Though it looks mundane and commonplace, the Gateway M460 series can be configured to assume a variety of business roles, from wide-screen video machine to power computing platform. Businesses can build a system that best meets their needs (and budgets) by selecting one of Gateway's four base configurations of the M460. The two least expensive of the bunch, the M460S and the M460E, have different optical drives but feature the same 1.3GHz Intel Celeron M processor, 15-inch XGA display, 256MB of speedy 533MHz RAM, 40GB hard drive spinning at a pedestrian 4,200rpm, and integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator cards. If you're able to spend a little more, you should purchase the M460X or the M460XL--you'll get a faster, current-generation Centrino processor; a 15.4-inch display with 1,280x800 resolution; 512MB of 533MHz RAM, and a 5,400rpm hard drive in capacities of 60GB or 80GB. The M460X features a 1.6GHz Pentium M processor, integrated Intel Extreme 2 graphics card, and a CD-RW/DVD drive; while the top-of-the-line M460XL features a faster, 1.8GHz Pentium M processor, an ATI Radeon X600 Graphics card with 64MB dedicated memory, and a multiformat DVD burner. Along with a modem and Gigabit Ethernet, every M460 comes with Intel's 802.11 b/g wireless card, though you can choose from two Gateway-branded radios available for b/g and a/g communications.
After you've selected one of the four models, you can choose to upgrade the laptop's processor, memory, graphics card, or optical drive, and you can purchase an additional hard drive or battery for the system's modular bay. The $1,470 (as of June 2005) M460S configuration we tested included some component upgrades, such as a current-generation Centrino 1.8GHz Pentium M processor; 512MB of fast, 533MHz RAM; and a larger battery. Overall, the Gateway M460 offers IT buyers an affordable laptop that's highly customizable for a range of business uses.