The Gateway ID49C13U I am testing sells for about $850 direct from Gateway. It has an Intel Core i5-460M processor running at 2.53 GHz and runs the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. It has 4GB of RAM, 500GB of storage, WiFi, a 6-cell battery, NVIDIA GT 330M GPU and the screen is 14-inches with LED backlighting and a resolution of 1366 x 768.
To test the Gateway ID49C13U I will use my iTunes encoding test, movie encoding test, and Battery Eater Pro. The first test up was converting my MP3 Stone Temple Pilots Core CD to AAC format using iTunes. The Gateway ID49C13U took 1 minute and 22 seconds to convert the content. That is an excellent score putting the machine at the top of the rankings for best performance with the machines I have tested.
The next test was my movie-encoding test where the Microsoft Magic of Flight video is converted from 1080p HD to XviD HD with Lame MP3 sound. The Gateway ID49C13U took 208 seconds to convert the video putting it just outside of the top five, which is a good performance. The next test was Battery Eater Pro for battery life estimation. With the notebook in power saving mode the battery was good for 73 minutes of run time. That is not a very good score in battery life putting the notebook on par with some of the gaming machines I have tested.
After all the tests were done, I fired the notebook up and used it to do some work. I really like the matte silver finish of the notebook; it stays clean and looks very nice on the notebook. The screen is very glossy and has glare issues like all glossy screens do. The screen does offer nice color reproduction and decent contrast. Streaming video from Hulu had only a touch of pixilation and streamed smoothly and fluidly in windowed and full screen mode. The Gateway ID49C13U has a DVD drive and movies played in it were of good quality as well.
The keyboard is a bit small considering the screen size. I would like to see larger keys. The keyboard also had some significant flex in the center when typing. Typing feel was good and the keyboard has good tactile feel. You can type on it without any major issues. Under the keyboard is the track pad and this is where things went off track for me.
The trackpad is a one-piece unit that feel like glass, though it likely plastic. It has lines painted on the bottom that separate the right and left buttons from the main trackpad body. The track pad glows blue when it is in use. The problem I had was that the trackpad often simply refused to activate the left click button if you hit it anywhere other than the exact center. I often hit the far left corner of the left mouse button area and the track pad just didn't do anything. I would at times have to hit the button three times and ultimately look down to be sure I was in the center of the trackpad.
I also found that the tap to click feature of the trackpad was hit and miss. At times, I could tap all I wanted and the track pad just wouldn't respond. Other times it would respond to the tap as a click without any hesitation. The trackpad performance ruined and other wise acceptable experience for me.
The final thing about the machine is the sound system. It has a sound system with decent volume and no bass to speak of. In my moderately loud test environment I did have to strain to hear some times. You can fix that issue with a set of headphones or speakers. The notebook has a headphone output just for this need.
The Gateway ID49C13U is a notebook that has good performance that is hampered significantly by track pad issues. With a better track pad, the Gateway ID49C13U would be in a different class.
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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