CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Gateway NV5807u review: Gateway NV5807u

Gateway NV5807u

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR | Gaming | Metaverse technologies | Wearable tech | Tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
6 min read

These days, perfectly usable laptops can be had for a song, particularly if the laptop being shopped for is a modest midrange model. In what's becoming a trend, Gateway's NV5897u debuts as yet another midsize, decently spec'd Core 2 Duo laptop in a frame that's not too bulky, but certainly won't be confused for a Netbook anytime soon.


Gateway NV5807u

The Good

Low-priced Core 2 Duo laptop; good selection of ports; includes Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The Bad

Mediocre battery; weak speakers.

The Bottom Line

It may not inspire, but for less than $600, the Gateway NV5807u is a great value as an all-around 15-inch laptop.

Since Gateway and Acer have merged, Gateway survives largely as a familiar brand providing a variation on Acer's offerings. In the case of the NV5807u, the result is worth noting because the cost is as good as we've seen for what it offers. At $599, it's priced to be an impulse upgrade for someone who's already considering a Netbook, which are ranged anywhere from $300-$500 these days. If a larger screen, true multitasking, and good all-around performance are what you're after, then it's hard to beat the Gateway NV5807u in terms of bang for your buck.

Price as reviewed / Starting price $599
Processor 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
Memory 4GB, 667MHz DDR2
Hard drive 320GB 5,400rpm
Chipset Mobile Intel GM45 + ICH9
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium SP1
Dimensions (WD) 14.6x9.8 inches
Height 1.0-1.5 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 15.6 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 5.76/6.58 pounds
Category Mainstream

Priced at the top of Gateway's style-conscious NV range, the NV5807u configuration shares the same design as its NV siblings. The lid, glossy and dark blue, has a subtle honeycomb pattern and a small silver Gateway logo panel. A large, round silver hinge opens wide to reveal the black interior, and operates smoothly. The interior of lid is glossy, with curved edges. The thick round hinge also houses the Kensington lock and power button on either side, as we've seen on certain Sony Vaio models.

Large matte wrist rests give ample space below the nearly edge-to-edge flat keyboard. Although the keys are closely spaced together, with the space bar made slightly shorter than normal, to fit in the adjoining number pad (not normally a feature on 15-inch laptops), the matte key surfaces feel comfortable and typing was smooth and responsive.

Above the keyboard, a small row of LED-backlit touch controls trigger MyBackup software, an energy-reducing Power Save mode, as well as on/off controls for Wi-Fi, touch pad, mute, and volume. The touch pad doesn't have multitouch support, but the wide-aspect surface has a comfortable feel and size, perhaps running a little smaller than we'd ideally prefer. The touch pad buttons, though, are awkward: a single mirrored bar below the pad can be clicked on either side, but the bar is too thin, long, and strangely placed (the edges lay lower the palm rests instead of rising above) to be found easily when typing, making it more attractive than functional.

In terms of overall chassis size and weight, it's close to the Sony Vaio NW series. We prefer the NW's design, but the NV has an appealing, more muted look, and is particularly impressive considering its bargain price.

The 15.6-inch 16:9 glossy LED-backlit screen feels very large and nearly goes edge-to-edge on the inner lid. Inset from the black glossy plastic that surrounds it, the glare isn't as bad as other fully edge-to-edge glass screens. The NV5807's screen has a native resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, which is standard for a screen this size. In anecdotal streaming video viewing, the picture was very good but not the brightest or crispest we've seen. While the Gateway NV5807u boasts Dolby sound, the volume from the built-in speakers was audible but not booming, placing it in the middle of the pack as far as built-in audio goes.

A Webcam and microphone lie above the screen for online chat and video conferencing.

  Gateway NV5807u Average for category [mainstream]
Video VGA-out, HDMI VGA and HDMI or DisplayPort
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 4 USB 2.0, SD card reader 4 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Expansion None ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner

The selection of ports is great for a laptop this size and price, although it lacks an ExpressCard slot. An HDMI port, a generous four USB 2.0 ports, SD card reader, VGA-out, along with Ethernet and a modem jack round out the set. Internally, the NV5807u has both Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. It's good to see that Gateway didn't skimp on either.

While NV configurations are available at Gateway with AMD Athlon, Turion, or Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the NV5807u is listed as a retail configuration with fixed specs that includes a Core 2 Duo processor, a 320GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM. It's available at retailers including Amazon.com.

The 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 processor is one we've seen in several other manufacturer's laptops in this price range, including the Toshiba Satellite A505-S6960, the Dell Studio 1440-022B, and the HP Pavilion dv4-1465dx, as well as the recently reviewed Sony Vaio NW160J.The NV5807u, however, is the most affordable laptop in this range. The T6500 is perfectly good for any basic multitasking or multimedia work, video or music viewing, or office work, as well as Web browsing. The included graphics capability doesn't give this any gaming muscle, but basic casual games play fine (we also enjoyed some Quake Live on it).

Juice box
Gateway NV5807u Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.49
Sleep (10 percent) 0.93
Idle (25 percent) 7.3
Load (5 percent) 41.23
Raw kWh 37.44
Annual energy cost $4.25

Annual power consumption cost
Gateway NV5807u

On the other hand, the NV5807u ran for 2 hours and 28 minutes on our video-playback battery drain test using the included six-cell battery. That's a disappointing number for a laptop this size, but it's our only real gripe with the NV5807. Then again, our video drain test is grueling--usage under normal Web-browsing and e-mail/office work conditions should produce better results.

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)

The system includes an industry-standard, one-year warranty, with parts-and-labor coverage and return-to-depot service. Gateway offers a 24-7, toll-free, technical-support phone line, and the Web site has the usual driver downloads and FAQs, plus options for e-mailing or online chatting with technicians.

System configurations:

Gateway NV5807u
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm.

Sony Vaio NW125 J/T
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm.

Dell Studio 1440-022B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 1066MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400M G; 320GB Toshiba 5,400rpm.

Toshiba Satellite A505-S6960
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Western Digital 5,400rpm.


Gateway NV5807u

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 7Battery 6Support 8