The Bottom Line
Jan 5 2012 - The spec sheet for the Gateway NV75S17u may make it seem like a high end desktop replacement laptop but its price under $650 is much more telling. In terms of a budget 17-inch system, it has some good points to it including a quad core processor, improved integrated graphics and a Blu-ray compatible drive. This makes it a good option for those that want an affordable laptop with a large display. They are a number of downsides to it that make it a bit disappointing though. This includes a display that won't do full HD video resolutions and peripheral ports that will limit the effectiveness of external expansion. Still, it is very affordable option for those looking at a low cost media laptop.
- Very Affordable
- Blu-ray Compatible Drive
- Better Integrated Graphics System
- Display Doesn't Support Full HD Resolutions
- Lacks USB 3.0 or eSATA Peripheral Ports
- Lots Of Trialware
- AMD A8-3500M Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader And Dual Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 6620G Integrated Graphics Processor
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.3" x 10.8" x 1.4" @ 7.3 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Gateway NV75S17u
Jan 5 2012 - Gateway has been heavily focusing on budget class laptops in the past few years since it has been acquired by Acer. The NV75S17u is just another in many low cost 17-inch laptops with a very affordable price of under $650. It achieves this by opting to use the AMD Fusion platform that consolidates features into fewer parts to keep overall costs down. For this desktop replacement class system, they chose to use the quad core A8-3500M that falls in the middle of the AMD quad core A series processor lineup. Performance wise, it falls well behind the Intel quad core mobile processors for demanding tasks but it does quite well with general purpose tasks and those that want to multitask average productivity programs. For its price, it certainly does a good job.
The one really bright spot in terms of features on the Gateway NV75S17u is the addition of a Blu-ray compatible drive. This allows the laptop to be used as a mobile Blu-ray movie player either via the laptop itself or attached to an HDTV via the HDMI port. The drive can also handle playback and recording of DVD and CD media. Storage space for applications, data and media files is also quite good thanks to a decently sized 640GB hard drive that is still the size found in most laptops almost twice its price. It does spin at the more traditional 5400rpm rate which gives it modest performance compared to those that use 7200rpm drives. The big disappointment is the lack of the high speed peripheral ports used for high speed external storage. It would be nice to see either USB 3.0 or eSATA on this laptop to give it a bit more external expansion capabilities.
The 17.3-inch display of the Gateway NC75S17u is nothing special. It uses your typical TN panel that offers decent but not outstanding colors or viewing angles. It uses a glossy coating that is typical of most consumer laptops these days. The resolution is decent for its price at 1600x900 but it is disappointing that it can't reach a full 1080p high definition resolution for supporting Blu-ray movies as best as it can. The graphics system is integrated using the AMD Fusion design. For this processor, it comes matched up with the AMD Radeon HD 6620G which is certainly a step above what Intel has to offer with its Intel HD Graphics. For one, it has full Direct X 11 support and better overall 3D performance but you still wouldn't want to use it for more than casual PC gaming at lower resolutions and detail levels. What it does do is offer a bit more when it comes to using it with non-3D applications such as Photoshop.
Batteries can also be very expensive for manufacturers to put into a laptop. This is another area where Gateway seems to be cutting costs a bit. Rather than using an eight or nine cell battery pack, it comes with a six cell version with a relatively low 4000mA capacity rating. Now, this is not an uncommon battery size in models that are looking to reduce weight but this laptop weighs a pretty hefty 7.3 lbs. compared to others such as the Samsung RF711 that weighs nearly a pound less. In DVD playback tests, the system was able to run for just over three hours before going into standby mode. Blu-ray playback will yield around two hours as it is more demanding. This is a bit below average but considering the cost is not a huge tradeoff.
As with most Gateway and Acer systems in the past year, the NV75S17u is plagued with a large amount of trialware applications that come preloaded on the system. While these don't take up much of the storage space compared to the days when hard drives were much smaller, they still can adversely affect the overall performance of the system particularly when a system boots up. Buyers should take some time after the purchase to remove any unwanted programs to try and boost the boo times.