The Bottom Line
- Compact Design With Performance
- Good Battery Life
- Well Pirced
- Too Much Glossy Plastic
- Uses Slower DDR2 Memory
- Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 4GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 11.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 11.2" x 8" x 1.2" @ 3.1 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Gateway EC1815u 11.6-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC
Mar 17 2010 - Rather than using a single core processor like it did with many early versions of the Gateway EC laptops, the EC1815u ups the level of performance by using an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 dual core processor. This is not going to be a really high performance system but it does provide a much stronger computing experience compared to netbooks, especially when multitasking. Multitasking is helped by 4GB of memory as well. Memory performance is a bit behind others though as Gateway uses slower DDR2 memory compared to many others that use newer DDR3. This does help keep the costs down though.
One of the big advantages that the Gateway EC1815u has over many other ultraportables is its compact size from using a smaller 11.6-inch display. This makes it only slightly larger than many 10.1-inch netbooks and slightly heavier as well. The screen uses a higher 1366x768 resolution that allows playback of 720p high definition video. This is also possible thanks to the use of the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics. It won't handle any sort of 3D gaming at all but it is possible to watch full 1080p video streams when using an external HDTV or monitor with HDMI.
The small size of the Gateway EC1815u prevents it from having an internal optical drive which is true for all netbooks and many ultraportables. Users will have to purchase a separate external USB DVD burner if they want those functions. In terms of the hard drive, Gateway packs in a very large 500GB hard drive that provides plenty of space for applications and data.Battery life is one of the key features of the Gateway EC1815u. During my streaming video playback tests, the laptop was able to run for just under five hours before going into standby mode. This is extremely long and puts it on par with many netbooks in terms of running time but with a higher level of overall performance. More typical laptop usage should produce around eight hours of running time which is what Gateway claims it can achieve.
Pricing for the Gateway EC1815u is very affordable around $700. This is a lot more than the less expensive netbooks. The advantage though is that this ultraportable provides a much more solid computing experience that makes it an option for those that want a highly portable system as their primary laptop. The system also provides a full day computing experience similar to those of the netbooks.