Cool New Gateway Netbook

Since Windows 7 RTMd, I figured I needed a new toy to play with. I run Windows Server 2008 R2 on my high end notebook, but wanted to run Windows 7 so I could get some of the great new features.

I have been researching netbooks for a few weeks and had decided that I wanted something with at least a 11” screen. I looked at all the usual suspects Acer, Lenovo, Dell, etc… and then I cam across one that struck my eye, a Gateway LT3114U netbook from BestBuy. 

(Note that if you want the Cherry Red model you can only seem to buy it online, but you can walk into a BestBuy and buy the black model….I found this out the hard way and had to wait two extra days for my machine while a coworker rubbed it in with his.)

For those who do not know, Acer bought Gateway. This netbook is a slightly redesigned version of the Acer Aspire One 11.6” model.  The Gateway version comes  with an 11.6” screen 2GB RAM, 250 GB 5400 RPM hard drive, 6 Cell battery, and Vista Basic. This version if the netbook is based on a AMD Athlon 64-bit processor for netbooks. So you can actually install a 64-bit OS.

I have been playing with the configuration and have done the following:

- swapped the 5400 RPM drive for a 7200 RPM drive

- swapped the 2GB RAM module for a 4GB RAM module (Yes it will take a 4GB module)

- swapped the Vista Basic for Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The cool and completely unexpected swap was the RAM upgrade.  The specs said it only takes a 2GB module, but I had heard rumors at work that it would support a 4GB module, so I thought I would try it.  In this configuration I get 3.75 GB of usable RAM (256 GB is for the shared video HyperMemory.

The 7200 RPM makes it run a little hotter, mainly because I took and older 100GB drive I had lying around to do the test. So one of the new generation 7200 RPM drive would probably solve that issue.

The Video performance is decent.  I can watch hulu videos as normal resolution. At full screen they are slightly jumpy.

So far I have been pretty impressed by the performance under Windows 7. I am currently running under 2GB while I wait for an additional 4GB module.

Go check one out yourself…..