Gateway launched three new notebook series just a few weeks ago, with the MD arguably being the most interesting. As a value-focused multi-media series, the models feature a large screen and modest resolution, fast processors and ample storage. This along with superb design, and with multiple models available, there’s one bound to suit you.
The MD7826u is currently the top-end model for Gateway’s new MD series, and as such, it carries a higher price-tag, of just under $1,000 (some e-tailers are selling for as low as $899). If that price tag is a little out of your reach, then not all hope is lost. Gateway offers a wide variety of configurations based around this exact design, with the lowest model selling for $649.
The good thing there is that what you lose when moving downward is performance, and not the aesthetic features, or even some of the peripheral features. On the $649, you still get an HDMI connector, which is a sweet deal. You can see Gateway’s entire line-up of MD notebooks here.
What you do get for your $999 is much beefier hardware, including a faster CPU, a much-improved graphics card, more storage and memory. So if overall performance (or gaming) doesn’t matter that much to you, then a lower-end model may be more your cup of tea. Gaming is one aspect Gateway doesn’t tout about this notebook, but given the more-than-sufficient mid-range graphics card, along with the lower resolution, it should be no problem.
Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 – 2.23GHz, 3MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB
Intel Cantiga PM45
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 512MB
Chi Mei N156B3-L02 15.6" – Max Resolution: 1366×768 at 60Hz
Hynix 2x2GB DDR2-667 (5-5-5-15)
320 GB, 5400 RPM, 8MB Cache, S-ATA 3.0GB/s
LG HL-DT-ST GSA-T50F (Drive Info)
ATI Radeon HDMI (ATI RV635)
Conexant Cx20561 (Intel 82801IB ICH9)
Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5300 (802.11 a/b/g/n)
Marvel Yukon 88E8057 Gigabit Ethernet
Conexant 56K Modem
Weight: 7.2 lbs (3.28 kg)
Dimensions: 1.3" – 1.7" (H) x 15.2" (W) x 10.4" (D)
Battery: 6-Cell Lithium Ion 48.84 Whr (2.2AHr)
1.3 Megapixel Webcam
4x USB, 1x VGA, 1x HDMI, 1x Kensington Lock
1x ExpressCard Type 54, 1x Memory Card (SD/MMC/MS/Pro/xD)
1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
One reason for the extra cost is the nice Intel Dual-Core processor, at 2.23GHz. It includes 3MB of L2 Cache and runs on a speedy 1066MHz FSB. For graphics, ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 3650 is included here, which should be powerful enough to power most games at the screen’s native resolution with modest detail settings. And like most notebooks these days, this one also includes 4GB of DDR2, and thanks to the bundled 64-bit version of Windows Vista, it can actually all be used.
Aside from those performance parts, a 320GB hard drive is included for all your storage needs, but sadly, expandability isn’t as good as some other notebooks with the lack of an e-SATA port. External storage can of course still be used via USB, however… it will just not be as fast. But as this is built for multi-media, it’s no surprise that an HDMI port is included, and that’s a huge plus. Given the price-range, it’s no surprise that a Blu-ray player isn’t included, but downloadable 720p/1080p videos could be streamed without issue to a larger display.
The most comparable notebook to this one that we’ve taken a look at recently would be ASUS’ N50Vn. That notebook costs a little bit more than this one, at $1,149, but contains a slightly faster CPU and also a higher resolution, so the pricing seems to scale. Compared to the ASUS notebook though, I think Gateway has won the round where looks are concerned. There’s really no competition in my opinion.