The Bottom Line
Aug 30 2011 - Gateway has gone back to the roots of the netbook class laptops by providing an extremely affordable option. This will certainly attract those people looking to get a low cost option for compact connectivity. For the most part, it isn't all that different from most other netbooks but they did have to skimp in a few areas to keep the price low. In particular, the battery pack is smaller which means much lower running times. The keyboard is also not one of the nicer ones on the market. Still, if you live with these shortcomings, it may be tougher to find a better overall value.
- Very Affordable
- Dual Core Processor
- Better Than Average Audio
- Lower Running Time Due To Smaller Battery
- Keyboard Spacing Makes Difficult Typing For Those With Larger Fingers
- Intel Atom N570 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 10.1" WSVGA (1024x600) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel GMA 3150 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 10.2" x 7.3" x 1.4" @ 2.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Starter, Office Starter
Review - Gateway LT2805u
Aug 30 2011 - Netbooks were originally released to be extremely affordable computers. The earliest models didn't offer much but they did have price tags of around $200. Since then, the prices have crept up with the average netbooks coming in at or above $300. Gateway has stuck to the roots of being affordable with their LT2805u with a suggested retail price of just $270 and street pricing of under $250. This makes it one of the least expensive on the market.
Many of the less expensive netbooks available on the market will generally be based upon older technology. Typically, they are one or two revisions behind the latest models. Gateway keeps this model up to date by using the latest Intel Atom N570 dual core processor. Performance wise, it is a boost by hacing a second core, but in most cases it isn't all that much more powerful. Of course, most netbooks are constrained by their limited memory as forced by the licensing of Windows 7 Starter. The 1GB of DDR3 memory holds back programs much more than the cache of the processor. The result is typical netbook performance that will handle your basic computing tasks of the web, email, productivity and basic media just fine. Just don't expect to be multitasking much without upgrading the memory.
High definition media has always been the bane of the netbooks and it continues to be so here. The problem has to do with the limited performance of the processor as well as the Intel GMA 3150 graphics. There are some cases where it may stream 720p video smoothly, but more often then not users will encounter dropped frames which make HD video unsuitable for viewing. Of course, the 10.1-inch display's limited 1024x600 resolution makes watching HD video pointless and the lack of an HDMI output makes using it with external monitors a bit more difficult.
Just as the processors and memory of a system are restricted by the Microsoft licensing, so is the storage. Gateway packs the LT2805u with a standard 250GB hard drive that is found in just about every netbooks. It uses the standard 5400rpm spin rate which means that its performance isn't quite as nice as some that use 7200rpm drives such as HP's netbooks.One of the reasons that the Gateway LT2805u has such an affordable price and it lighter in weight is the reduced battery size. Many netbooks come with a six cell battery pack in order to achieve very long running times. Gateway has elected instead to use a three cell battery pack that features a 2200mAh capacity rating. This means that it will have half the running time of the average netbook. In video streaming playback testing, the netbook only runs for roughly two and three quarter hours. This places it much more in line with budget full size laptops. Gateway claims four hours of usage which may be achievable in very light usage.
The overall design of the Gateway LT2805u remains mostly unchanged from previous LT models. This is good for aspects like the audio which is some of the better available in such as small package. Unfortunately, the keyboard remains unchanged as well. The layout itself is just fine but that problem is the spacing between the keys. Most isolated keys having spacing to help prevent accidental typing errors but the spacing on this style of keyboard doesn't have that and for those with larger fingers will often find the need to use the backspace key.