Gateway's new desktop replacement: How much game does $1,400 get?

Summary:Gateway has released its first Centrino 2-based laptop, a 17-inch wide-screen model that rivals the performance of pricier gaming and entertainment desktop replacements.To get its PCs noticed on crowded store shelves, Gateway has been experimenting with a different mix of features, opting for less expensive processors and plowing the savings into better graphics, more system memory and, on desktops, bigger power supplies.

Gateway P-7811FX
Gateway has released its first Centrino 2-based laptop, a 17-inch wide-screen model that rivals the performance of pricier gaming and entertainment desktop replacements.

To get its PCs noticed on crowded store shelves, Gateway has been experimenting with a different mix of features, opting for less expensive processors and plowing the savings into better graphics, more system memory and, on desktops, bigger power supplies. Apparently it is working since the new Gateway P-7811FX uses the same playbook.

The P-7811FX is currently a Best Buy exclusive. (Gateway, which is now owned by Acer, recently announced that it had moved to a 100% indirect model.) Gateway's suggested price is $1,400, but it is listed at Best Buy's site at $1,450. Either way, it looks like a solid deal with these specs:

  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor
  • 4GB of DDR3 memory
  • Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS with 512MB of GDDR3
  • 200GB hard drive
  • Dual-layer DVD drive
  • Microsoft Windows Home Premium 64-bit

That stacks up pretty nicely to the $1,500 Centrino 2-based configuration of the HP Pavilion dv7 on Best Buy's site, which has the same processor, 4GB of DDR2 memory--not DDR3--and a larger hard drive, but only includes the Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT with 512MB of memory.

The only thing missing from the P-7811FX is a Blu-ray drive (it does have HDMI out). But a similarly-configured Pavilion dv7 with the lesser graphics, but with a Blu-ray drive costs nearly $1,800. (HP happens to be offering rebates on the configure-to-order Pavilion dv7, so if you are looking for a desktop replacement, it is worth checking the site to see how your configuration is priced.)

LaptopMag.com gave the Gateway P-7811FX an Editors' Choice, calling it "of the best value-price rigs of 2008" with performance that "blows away the dv7 when it comes to 3D games." PCMag.com thinks Gateway made the right choices to keep the price down. ComputerShopper.com agrees the Gateway P-7811FX "delivers superb performance for the money," but finds fault with the noisy cooling fans and awkwardly-placed touchpad.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Mobility

About

John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.