Gateway's NV55S offers new AMD A8-3500M Llano chip and USB 3.0, $630

The budget-friendly Gateway 15.6" laptop offers hi-def graphics and 1080p video playback, thanks to the AMD Fusion processor with built-in GPU.

Gateway just updated its NV Series of desktop replacement laptops, but it's easy to miss all the great technologies packed under its "plain Jane" hood. John Morris at our Laptops and Computers blog first reported on Gateway's NV55S existence but more details are now available on this budget-friendly powerhouse.

The NV55S, which is only offered in the U.S. (Canadians should look for the NV57H instead), features AMD's quad-core A8-3500M processor and the built-in AMD Radeon HD 6620G Graphics on the same chip. Thanks to the AMD chip, the Gateway laptop can can deliver high definition graphics, 1080p video playback and DirectX 11 support on a budget machine.

That said, Gateway didn't cut corners with the NV55S to keep costs down; the laptop comes equipped with 6 GB of RAM, a 640 GB hard drive, a USB 3.0 port which is usually reserved for top-of-the-line laptops, a 1.3-megapixel HD web cam, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition, as well as a keyboard with dedicated numeric keypad.

For a laptop with a 15.6" HD widescreen display, built-in optical drive and a battery that won't last more than four hours, the NV55S is not for the road warrior. It is geared for the budget consumer who is more interested in HD graphics for entertainment purposes than working on office documents on-the-road.

While the suggested retail price of $630 is not netbook-cheap, the NV55S offers a "more attractive multimedia experience per dollar spent," according to NotebookReview's test of the AMD A8-3500M chip within the same AMD Fusion family. Office Depot already carries the NV55S but charges $20 more than what Gateway recommends ($650 after the $50 rebate, available until July 9). Hopefully, other retailers will stay closer to the MSRP to better differentiate between the Intel- and AMD-powered laptops.

Detailed specs on the Gateway NV55S are below:

  • Precessor: AMD Quad-Core A8-3500M Accelerated Processor 1.5GHz with TurboCORE Technology up to 2.4GHz
  • Display: 15.6” HD Widescreen Ultrabright LED-backlit Display
  • AMD A60M Fusion Chipset
  • RAM: 6144MB/6GB DDR3 Dual Channel Memory
  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6620G Graphics
  • Hard drive: 640GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
  • Optical drive: 8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED
  • Web cam: 1.3 Megapixel HD Webcam (1280 x 1024)
  • Audio: High-Definition Stereo Speakers
  • Connectors: 1 – USB 3.0 Port and 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 – HDMI Port with HDCP Support
  • Input: Dedicated Numeric Keypad and full keyboard
  • Battery: 6-cell Li-Ion (4400 mAh) Battery with up to 4 hours of battery life
  • Software: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Microsoft Office Starter 2010
  • Dimensions: 15(w) x 9.96(d) x .99-1.31(h) inches
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs.

[Source: NotebookReview, Gateway]

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