The Bottom Line
- Long Battery Life
- Full Sized Keyboard With Numeric Keypad
- Thinner And Light Than Average 15-inch Laptop
- Lower Performance Than Standard 15-inch Laptops
- Lacks FireWire, eSATA and ExpressCard
- Integrated Graphics
- Intel Core 2 Solo SU7300 Single Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit, 802.11a/g/n
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.9" x 10" x 1.1" @ 5.3 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Gateway EC5802u 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
Nov 10 2009 - Gateway markets the EC5802u as an all-day computing device with roughly eight hours of running time. This may be achievable with certain settings but the average user will probably come away with between six and seven hours of use. Not as high as their claims but certainly more than the average 15-inch laptop. If you are using the laptop as a video player by playing back DVDs, expect to have have a little over four hours of playback.
Those hoping for a high performance system are going to be very disappointed with the Gateway EC5802u. In order to achieve the longer running time, Gateway relied on using the Intel consumer ultra-low voltage platform. The Intel Core 2 Solo SU7300 is one of the higher end single core processors in the Intel CULV lineup, bit the single core and 1.2GHz processor speed really prevent the system from competing with any of the 15-inch laptops in the same price range in terms of application speed. Sure, the 4GB of PC3-8500 DDR3 memory help mitigate some task switching but it still is not recommended heavily for multitasking.
One advantage that the Gateway EC5802u has over the smaller ultraportable all-day laptops is in the storage. The system does come with a very large 500GB hard drive and an internal dual layer DVD burner. This isn't as much of an advantage over other 15-inch laptops that come with similar equipment but it does provide an edge against the smaller systems.
The other items that the Gateway EC5802u has over the long lasting ultraportables is the 15.6-inch screen and its benefits. While the screen uses the same 1366x768 resolution found on many of the 13-inch and smaller ultraportables, it is much easier for those with less than stellar eyesight to read and work on. The larger width of the laptop frame also provides space for the keyboard to include a numeric keypad in addition to the standard laptop keyboard layout.
Don't expect to be doing much with the graphics on the Gateway EC5802u though. While most 15-inch laptops in this price range come equipped with a dedicated graphics processor, this one is equipped with the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated solution to cut down on the power consumption. This is fine for high definition video stream playback but don't expect to use it all for 3D gaming even at the casual level.
The Gateway EC5802u is relatively slim at only 1.1-inches thick at the hinge. In addition to being fairly thin, the system is also lighter than the average 15-inch laptop at just 5.3 pounds compared to the average of over 6 pounds. The smaller frame of the laptop does have its disadvantages though. Don't expect to find a FireWire, eSATA or ExpressCard on this laptop like you would most 15-inch laptops.
The net result is a very specialized system that will be useful to those wanting a long lasting laptop with larger screen and keyboard. Anyone hoping for a highly portable performance system will definitely want to look elsewhere.