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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Gateway NV55S0 review:

Gateway NV55S0

Annual power consumption cost

With its included six-cell battery, the Gateway NV55S05u lasted for 3 hours and 19 minutes of continuous video playback. Comparatively, the Asus U31SD-A1, with a faster processor and better graphics, lasted more than 6 hours and the Toshiba Satellite L655-S5161 lasted more than 4 hours. After running games, the battery depleted even faster--and the side heat vent got significantly hot.

Gateway includes a standard one-year warranty with the NV55S05u. Navigating Gateway's site for drivers and model-based support can get a little confusing, with the odd range of configuration names to sift through. Telephone call support requires the entry of the SSID number on the bottom of your laptop.

The Gateway NV55S05u is a solid combination of processing, graphics, and ample hard drive and RAM in a 15-inch chassis with a surprisingly good keyboard. Its $629 price isn't far off from other similar budget laptops, but if you can find discounts on retailer Web sites (we saw this model currently on Office Depot's site for only $549), then you'll end up with a pretty good deal.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

System configurations

Gateway NV55S05u
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.5GHz AMD Quad-Core A8-3500M APU; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 512MB AMD Mobility Radeon HD 6620G; 640GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Gateway NV51B05u
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 1.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 Dual-Core; 3,072MB DDR3 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6310; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Asus U31SD-A1
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-2310M; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 520M / 64MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 640GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VPC-EB44FX/WI
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) SP1; 2.53GHz Intel Core i3-380M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 128MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Samsung Series 9 NP900X3A
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.4GHz Intel Core i5-2537M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB(Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 128GB Samsung SSD

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