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Gateway ID47H02u review: Gateway ID47H02u

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Gateway laptops are funny products. Of the two mainstream lines available, the "budget" NV series and the "higher-end" ID series, neither one currently has a single model that tops $699. So, in that sense, both are budget lines. The Gateway ID is the slicker, more polished-looking product, and a significantly thinner laptop with a 14-inch display, more closely matching what most people consider to be easily portable.

Gateway ID47H02u
7.7

Gateway ID47H02u

The Good

Strong battery life and a clean design along with a fast processor and USB 3.0 make the $699 <b>Gateway ID47H02u</b> stand out; the laptop also manages to fit a 14-inch display into the body of a 13-incher.

The Bad

The Gateway ID47H02u lacks Bluetooth and dedicated graphics, and plenty of other 13- and 14-inch competitors offer similar features for a similar price.

The Bottom Line

The Gateway ID47H02u is a slim-bodied, full-featured 14-inch laptop that offers a surprisingly strong mix of performance and design at a price that hovers between budget and mainstream. While there are plenty of similar alternatives from other manufacturers, this Gateway should keep up with most of them.

The $699 Gateway ID47H02u has a surprisingly good set of specs for its price. An Intel Core i5-2410M processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive are considered mainstream specs nowadays. A sleek--for Gateway--design, comfortable keyboard and touch pad, and a long-lasting battery complete the package. It's definitely a more attractive and slimmer notebook overall than you see in the Gateway NV line, which we recently reviewed in the form of the Gateway NV55S05u.

Still, $699 isn't necessarily "budget" to everyone, which is why we wish Gateway had shaved an extra $100 off the ID47H02u's MSRP. That being said, there's a strong chance you'll see this laptop offered for less online. There's a lot of competition in the $700 range of the 13- and 14-inch laptop market--more than you'd think--but Gateway's ID47H02u is a very good entry.

Price as reviewed $699
Processor 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 2410M
Memory 4GB, 1,333 MHz DDR3
Hard drive 500GB HDD, 5,400rpm
Graphics Intel HD 3000 (integrated)
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Dimensions (WD) 13x9 inches
Height 0.8-1.1 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 14 inches
System weight / weight with AC adapter 4.5 pounds / 5.2 pounds
Category Midsize

The last time we reviewed a Gateway ID series laptop, it was a thin but frustrating mess. A weird glowing touch pad and not-so-wonderful keyboard marred the design. The new ID series isn't revolutionary, but the 14-incher has a clean-cut, compact design that's hard not to like. The thin aluminum lid features what looks like an edge-to-edge glass display; in fact, the actual screen has a matte bezel, which immediately becomes obvious when the laptop is turned on. It's a better use of upper-lid real estate than you see in other budget laptops.

The overall look of the Gateway ID47H02u isn't far off from slightly generic silver-and-black slim laptops such as the Asus U31SD-A1, but where the U31SD-A1 had only a 13.3-inch screen, Gateway manages to fit a 14-inch screen into nearly the same body size. Now, about that screen: its 1,366x768-pixel maximum resolution is standard for a 14-incher, and the screen brightness cranks up reasonably high, but the colors looked a little washed-out compared with what we've seen on other, more-vibrant laptops. Also, the viewing angles are limited: we tilted the screen down and found that blacks began to wash out quickly. Added glare from the glossy glass didn't help. It's still a suitable display for everyday use, and the extra bit of screen size, though it doesn't add pixels, does help.

The silvered bottom half of the ID47H02u feels like a 13-inch notebook in terms of keyboard placement and palm-rest room: sufficient. The island-style raised keyboard feels even better than the Gateway NV's. A right-hand column of added keys offers useful dedicated volume controls, but at the expense of insetting the Enter and Shift keys. A "social button" above the volume keys launches a Gateway social media toolbar, but it's only set up to work with Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. Most people will opt for other software or Web-based alternatives to do the same thing.

