Gateway's latest laptop, the 14-inch TC Series, looks like a good value. There are currently two models, the black TC7306u and the burgundy TC7307u, but both have the same $649.99 configuration. It includes a 14-inch LED-backlit widescreen display (1,366 x 768), 2.0GHz Intel Pentium T4200 dual-core processor, 4GB of memory, Intel integrated graphics, 320GB hard drive, DVD burner and 64-bit version of Vista Home Premium SP1.
That stacks up well to HP's Pavilion dv4 series, which has a 14.1-inch (1,280 x 800) display without LED backlighting. The dv4t's base configuration with the same processor, 2GB of memory, Intel integrated graphics, 160GB hard drive, DVD burner and the 32-bit version of Vista Home Premium ordinarily costs $749.99, though HP is now offering a $150 rebate that cuts the price to $599.99. HP also offers a version with an AMD processor and graphics, the dv4z, which usually starts $699.99, but is currently available for $549.99 after the rebate.
The Gateway TC Series weighs 5.3 pounds with the standard 6-cell battery. Gateway says future configurations will offer faster processors, Nvidia GeForce 9300M graphics, HDMI out, larger hard drives and Blu-ray. So far no hands-on reviews of the TC Series yet, but I'll update this post with links once they are posted.
[Read the Gateway TC Series press release]