For $400, you can normally get a full-size 15.6″ laptop with an Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Acer’s Gateway NV57H103U offers a little bit more computing power for the same amount, thanks to the Intel Core i3-2310M CPU at 2.1GHz.
Important features of the i3 which are missing on the Pentiums is Hyperthreading, allowing two computing treads per core, and QuickSync for faster video editing and converting. This results in better Passmaark score of the i3 when compared to the fastest laptop-use Pentium, despite lower clock speed on the former.
Intel Pentium B970 at 2.30GHz – 2,310 points
Intel Core i3-2310M t 2.10GHz – 2,621 points
However, the 2310M isn’t the latest processor. It belongs to last year’s Sandy Bridge lineup with the older and slower Intel HD 3000 graphics, as opposed to 2012 Ivy Bridge HD 4000 series with significantly better (but not gaming-class) performance.
Design-wise, the Gateway NV57H103U stands out from the mass of gray and black laptops with its white and silver chassis made of plastics. The keyboard is color matching white and sports separated keys a.k.a. chiclet-style. The 1.3-inch thickness is about average value for the category, but the weight of 5.7 pounds is on the heavier side. However, the laptop isn’t designed with portability as the main goal, but rather desktop replacement-class performance.
Otherwise, the NV57H103U is a standard 15.6-inch notebook with 1366×768 screen resolution, DVD burner, built-in web cam, and HDMI out.
Gateway NV57H103U Specifications
- Display: 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 pixels, glossy surface
- Processor: Intel Core i3-2310M at 2.1GHz, dual-core, 3MB cache
- Graphics: Intel HD 3000
- Memory: 4GB DDR3, expandable to 8GB, 2 slots
- Storage: 500GB hard drive at 5,400rpm
- Optical Drive: DVD burner
- Webcam: 1.3MP, with microphone
- Audio: Stereo speakers
- Network: 802.11n wireless, Gigabit LAN, no Bluetooth
- Input: Isle-style keyboard with num-pad, no backlight, multi-touch touchpad with physical buttons
- Ports and Slots: 3 x USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, multi-in-1 card reader
- Battery: 6 cell 48Wh Lithium-Ion
- Dimensions: 1.3 x 15 x 10 inches
- Weight: 5.7 pounds
- OS: Windows 7 Home Premium
- Warranty: 1-year