A wide, dark plastic clickpad-style touch pad looks ominous at first. Large it is, but we had doubts as to how it would handle multitouch and other challenges. To our surprise, the Synaptics clickpad is one of the best we've ever used. The straight-to-the-bottom-edge design of the pad is like the infinity pool of touch pads; resting your fingers on the bottom doesn't interfere with top scrolling, and we found that multitouch gestures were easy and quick to pull off.

A large speaker bar above the keyboard offered louder-than-usual volume for music and video playback, enhanced with Dolby Home Theater tuning. To our ears it wasn't stellar, but it was certainly loud enough for enjoying movies and videos with friends.

The Webcam mounted above the display has a maximum resolution of 1,280x1,024 pixels for still pictures and 1,280x720 pixels for videos. It's better than the average VGA Webcam, in terms of pixels and picture quality.

Gateway ID47H02u Average for category [mainstream]
Video HDMI, VGA VGA plus HDMI or DisplayPort
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, SD card reader 4 USB 2.0, SD card reader, eSATA
Expansion None ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional mobile broadband
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner

As befits a laptop priced right on the borderline between budget and midrange, the Gateway ID47H02u's feature set leans toward the latter. USB 3.0 and a tray-loading DVD drive are included, although Bluetooth isn't.

The ID47H02u is a fixed-configuration laptop, one of three ID series configurations on Gateway's Web site. None is above $699, though none dips below $679, either. The specs are mainstream-standard: a 500GB, 5,400rpm hard drive and 4GB of DDR3 RAM.

The 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M CPU is one we've been seeing on most $700-range laptops with second-gen Intel processors this year. We're fond of this particular Core i5 processor, as speeds are fast and multitasking is smooth. It's a great choice for an everyday computer. Not surprisingly, the Gateway ID47H02u performed about as well as other Core i5-2410M-bearing alternatives we've recently reviewed, including the Toshiba Satellite E305-S1990X and HP Envy 14.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Gateway ID47H02u
591 
Asus U41J
652 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Gateway ID47H02u
91 
Asus U41J
103 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Gateway ID47H02u
119 
Asus U41J
133 

The Gateway ID47H02u has integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics, and no dedicated graphics options. The integrated graphics are suitable for low-end mainstream gaming, but don't expect them to handle higher-end PC games well.

Juice box
Mainstream Avg watts/hour
Off (60%) 0.26
Sleep (10%) 0.56
Idle (25%) 5.98
Load (05%) 42.73
Raw kWh number 33.67
Annual power consumption cost $3.82

Annual power consumption cost
Gateway ID47H02u
$3.82 
HP Envy 14
$5.78 
Asus U41J
$6.04 

An integrated six-cell battery on the Gateway ID47H02u manages to fit inside the slim chassis without any added battery bulge on the back or bottom, which is always appreciated. Even better, this little 14-inch laptop achieved an even 6 hours of continuous video playback in our CNET battery test. That's excellent for its size and performance class, and indicates that a full day of computing without needing to recharge is fully within realistic expectations.

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Gateway ID47H02u
360 
Asus U41J
232 

Gateway includes a standard one-year warranty with the ID47H02u. 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. Extended service plans are available on Gateway's Web site, where you'll have to enter that same ID to find what your options are.

With its sleek design, ample specs, and excellent battery life--not to mention a very good multitouch touch pad and keyboard--the Gateway ID47H02u should be very strongly considered by anyone looking for a fast, compact 14-inch laptop at a reasonable price. It's not much different from what's out there from other manufacturers, but this Gateway packs an excellent mix of features and competitive pricing in a small body.

System configurations:

Gateway ID47H02u
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Lenovo Essential B470
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 410M; 500GB Seagate 5,400rpm

HP Envy 14
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB (Dedicated) Intel HD 3000; 750GB Western Digital 7,200rpm

Asus U41J
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.53GHz Intel Core i3 M380; 4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce 425M + 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite E305-S1990X
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel GMA HD; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm

Gateway ID47H02u
7.7

Gateway ID47H02u

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 8Battery 8Support 7