The Good One of the lowest-priced laptops with Nividia's GeForce 8800 graphics card; includes 3GB of RAM, HDMI, and eSATA ports.
The Bad Not configurable; lower screen resolution than Gateway's high-end model; underpowered processor; frequent price changes.
The Bottom Line We loved the pitch for the Gateway P-6831 FX: a 17-inch laptop with 3GB of RAM and Nividia's GeForce 8800 graphics card for only $1,350. But keep an eye on price changes to get the best deal.
A high-end gaming laptop is easy to come by if you're willing and able to shell out $3,000 or more However, gamers on a budget usually are forced to settle for mediocre frame rates from mainstream laptops. Gateway's new P-171XL FX recently impressed us, packing in everything from an Intel Core 2 Extreme CPU to 3GB of RAM and an Nvidia 8800 graphics card for a very reasonable $2,999.
Although it costs hundreds less than a similarly configured Dell XPS M1730, it's still a hefty investment. For those with tighter budgets, Gateway has found a way to balance price and performance in its Best-Buy-only retail version, the P-6831FX, which knocks down the CPU while keeping the 3GB of RAM and GeForce 8800 card of the high-end configuration intact--and doing so for an MSRP of $1,350.
Or so we originally thought. While writing our review, we saw that Best Buy had changed the price on its Web site from $1,350 to $1,699. While Gateway offers a series of similar laptops online, the P-6831FX is available only though Best Buy. Confused, we did a little research and found the P-6831FX still listed on Gateway's Web site with a suggested MSRP of $1,350. (You can follow our exploration of this price change in our recent blog post, When is a bargain laptop not a bargain?.)
Get a Lenovo N22 Chromebook for $129
Ideal for students, the N22 features 4GB of RAM, a 10-hour battery and even a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Plus: Get the Mass Effect trilogy for just $5!
Holiday deal roundup
It's time to deal so check back often to see what the latest offers are. But don't wait; many of these are limited-time and limited-quantity offers. And if you see a deal that you feel is worthy, drop us a note and we'll do our best to add it to the list.
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