The Bottom Line
- Strong 3D Graphics For Price Range
- Slimmer Than Many Other 17-inch Laptops
- Relatively Small Battery
- Really Needs More Peripheral Ports
- Intel Core i5-460M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 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 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, Office Starter, PowerDVD, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Gateway NV79C50u 17.3-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jan 7 2011 - Gateway's NV79C50u is one of the company's Intel based version of their 17-inch laptop. This model comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-460M dual core mobile processor that offers a good amount of performance and the automatic overclocking feature that isn't found in the Core i3 processors. This combined with 4GB of DDR3 memory allow the system to run most applications with little problem.
Storage features on the NV79C50u are pretty typical of a budget oriented desktop replacement. It comes with a 500GB capacity hard drive that is fairly typical. Rather than a faster 7200rpm performance drive, it uses a slower 5400rpm drive that does impact the performance somewhat. A standard dual-layer DVD burner handles all playback and recording of CD and DVD media. For those wanting Blu-ray, there is a slightly more expensive NV79C51u but it is worth the upgrade if you want HD movie playback.
Like many newer 17-inch laptops, the Gateway NV79C uses a 17.3-inch panel that features a 1600x900 native resolution. This doesn't quite make it up to the full 1080p HD capability but for many it is probably just fine. The color is good but there is a noticeable drop off in color and brightness when viewing it off the vertical angles. The nice part of the NV79C50u is the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics processor. This is much more powerful than similarly laptops in the price range and allows the system to even be used for some PC gaming up to the panel's native resolution.
The design of the Gateway NV79C is identical to the previous NV79A which has its good and bad aspects. Most notable is that this is amount the slimmer desktop replacement laptops on the market. The hinge comes in under one and a half inches while many others are above this mark. The wavy design pattern of the lid helps keep fingerprints and smudges in check. It features an isolated keyboard design that comes with a full sized numeric keypad as well. Unfortunately the trackpad features a rocker style button bar that can be problematic. The big drawback though is the limited number of expansion ports. Many 17-inch laptops feature at least four USB ports while this one only has three and no FireWire or eSATA ports.
To keep the overall profile of the NV79C slimmer, Gateway uses a six cell battery pack with a fairly low 4400mAh capacity. This means that users will be trading a bit on portability for less running time. In DVD playback tests, the system was able to run for just one and three quarter hours before going into the standby mode. More typical usage should yield about two and a half hours and well short of Gateway's 3.6 hour claim.