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Gateway NV73A10u 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

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Gateway NV73A10u 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement

Gateway NV73A

©Gateway

The Bottom Line

Jul 15 2010 - At just $800, the Gateway NV73A10u is a pretty amazing value. While the performance isn't going to be earth shattering, the AMD processor is able to keep up with similarly priced Intel models. Unlike the Intel laptops, it comes with a well performing 3D graphics processor. To keep the costs down though, the battery life does suffer as does ports for peripheral expansion.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Performance That Meets Or Exceeds Intel Core i3
  • Strong 3D Graphics Processor

Cons

  • Below Average Battery Life
  • Could Use More Peripheral Ports Like eSATA And FireWire

Description

  • AMD Phenom II X3 N830 Triple Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • ATI Radeon Mobility Radeon HD 5650 Graphics With 1GB Memory
  • 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" @ 7.5 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, PowerDVD, Nero, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Gateway NV73A10u 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC

Jul 15 2010 - Gateway's NV73A uses an AMD based platform rather than the more popular Intel one. The NV73A10u model comes with the new AMD Phenom II X3 N830 triple core mobile processor. In terms of performance, the closest Intel processor would be the Core i3 mobile series. In most tasks, the Phenom processor keeps pace well with Intel platforms. The extra core does benefit the Gateway laptop in certain tasks that utilize multiple cores such as desktop video. The 4GB of DDR memory also has a faster throughput than Intel's memory controller which helps it out on occasions.

Storage features on the Gateway NV73A10u are typical of most desktop replacements that fall under $1000. Data storage is achieved with a sizable 500GB hard drive that provides plenty of space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at a slower 5400rpm rate compared to laptops with 7200rpm rate drives. This does slow down data access somewhat but it probably won't be a big issue for many users. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs and DVDs./

The display on the NV73A10u uses a 17.3-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and modest 1600x900 resolution. This is a nice step up from many budget oriented laptops with large screens that use lower resolutions. The screen still can't quite reach 1080p high definition video support but it is a nice balance. The screen is bright and colorful but does have a slight color dropoff when viewed slightly off the vertical angles. The surprising aspect is the ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5650 graphics processor. This is a fairly high end processor to be found in a $800 laptop. It should provide the system with sufficient performance to play most modern PC games up to the full native screen resolution.

While the performance and graphics are overall quite good for the Gateway NV73A10u, the battery life falls a bit short. Rather than using a larger battery pack, Gateway elected to use a six cell battery that helps keep the system relatively slim. In my DVD playback test, the system was able to run just over one and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. This falls short of many other desktop replacements on the market that typically last two and a half to three hours. Of course, more typical usage should yield two and a half to three hours.

Gateway's NV73A uses a relatively newer design layout that is slimmer than typical desktop replacement class laptops. the wavy patterned case and palmrests do a good job of keeping fingerprints and and smudges to a minimum. Unfortunately, Gateway has opted to use a minimal number of peripheral ports. It does feature HDMI but it lacks items such as eSATA, FireWire or an ExpressCard slot. Still, these items are frequently dropped from more budget oriented laptops.

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