The Bottom Line
- Very Inexpensive
- Excellent Range of Connectivity Options
- HDMI External Graphics Output
- Large and Heavy for 15-inch Laptop
- Performance Not Quite Up to Par With Intel Based Laptops
- Lower Battery Life
- AMD Turion X2 RM-72 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 3GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With Label Flash
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Radeon HD 3200 Integrated Graphics
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- Four USB 2.0, HDMI, ExpressCard/54, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 15.2" x 10.4" x 1.7" @ 7.1 lbs
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit, Works, Power2Go, Norton 360
Guide Review - Gateway MD2601u 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC
Apr 14 2009 - Gateway's MD2601u is a very inexpensive version of their MD series laptops that can be found only at Best Buy retailers. The system is very different from many of Gateway's other offerings and even many other brand laptops because it uses the AMD Turion platform over the more popular Intel. This is probably the primary reason for the lower cost of the system but it also has the downside of slightly lower performance as well. Still, it provides enough performance for those looking to use the laptop for basic Internet usage, productivity software and media playback.
Outside of the AMD processor platform, much of the rest of the Gateway MD2061u is what one can expect to find in a budget laptop. Storage is pretty much average for this category with a 250GB hard drive and a dual layer DVD burner. The burner can burn labels to Label Flash compatible media, but this is quite difficult to find.
One area that the Gateway MD2601u does have an advantage over many other budget laptops is connectivity. Many laptops now are dropping built-in modems and scaling back the wireless versions supported. This laptop comes equipped with a modem and a wireless networking adapter is compatible with all of the currently approved wireless standards include 802.11a and the draft 802.11n standard.
The big problem with the Gateway MD2601u though is its relative size. With all the connectors packed into this system, it is larger and heavier than the average 15.6-inch laptop system. This makes the system less portable. Gateway also has a relatively small battery equipped in the unit that provides it with below average battery life.
Even with these drawbacks, the Gateway MD2601u is one of the most affordable budget laptops available.