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Warning on Gateway model MA3 Notebook!

by Clubmud / March 2, 2006 11:17 PM PST

I just wanted to send out a head's up on Gateway. Here is my experience: I bought a new laptop about four weeks ago from Gateway. I own my own small engineering business and the laptop appeared to be the perfect thing. After 2.5 weeks the computer quit working right in the middle of my completing a computer model. Gateway diagnosed a bad hard drive and mailed me a new one to install myself! After a delay (I was away on business when it went down), I was able to install the hard drive. The computer immediately failed again and gateway diagnosed that something else was wrong! Now the computer is being mailed to some repair place and is gone for another ten days or so! At some point I will have owned a computer that has been out of commission for half the time I have owned it. Thumbs down for Gateway who wouldn't even agree to overnight me the service package! My small business has taken a significant hit from this purchase and we will seek out other options in the future!

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If a business, why wasn't it a business plan?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 3, 2006 12:13 AM PST

Such as same day repair etc. added to said machine?

There are slight difference in service plans for the business lines and home lines at Dell for instance. If you went with retail, maybe a week for each fix.

But no one tells you such things.


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business plan
by iplanner / May 5, 2010 7:52 PM PDT

Yeah, we have had the same kind of experience with Dell stuff. Bad business plan ?

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Gateway MA3 Notebook Problems
by jbl_MC.Law / July 16, 2009 1:14 AM PDT

Just a heads up for anyone looking to purchase a used MA3 (since I don't think Gateway is producing them anymore). I bought my MA3 in 2006 and while it was well worth the value, the computer is not designed for the long haul (i.e. 3+ yrs).

As a law student, I was constantly opening and closing the notebook and for about 3 years, it held up well. The installed WiFi unit seemed extremely weak, but other than that it seemed to work consistently well...until the day after my final exam (thank God!) when one of the screen hinges completely disintegrated.

When I took it to a professional computer repair center, the tech told me that his research revealed that the hinges on this model are prone to failure. He wanted to charge me $300 to replace the entire outer casing, but I decided to try and work around the problem. Its a good thing too, because only a month after the hinge broke, the hard drive crashed and now I have pay a hefty fee to recover all of my files. (A word of advice: buy an external hard drive and back up your system regularly. Believe me, its a LOT cheaper compared to the alternative!)

Anyway, my complaints with the MA3 are:
1) the battery life goes downhill quickly
2) a very weak WiFi receiver that, at times, didn't seem to want to
connect to the internet
3) annoyingly long start-up time when powered on
4) computer generates a LOT of heat if you upgrade the RAM to its full
2GB; its pathetic fan can't keep up
5) major structural problems with the screen hinges
6) the Operating System frequently froze and wasn't able to handle
multiple tasks at the same time
7) Gateway's tech support is practically useless and if you're not
careful you'll end up losing information because the tech person
either doesn't know or care to inform you of the consequences of
performing specific actions

Notice that I did not mention the hard drive crash and failure. This is because I'm not sure if the hard drive failed due to an inherent software/mechanical flaw OR if it was caused by a program that I stupidly installed on my computer (I'm looking at you industrial strength file eraser!).

Anyway, hope this helps. I'm going to miss my Gateway, we wrote a lot of research papers, legal briefs, and essay exams together, but I guess its time to move on to a bigger and better laptops.

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"1) the battery life goes downhill quickly"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2009 1:18 AM PDT

I look at most laptop battery specifications and see "300 cycles."

Are you replacing the battery every year? Most won't and will complain about old batteries.

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Same problem - hinge disintegrated
by hoppingbuffalo / October 29, 2010 8:00 PM PDT

My MA3 went up in smoke due to the hinge pressing on the screen wires and eventually the screen hinge broke. I tried to fix it myself without success, but I was able to clearly see what the original problem was.

Heating and cooling is also a problem. Take some packing tape to hold down the little risers on the back of laptops and use on hard surface like table so air can flow. Don't use them on you lap. Your leg can block air flow.

A car battery will last nearly forever if you don't deep discharge them (like leaving your headlights on). Laptop Li batteries are similar. Plug the laptop into a the wall whenever possible.

The battery and air flow would be a problem with any laptop, any model, any brand. It's only a matter of degree.

Hope this helps.

The Fun Physicist

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RE: Gateway MA3 Notebook Problems
by Mesa32 / February 8, 2013 1:58 PM PST

Gateway uses Sea-Gate Barracuda drives. Seagate Barracudas are, in my eyes, designed to fail. I had a friend owned another Gateway (Diff. model) and it's HDD died, his had a Seagate. I have a Seagate SATA desktop that makes a knock every 30 seconds, and has seized twice in the middle of operation. Seagate HDDs are expensive paperweights. Avoid them like they carry the bubonic plague.

I have an MA3 I was tempted on restoring (scrap factory, everything's fine except I have no charger and no clue if the HDD is still here (Which, having said that, is probably why this MA3 was there. (Hence, why I picked it up. I can slap a WD 180 in it and not have troubles.))) that I am still pretty interested in, it cost me 10 bucks so I pretty well can't lose, and the hinge has damaged at the base. The hinge is fine, it's anchored to a sliver of the frame and the rest is all plastic. That's why it broke on mine, no tensile strength in the anchor, not the hinge itself.

The slow start up time, and the OS being bad aren't directly the PC's fault, except for the hard drive, unless the slow start is before the actual OS is initializing.

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