The Bottom Line
Oct 19 2012 - Gateway's aging NV platform is certainly starting to feel like updating. The NV55S07u-6344G50Mnrk does offer a quad core AMD processor which gives it better than expected graphics and the numeric keypad is something that many 15-inch laptops are dropping these days. The problem is that is the battery life is below much of the Intel based laptops in this price range and it lacks a USB 3.0 port which some of the Gateway NV series has included in the past.
- Quad Core Processor Helps For Those That multitasking
- Numeric Keypad
- Below Average Battery Life
- Too Much Installed Software Slows System Down
- AMD A6-3400M Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 54000rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 6520G Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 15" x 10" x 1.3" @ 5.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Gateway NV55S07u-6344G50Mnrk
Oct 19 2012 - Gateway's NV55S07u-6344G50Mnrk takes an aging Gateway NV 15-inch laptop chassis and includes the AMD Fusion platform to produce a relatively affordable laptop computer that is priced around $500. For this laptop, the AMD A6-3400M quad core processor is used. This isn't going to compared directly to the Intel quad core mobile processors in terms of speed but it does offer a few advantages for those who heavily multitask compared to Intel's dual core Core i3 and Pentium processors. This combined with 4GB of DDR3 memory give it is smooth overall experience in Windows and should provide sufficient performance for the majority of computer users.
Storage features are typical of a budget laptop system. A 500GB hard drive provides a good amount of storage space for applications, data and media files. Performance of the drive is decent considering it has a 5400rpm spin rate but is slowed down for things like booting it up because of the large amount of preinstalled software including trialware. Removal of unwanted programs can speed up boot times. External expansion is a bit disappointing even though is has three USB ports, none of them use the new USB 3.0 for use with the latest high speed external drives., something that the Gateway NV57 did offer at times. A dual layer DVD burner is included for playback and recording of CD or DVD media.
One advantage that the AMD processor brings to the budget laptop segment is the graphics. While the Gateway NV55S07u still uses an integrated Radeon HD graphics built into the A6 processor, it provides a better overall level of 3D and non-3D performance than Intel's current options. It still isn't going to be a big PC gaming platform but it provides casual PC gaming at lower resolutions and detail levels. It also provides a broader range of support for non-3d acceleration than the Intel HD Graphics but it isn't quite as fast when it comes to video transcoding. The display for the laptop is also typical of most 15-inch laptops with a TN based panel that features a 1366x768 native resolution. It offers alright color but has limited overall viewing angles.
With the Gateway NV chassis having been on the market for a while, the keyboard design hasn't really changed. It still uses an isolated keyboard layout but with flat keys that are functional but not quite as comfortable as others. The keyboard does include a numeric keypad on the right hand side of the keyboard that is not quite as popular today with manufacturers as it once was which might be beneficial to some that want it. The trackpad is fairly large and centered on the spacebar which is nice since one's hands are shift away from center from the numeric keypad. The trackpad buttons use a rocker bar style though that aren't quite as responsive as individual buttons.
Like Gateway's other NV5 based laptops, this model comes with a six cell battery pack with a 4400mAH capacity rating that is on par with most 15-inch laptops. In digital video playback testing, this resulted in roughly three and a quarter hours of running time. This is a bit lower than most of the Intel based laptops but still not that far off. Of course, it trails far behind the HP Envy Sleekbook 6 which features a larger battery pack for six hours of running time. Conversely, it is just thirty minutes less than the Dell Inspiron 15R with its new Ivy Bridge processor with roughly the same size battery pack.