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Gateway releases 16-inch MC series laptops

Gateway introduces its first 16-inch laptop, the MC7801u.

The Gateway MC7801u features a 16-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Gateway on Monday released its first 16-inch laptops, the MC7801u and the MC7803u. With a 16:9 aspect ratio screen, 16-inch (and 18-inch) models are beginning to emerge.

Unlike traditional 16:10 laptop displays, a 16:9 screen matches the ratio of movies and HD content. Similar to the redesigned MacBook, the display on Gateway's MC series laptops features a glossy glass overlay that runs edge to edge. The 16-inch screen features a 1366x768 resolution; you'll need to bump up to an 18-inch model for 1080p playback.

The $950 MC7801u features a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T5800 CPU, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, 64-bit Vista Home Premium, and a 320GB hard drive. So what don't you get on this sub-$1,000 laptop? You miss out Intel's latest Centrino 2 platform, and the laptop relies on integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics.

You're with me, pleather. Gateway

A second model in the 16-inch MC series, the $1,000 MC7803u, will feature a dedicated 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 graphics card. Providing the MC models with a distinctive look, a thin pleather strip runs down the middle of the lid. The lower-end MC7801u features a burgundy lid, and the higher-end MC7803u features a black lid.

Other features include HDMI and VGA ports, backlit keyboard and multimedia controls, Webcam, DVD burner, Draft N Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, and ExpressCard and media card slots.

The Gateway MC7801u is being sold through Best Buy and is included in our holiday retail laptop roundup. Look for our review next week.