet surfing... Overall - while a little larger than the HP 2140 and other netbooks - this Gateway is a winner and redefines the challenge to Gateways competitors. Hope this helps if you are trying to decide between this product and a boatload of others...