Gateway LT32

Gateway has today introduced to the world its newest mobile offering, the LT32 Series 11.6-inch netbook/ultrathin which is based on AMD’s ‘Nile’ platform and runs Microsoft’s Windows 7 Home Premium operating system………

Not too long ago, it was reported that Acer had decided to shift manufacturing of all of its ultrathin laptops under the Gateway brand and, sure enough, it appears that the latter is already hard at work on new products. In fact, a certain device has already supposedly started shipping, though it’s not exactly a full-fledged ultrathin. For the sake of accuracy, the new mobile PC, dubbed LT32, is more of a hybrid between a netbook and a slim notebook, though the actual performance is definitely not very common for the entry-level laptop market.

The product has a screen size of 11.6 inches and comes with a configuration based on the so-called AMD ‘Nile’ platform. The exact central processing unit employed is the Athlon II Neo K125, whose clock frequency is of 1.7GHz. This CPU is backed up by 2GB of RAM and is paired with the ATI Radeon HD 4225 integrated graphics. This video solution provides the display with more than enough HD multimedia capabilities to make the base of that native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

The latest system to offer a little more Netbook for a little more money is the Gateway LT32. This 11.6-inch laptop skips the typical Intel Atom for an AMD Athlon Neo II K125 processor. While still a single core chip, AMD has always positioned the Neo as a better performer than the Atom, and during initial anecdotal hands-on use, that certainly seems to be the case. The LT32 also includes ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4225 graphics–still not a discrete GPU, but a small step up from the integrated Intel graphics found in most Netbooks.

In our hands-on use, the LT32 felt like a definite step up from Atom-powered Netbooks. We spent less time staring the spinning Windows wait icon, and launching and switching between apps resulted in less hang time. Both the Neo processor and extra RAM likely play a part in this. The Radeon graphics weren’t much for 3D games (although some more basic games are certainly playable — see our list of great games for Netbooks for some examples), but HD video playback was great, including streaming Flash video in HD — something that trips up even Netbooks using Broadcom’s Crystal HD video accelerator.

The large keyboard is typical of 11-inch Netbooks, and certainly easier to type on, although its wide, flat, closely packed keys felt a little wobbly, especially around the center of the keyboard. The touch pad is undersized, and made of the same material as the rest of the wrist rest, demarcated only by a faint raised line. Like most current laptop touch pads, it includes some basic multi-touch gestures, such as two-finger scrolling, but they were hard to use, failing to register much of the time. At least the left and right mouse buttons are actual separate buttons, skipping the unfortunate recent Gateway trend of using a single, thin rocker bar in place of mouse buttons.

One area where the Intel Atom still has a clear advantage is battery life, and while the LT32 lasted around four hours in anecdotal use, that’s nowhere near the six-plus hours a highly efficient Atom Netbook can get

We’re not sure why Gateway’s waited so long to release the details and pricing on the LT32 — considering it’s pretty much a rebadge of the Acer Aspire One 721 we just reviewed — but lo and behold the HD-capable, 11.6-inch ultraportable will be hitting the street soon for $450.

From the looks of things the LT32 also seems to have a similar chassis to the 721, so we’re not totally sure why you’d choose it over the Acer when it’s $30 more, but perhaps there’s just some Gateway diehards amongst us. Hit the break for the full release.


Leave a Reply