Gateway ID59C notebook � Perfect blend of performance, looks and price Review

By Vishal Mathur | Updated Feb 22 2011
Gateway ID59C notebook � Perfect blend of performance, looks and price Review
DIGIT RATING
70 /100
  • design

    70

  • performance

    70

  • value for money

    70

  • features

    70

  • PROS
  • Very classy looks
  • Slim form factor
  • Excellent performance
  • Glowing touchpad adds a bit of fun factor
  • CONS
  • Screen tilts too far back; may be bad for hardware longevity
  • Integrated touchpad buttons require a deep click

Verdict

The Gateway ID59C has all the ingredients for a great laptop, in terms of price, power and looks. The excellent build quality of the laptop makes it feel a lot more expensive than it actually is. Gateway may not have the brand recognition of an HP or a Dell, at least in India. However, the performance of this machine is on par with the rivals.

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Gateway ID59C notebook � Perfect blend of performance, looks and price detailed review

How often do we see a laptop that looks a lot more expensive than it actually is? In fact, the vice versa is true in most cases. Mostly, either the laptop turns out to be too plasticky or the manufacturer ends up dressing it up in a glossy body. However, when the Gateway ID59C landed on our desk, it was something which immediately made us stop whatever we were doing and admire this slim beauty! Since this has a 15.6 inch screen, the machine will appeal to those who need a powerful laptop on a budget, or as a desktop replacement. But does the performance match the good looks?


Look and Feel: Slim beauty

A laptop which has a form factor as slim as this one deserves its share of kudos. More so because it does not do away with the optical drive to achieve this slimness. The brushed aluminium finish gives it an extremely classy look. The non-glossy finish is smart, as well as a blessing in disguise, since it won't become a fingerprint and scratch magnet. The build quality of the Gateway ID59C is excellent, with no creaks or rough edges felt anywhere. With a weight of 2.5kg, this is not exactly lightweight, but given the slimness and the relatively large display size, it’s not too bad.

Features: Surprisingly loaded

[RELATED_ARTICLE]Admittedly, it took us some time to move beyond the excellent finish of the Gateway ID59C, but then we stumbled upon the glowing touchpad! This adds a bit of colour and fun to the machine. The touchpad, which is pretty big in size anyway, has the left and right click buttons integrated. Touch anywhere in the area of the hidden buttons, and the touchpad lights up. Remove the finger, and the light goes off. Add a ‘floating keyboard’ in the mix, and the look is complete! The keys are big enough for comfortable typing. Also, the gap between the keys ensures that you don’t press the wrong key. The keys are totally flat, and this gives the keyboard a floating look. The area around the touchpad is large enough for someone to comfortably place their palms while typing – there is kudos to a larger display. The floating style keyboard is very comfortable to use, with adequate key size and gap. The travel is just right, and the chunky response makes typing easier. However, the integrated buttons on the touchpad require a pretty deep click, which is a tad disconcerting. The touchpad response, sensitivity and precision are quite good, negating the need for an external mouse.

Above the keyboard are the dedicated media playback control keys and the on/off touch sensitive controls for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are a welcome feature, something a lot of the rival notebooks miss out on. One touch access to the Social Networks and power saving settings is a welcome feature, particularly for the convenience and simplicity offered. Back to the hardware side there is a 5-in-1 memory card reader, 4 USB 2.0 ports, an optical drive and HDMI out. The built-in webcam is the HD type, with a max resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels.  The 15.6 inch screen has an HD Ready resolution of 1366x768. It is slightly reflective, but not as much as some of the others we have tested. This is good, since the eyes will get strained less during long stints of work. 

Read on to know about the performance, our take on the ID59C, the price and the specs... 

 

Performance: Surpasses expectations

Powered by Intel’s Core i5 processor, and paired with 4GB of RAM, the Gateway ID59C did have the grunt, at least on paper. What was most interesting was the appearance of the NVIDIA GT 420M graphics card, with 1 GB dedicated graphics memory. For a price tag of about Rs 50K, a laptop with this powerful configuration makes a lot of sense. And yes, there is a 500 GB hard drive with Windows 7 Premium (64-bit version) preloaded.

The reading of benchmark scores proved to be eye opening experience, quite literally, in bewilderment. The PC Mark Vantage score of 6,016 means that this machine will handle multitasking with ease.  However, the biggest surprise came with the 3D Mark 2006 score, which assesses the laptop’s gaming capabilities. A score of 6,846 mean this one is very close to some gaming notebooks, in terms of performance. To illustrate this even more, we ran the Far Cry 2 benchmark and managed 59.62 fps. The 15.6-inch display, with the 1366 x 768 HD resolutions is good for gaming as well, with vivid colours and adequate sharpness.


