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Gateway ID49C13u 14-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC

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Gateway ID49C13u 14-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC

Gateway ID49C

©Gateway

The Bottom Line

Nov 1 2010 - Gateway's ID49C13u laptop offers some very good performance and features at a reasonable price but the keyboard and trackpad design mare what would otherwise be a solid 14-inch laptop. The slim profile will be welcome for those traveling with a laptop frequently as does the NVIDIA Optimus technology to help with the battery life. The backlit trackpad and keyboard are just too annoying and difficult to use.

Pros

  • Slim Profile
  • NVIDIA Optimus Technology

Cons

  • Poor Keyboard Design
  • Trackpad Glow Feature Quite Annoying

Description

  • Intel Core i5-460M Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 14" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M Dedicated Graphics With 1GB Memory And Optimus Technology
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Four USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • 13.5" x 9.6" x 1" @ 5.1 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, PowerDVD 9, Nero, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Gateway ID49C13u 14-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC

Nov 1 2010 - Gateway's ID49C laptop design is a welcome change from the bulky laptops that have dominated the market over the years. It features a very slim one inch profile that makes it much more compact and easy to carry compared to most PC laptops that are twenty-five to fifty percent thicker. Even though it has a slimmer profile, it doesn't skimp on the performance. Powering the Gateway ID49C13u is an Intel Core i5-460M dual core processor. This allowed the system to perform extremely well in just about any sort of task the system might be used for. The 4GB of DDR3 memory should prevent many slowdowns from multitasking.

Storage features for the ID49C13u are fairly typical of a modest priced thin and light laptop design. It comes with a 500GB hard drive that provides a fairly large amount of space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at the more traditional 5400rpm rate which means it will not have the snappy data access of laptops using faster 7200rpm drives. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles all playback and recording of CDs or DVDs. A 5-in-1 media card reader resides on the front bezel and is compatible with the most popular flash media formats.

One of the nice aspects of the Gateway ID49C13u is the graphics system. It uses the NVIDIA Optimus technology to automatically switch between the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics and the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics. This should help improve battery life when using applications that don't require a dedicated graphics. The switchover between the two is completely seamless to the user. The GT 330M graphics are capable of gaming up to the 14-inch LCD display's 1366x768 resolution at medium to lower detail levels.

The slim profile of the Gateway ID49C necessitates a slim battery. It comes with a six-cell battery pack with a 4400mAh rating. This is fairly typical of the battery capacity for its price range. In DVD playback testing, the unit was able to run for two hours and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. This falls into the middle of the pack in terms of running time. It isn't particularly long nor is it extremely short. It would have been nice to see the NVIDIA Optimus technology push out the battery life a bit more. More typical usage should yield roughly another hour.

While the performance and features of the ID49C13u are quite good, the keyboard and trackpad design will leave much to be desired. The keyboard is a nice matte finish but the spacing and flat design make it difficult to type fast and accurate and also has a lot of flex. The trackpad is an integrated design that has a backlit glow that automatically turns one when touched. This feature gets quite annoying as it flashes on and off while typing. Thankfully, it can be disabled easily via the desktop.

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