Gateway NE71B11u 17.3-Inch Laptop Review

Gateway NE71B11u 17.3-Inch Laptop

The Gateway NE71B11u 17.3-Inch Laptop is an entry level machine, designed to carry out routine, relatively undemanding computing tasks simply, efficiently and, most importantly, economically. This is a machine for updating your social networking status, checking your email, casual gaming and sharing pictures with friends.

Common productivity software is well within its capabilities, too, so writing a report or researching a term paper should present no problems at all. And, to make your working life a little easier, the machine features a full-size keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad – a real time saver if you regularly key in large chunks of numeric data.

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When you’re done with work, the 17.3″ HD+ Widescreen Ultrabright LED-backlit LCD Display is great for relaxing with a movie, either played directly from the built in DVD drive or streamed from the internet. And, if you prefer to watch your movies on a bigger display, an HDMI port makes it easy to connect the machine to an external monitor, projector or HDTV.

The machine is driven by an AMD E-Series Dual-Core Processor E1-1200 processor running at 1.4 GHz. Although no match for its more powerful – and more expensive – competitors, this is a capable CPU, well suited to use in small laptops and netbooks, where power consumption is an important consideration, and overall usage is likely to be relatively lightweight.

The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Both choices reflect the price-conscious positioning of this machine – they are entirely adequate for the tasks that this machine is designed for, without being overly generous. For example, the supplied copy of Windows 8 will run quite happily in 4GB of memory, while the 500GB hard drive is ample storage for pictures, documents, music and even some movies.

Graphics are handled by integrated AMD Radeon HD 7310 Graphics with 256MB of dedicated system memory. Again, this component is more than capable of carrying out the tasks expected of it – surfing the web, productivity  software, HD video and casual gaming are all well within its capabilities. It will, however, struggle with more demanding, graphics intensive, tasks like video editing or today’s more sophisticated games. If you expect that you will need to be doing anything along those lines, this may not be the laptop for you.

Pros :

  • Good Entry Level Laptop
  • Large Hard Disk
  • Adequate RAM
  • Large Display
  • Numeric Keypad
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming

The machine features the usual collection of input / output ports and connectivity options. Network access is provided by a Gigabit Ethernet port for conventional, wired networking, and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for use on the move or when you don’t want an Ethernet cable trailing behind you.

There are two standard USB 2.0 ports for connecting wired peripherals, such as printers and mice, and a high speed USB 3.0 port for use with more modern devices. USB 3.o is considerably faster than the previous version, and is ideal for use with external disk drives and other storage devices.

As with most modern laptops, the NE71B11u features a built in HD webcam, making the machine video-chat ready right out of the box. All you need to do is sign in to your favourite chat program (Windows 8 comes with Skype), and you’ll be chatting with your friends and colleagues within minutes.

Measuring 16.33 x 10.83 x 1.36 inches (LxWxH), and weighing 7.05lbs, this certainly isn’t the smallest or lightest laptop on the market. On the other hand, extreme portability attracts a price premium, while this machine – and others in its class – are designed to be lighter on the wallet than on your biceps. Even so, it is not unreasonably heavy, and it’s size is at least partially offset by the advantages of a much bigger display than is found on ultra-portable machines. While it may not be the most convenient machine to take on a long and arduous business trip, it is ideally suited to taking around the home or office. And, with a battery life of up to 4 hours, you should have no difficulty in using it on the move.

Overall, the Gateway NE71B11u 17.3-Inch Laptop is a perfectly serviceable entry-level machine, offering reasonable performance at a reasonable price. It’s not a gaming machine, by any means, but it should be quite adequate for day-to-day tasks. If you are in the market for a budget machine for routine chores, this laptop should definitely be on your list.

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