 

[RELATED_ARTICLE]The big screen size makes this laptop a good option to view videos on. Even full HD video files, upwards of 5GB in size, play back stutter free on this machine. The speakers are very clear, but the Virtual Surround Sound barely makes a difference. The real impact can be felt when you connect the laptop to external speakers or a good quality headphone. The laptop’s built-in speakers don’t do justice to this feature. 

The battery life of just over 2 hours is decent, but won't win any battery backup marathons. This one will not be the choice of those who need a laptop for the road, but will fit well as a home entertainment rig or even a desktop replacement. However, we tested the battery on the High Performance battery setting. If you tone down the power settings, reduce the screen brightness and switch off Bluetooth/Wi-Fi when not in use and the battery may last about an hour longer.

Verdict: A good deal

This is a machine which offers really good performance without costing a bomb.  However, the battery life and the weight kind of reduce the mobility to a large extent. You may buy this if you are looking to buy a sleek desktop replacement or a laptop which would not be needed on the move very often. If you already have a similarly configured machine, this may not offer an enticing enough alternative. However, for anyone willing to upgrade from a lower configuration laptop, this could be a very good upgrade. There are a couple of other machines which offer similar performance- the HP Pavilion dv6 and the Dell XPS14, in a similar price band. 

Read on to know about the specs and the price... 
 

Specification

Intel Core i5-460M processor @ 2.53GHz; 4GB RAM; Nvidia GeForce GT420M; 1GB dedicated graphics memory; 500GB hard drive; 15.6 inch display (1366x768 resolution); 4 USB; Wi-Fi/Bluetooth; HDMI out; 5-in-1 card reader; Windows 7 Premium (64-bit)

 

Price- Rs. 51,499

 
Brand
Gateway
Model
ID59C
Features
 

Component Specifications

 
Processor Model No

Intel Core i5-460M

Processor Speed
2.53GHz
RAM (MB)
4096
RAM Type
DDR3
Memory Speed (MHz)
1066MHz
Chipset

Mobile Intel HM55 Express

Graphics Solution

Nvidia GeForce GT420M

Dedicated Video Memory (Y / N)
Y
Dedicated Video Memory Size (in MB)
1024
Audio Chipset

Conexant High Definition Audio

Storage size (in GB)
500GB
Drive type (HDD/SSD/other)
HDD
Optical Drive Type / Speed

DVD-Super Multi/8X

Bundled OS

Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

Characteristics
 
Screen Size (Inches)
15.6
Type of LCD
LED LCD
Screen Resolution (Native)
1366X768
Weight (Kg)
2.5
No. of Ports (USB / FireWire)
4 USB
USB 3.0 (Y/N)
N

Connectivity (LAN / Bluetooth / Wi-Fi)

Y/Y/Y
E-Sata (Y/N)
N

Display output (VGA/DVI/HDMI/Display Port)

VGA/HDMI
Memory Card Reader (Y/N)
Y
Type of Memory Cards Supported

Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Multi Media Card, Secure Digital, xD-Picture Card

Inbuilt Webcam (Y/N)
Y
Webcamera resolution (in megapixels)
1.3MP HD

Build (So 10)

 
Body
9
Keypad
8
Lid, movables
7

Ergonomics and Usability

 
Keypad Tactile Feedback (So 10)
8

Key Layout, bevelling, spacing & Usability (So 10)

8
Shortcut Keys/Switches (So 10)
8

Trackpad ergonomics, size, position (So 10)

8
Trackpad accuracy (So 10)
7

Biometrics (fingerprint/face) login (Y/N)

N/N
Wi-Fi On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)
Y

Dedicated Bluetooth On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)

Y

Dedicated TouchPad On/Off Switch or Button (Y/N)

N
   
Performance
 

Synthetic Scores

 
PC Mark Vantage
 
PC Mark Score
6016
Memories Score
3418
TV and Movies Score
3914
Gaming Score
3481
Music Score
6280
Communications Score
4899
Productivity Score
5574
HDD Score
3555
   
3D Mark 2006
 
CPU Score
2858
Graphics score
2774
Overall Score
6846
   
Maxxon CineBench R11.5 (CPU score)
2.26

Display Mate Colour Accuracy Test (So 10)

Score not available

   
Battery Life Test (in minutes)
2:09:26
Wi-Fi Signal Strength Test (Zone 2)
16%
   

Real World Tests

 

Speaker Quality (at 50% volume) (So 10)

7
HD Movie Viewing (using VLC) (So 10)
8
 

 

Ratings:
Features: 7
Performance: 7
Build: 7
Value: 7
Overall: 7
 
Contact: Acer India Pvt Ltd
Phone no: 080 - 39408700
Email: ailenquiries@acer.co.in

Gateway ID59C notebook � Perfect blend of performance, looks and price Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 22 Feb 2011
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • OS OS
    NA
  • Display Display
    NA
  • Processor Processor
    NA

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Vishal Mathur

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Gateway ID59C notebook � Perfect blend of performance, looks and price

Gateway ID59C notebook � Perfect blend of performance, looks and price

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