The Gateway ID49C11u is a sleek 14-inch notebook that has a few tricks up its sleeves, like a glowing mouse touchpad and 802.11n Wi-Fi. It has good performance all-around, even with some 3D gaming too.
This notebook from Gateway is a step up from their previous notebooks, with have always been rather bland. Instead, the ID49C11u is a lightweight (just over 5 pounds) thin (0.9-inches) computer that has a solid design that makes it fairly portable with ease.
Gateway included a 14-inch LED backlit display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and it works quite well too. Images were very bright and color accuracy was good too. Viewing angles were about average with this notebook as well. The keyboard's chiclet-style design is very comfortable to use and the keys feel well placed and spaced. The touchpad, as we said earlier, glows during bootup. While snazzy, we wished the touchpad had a more tactile feel to it, but that's pretty subjective and might be different for other users.
In terms of connectivity, the Gateway ID49C11u is fairly loaded, including four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI in, VGA, Gigabit ethernet, and the standard audio ports. There's also a 4-in-1 memory card reader and an 8X DVD+/-RW optical drive. 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity is also included in the laptop.
Specifications of this laptop include an Intel Core i5 460M CPU clocked at 2.53GHz, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 500GB hard drive (only 5400RPM, not 7200RPM). The graphics system included is an nVidia GeForce GT 330M, which is suitable enough to play most of today's graphics-intense 3D games without much trouble. There's also a 1280 x 1024 resolution Web cam mounted above the screen too. Gateway includes a copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) with this unit too.
When we first test out a computer, we are always curious to check out the amount of "bloatware", or trialware, that computer manufacturers pre-install onto computers. Unfortunately, this one from Gateway comes loaded with lots, including 60-day trial of Norton Internet Security, Windows Live Essentials, Nero Starter (might be useful), and ads for things like Netflix and eBay. The desktop is also littered with icons for things like the user manual and all of the applications that Gateway pre-installs. Definitely spend some time in the Programs module of the Windows 7 control panel to remove things you won't use.
With that said, subjective performance tests came up quite pleasing. Performing the usual computing tasks were lightning fast and more intensive tasks, like video encoding, were speedy as well. As we said above, thanks to the nVidia 330M graphics system, you'll be able to do some 3D gaming with this unit too.
Battery life comes in at around 5 hours, which is fairly good and at or slightly above average compared to similar models.