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Gateway's TC7804u: $700 notebook dressed up in fancy-laptop style

Sold as an affordable media-friendly laptop with an eye toward design, Gateway's 14-inch TC7804u offers a decent collection of features and components at a low-end price.

A lot of notebook for not much money. Sarah Tew/CNET

Sold as an affordable media-friendly laptop with an eye toward design, Gateway's 14-inch TC7804u offers a decent collection of features and components at a low-end price.

Similar to the 15-inch MD7818u model we reviewed back in January, the TC7804u includes 4GB of RAM, a big hard drive, and a wide-screen 16:9 display, making it feel like a more expensive machine.

Still, we missed a few useful extras, such as Bluetooth and HDMI, and its touch-sensitive media controls looked better than they worked. As an aside, Gateway's convoluted naming system for laptops is still a mystery to us.

At first glance, Gateway has achieved high style: the muted cover (burgundy on our review unit, black in the final version), with its slightly chromed racing stripe is appealing, and on the inside, the alongside-the-keyboard backlit touch-sensitive media controls seem like features from a higher-end machine.

Read the full review of Gateway's TC7804u.