The Bottom Line
- Very Fast 3D Graphics
- Can Burn Labels To LabelFlash Media
- Better Than Average Battery Life
- Performance Lags Behind New Core i5 Systems
- Could Use Higher Resolution Display
- Heavier Than Average 17-inch Laptop
- Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With LabelFlash
- 17" WXGA+ (1440x900) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M Graphics With 1GB Memory
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, eSATA, FireWire, HDMI, ExpressCard/54, 5-in-1 Reader
- 15.8" x 11.8" x 1.7" @ 9.1 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, Power2Go, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Gateway P-7908u FX 17-inch Desktop Replacemet Laptop
Jan 22 2010 - Gateway's P series laptops have been on the market for some time and have gone through a number of internal revisions. The latest makes a few updates to storage and graphics but relies on the tested Core 2 Duo P8700 processor. This is a good processor but it is starting to show its age especially with the new Core i5 processors that offer higher performance and better power consumption. It is plenty of performance for handling gaming but it won't quite match up to newer systems for intensive tasks like desktop video editing.
Since the Gateway P-7908u FX is geared towards gamers, graphics are a critical component. The graphics processor itself is actually quite strong. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M with 1GB of memory provides a very capable platform for PC gaming. This could easily power games up to a 1920x1200 resolution. The problem is the 17-inch LCD panel only features a 1440x900 resolution that is much lower than the graphics processor is capable of. Sure, this means that anti-alias levels can be run really high but many gamers would like to see a higher resolution. Thankfully there is an HDMI output for use with an external display.
Storage on the P-7908u FX has been upgraded from past versions. Now it comes equipped with a very large 500GB hard drive that spins at the 7200rpm desktop rate. This provides it with very fast performance in addition to lots of space. It only comes equipped with a dual-layer DVD burner rather than a Blu-ray compatible drives. This isn't so much of an issue since the display couldn't handle 1080p video anyways. The drive does support burning labels directly to LabelFlash compatible media which is an added bonus.
One advantage that the Gateway P-7908u has over many desktop replacements is battery life. The nine cell battery provides just below three hours of DVD playback before running out of juice. More typical usage will get slightly more than three and a half hours. Gaming on the go will be below three hours due to heavy power consumption. A downside to this is the battery pack that does stick out from the back hinge of the laptop.
Overall, gamers on a tight budget looking for a laptop may be well served by the relatively good price on the P-7908u. The low cost does have the compromises in a lower resolution display and older Core 2 Duo processor. Those looking for a more general purpose desktop replacement would be better served by a newer Core i5 based system which offers higher general performance.