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

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.

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Gateway P-7811FXGateway 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

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4 comments
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  • After 3 less than reliable Gateways - I don't think so

    This new Gateway looks nice but after purchasing 3 Gateway laptops (1 business and 2 commercial) over the last year and a half that have been less than stellar I don't think so.

    One laptop overheats regularly and shuts down, one regularly bombs due to video driver failure with no updated driver available, and all 3 have iffy wireless connections. The Gateway's wireless connections won't work when other laptops (Dell, HP) do. Attempts to use Gateway support with these problems has yielded no assistance.
    Keeping Current
    • .....

      Remove Windows, install Linux and that should resolve all but the overheating problem. For that pull the fan and replace it with a new one and some thermal compound on the CPU. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
  • Gateway is still considered a viable notebook maker?

    Seriously. How on earth do you think they can accomplish a 2.0+ GHz processor, a Geforce 9800M GTS, 4 GB of RAM and a 1920x1200 display for $1,400?

    Oh, wait. It's a Gateway. Four of my friends who owned Gateway laptops had them ALL go in 2007, which indicates to me a severe lack of quality assurance on Gateway's part. I've heard enough about Gateway regarding dying systems, enough to where they have the honor of being the single computer manufacturer that I would absolutely not recommend, nor ever use for myself.
    A_Pickle
  • RE: Gateway's new desktop replacement: How much game does $1,400 get?

    We repair laptops and find Gateways in general to be an reliable laptop, however, like many makes of laptops easily overheate when the fan becomes blocked http://www.trilogicuk.co.uk
    fredkelly