The Bottom Line
- Graphics Capable of 720p HD Video Playback
- Larger Hard Drive and Memory
- Access Panels Make It Easy to Modify
- Less Than Average Battery Life for Six Cell Battery
- Vista Basic Operating System Has Limitations
- Keyboard Has a Bit of Flex
- AMD Athlon 64 L110 Mobile Processor
- 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- ATI Radeon X1270 Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.3" x 8" x 1" @ 3 lbs.
- Vista Home Basic
Guide Review - Gateway LT3103u 11.6-inch Netbook Laptop PC
Aug 22 2009 - Gateway has elected to use an AMD Athlon 64 L110 processor with their new LT3103u netbook. While this processor runs at a lower clock speed than the Atom, it actually performs on par or better than the Intel platform. Of course, much of this also comes from the fact that Gateway includes 2GB of DDR2 memory, 250GB hard drive and the Vista Home Basic operating system instead of being constrained by the Microsoft XP licensing.
The big win for consumers looking at a netbook is the graphics. With a large 11.6-inch LED backlit display, the system has a very high 1366x768 resolution that provides for a much larger workspace. Running the graphics is a Radeon X1270 graphics processor that also brings 720p high definition video to the netbook market. This is a huge win for those looking for portable high definition video playback. The graphics aren't quite capable to handle 1080i video feeds but the display doesn't go that high anyways.
The big downside to the Gateway LT3103u is the battery life. Even though the system comes equipped with a six-cell battery, the power draw from the graphics and processor prevent it from reaching the super long run times. In my video rundown test, the system was able to achieve roughly 4 hours of playback which is still good but far from what some netbooks are capable of.
One nice aspect of the Gateway LT3103u is the access panels on the bottom of the system. This makes it easier for the user to swap out the memory module or the hard drive. There is also access to two mini PCI slots for more advanced modifications for those inclined to add bluetooth or a solid state drive.
Overall, this is definitely a netbook to consider for those looking for improved graphics or modifying but you have to be willing to live with the shorter battery life.