Friday, January 25, 2008

Gateway T5450 Laptop M-6750 Review


I recently picked up this laptop on sale at Best Buy (of all places!) for $750.


Pros:

- 3GB of ram is great. (It means less disk thrashing, which means faster performance)

- 250 GB HDD (minus a bit for some fluff) is a good amount of storage.

- The 1.66 GHz Core 2 Duo seems good enough for my needs. The large memory helps keep it fed.

- Generally, I find performance in Vista to be fine, including with the fancy Aero interface running.

- It's lovely and shiny. The red lid, and wrist rest area look great. It's got a brushed steel look around the keyboard. The screen is one of those high gloss ones (which worried me at first, but I now like). Plus Vista looks pretty. All round, it's a lovely machine to look at.

- It's nice having the built-in webcam and microphone for Skype.



Cons:

- The 'Fn' key is in the corner of the keyboard, instead of the left 'Ctrl' key, as it is on most normal keyboards. This means I'm constantly messing up copy/paste type operations.

- The built in speakers are really weak, though this is true for most laptops.

- The integrated / shared memory graphics card won't be good for modern games, but it's fine for regular windows. Plus the extra large ram makes up for it using main memory.

- Comes with a bunch of trialware and other junk which takes a while to remove ('PC Decrapifier' got rid of about half).

- The volume slider touchpad doesn't work as well as I'd like.

- The webcam doesn't always work, sometimes requiring a reboot, though that might be due to something I've done.
- {EDIT} A quiet but slightly annoying whistling type noise sometimes comes through the sound card. I've found that it goes away when sounds are made (e.g. MP3 or windows noises), so I think the sound card drivers might be a little off. It annoyed me a little at first, but I'm used to it now.


Overall:

I'm really glad I bought it. The few niggles I list aren't a big deal for me.

{Edit - Wow, this post got a lot of hits. It seems some people have had a lot of problems with the machine. Mine's still fine 7 months on, but buyer beware...}

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fortunately it's $699.99 at BB 2/10 to 2/16..hurry it's sold out on line!

Mark Pope said...

Sigh - It's always the way... :)
You can call the store to see if they have it. Note that they may not have it out on display - that's how it was when I got mine...

Anonymous said...

I have this computer. I bought it from Best Buy online and everything was fine until I started hearing a high pitch sound (light but you can still hear it) coming from the speakers when the wireless is turned on. I'm almost certain this is a problem with the wireless card and that is where the noise is coming from. Unfortunately, my 14 days are up and I can't return/exchange it! I will have to see if I can get a different card installed. Gateway tech support is useless.

Mark Pope said...

Mine makes the noise too, but it doesn't bother me too much. I've found that it goes away when my music player is running (which is most of the time). The fact that it goes away when playing sounds makes me think it's a sound driver issue.
Sorry I didn't highlight this in my review, it slipped my mind.

kakviisokolunah said...

I just ordered mine last night, can't wait for it to come...it has so much power for a notebook of its size and price. I'm a grad student in industrial design so that's what I bought this laptop for...I'm a little worried about the graphics card but it shouldn't be hard to replace if I have trouble, plus I may have troube with Autodesk apps and their compatability with Vista...I may end up downgrading to XP Pro this fall if it doesn't work out. We'll see!

Jennifer said...

This Laptop is now on clearance at Best Buy.

I really like the look of the laptop and the features, but I have had 2 of these die on me in the last few weeks (one 9 days after first turning it on and the 2nd 6 days after turning it on) There was a power failure and something shorting out inside the computer, and it wouldn't turn on or even recognize that it was plugged in. I was within my 14 days (purchased at Best Buy) and they exchanged it for me twice! The Third computer I have had for 13 days now and still ok, but have still had some weired problems with it not logging off or going into standby. I am curious if anyone else has had similar issues? I have 2 days to decide whether or not I will try and exchange it for another model or take my chances...Jennifer

Mark Pope said...

Mine's been fine. I've been using it pretty heavily for about 10 weeks now. The only niggles I've had are that I sometimes need to reboot for the webcam to work, and the quiet whistling type noise when it's not playing sounds. Sorry to hear about your problems...

Anonymous said...

Well my husband bought this laptop for me on Valentines day 2/18/08 It was working fine until last week 3/26/08 it wouldnt power up.... tried the take the battery out and hold power button for 30 sec. nothing took it to geek squad at bestbuy cus u only have 14 days on computers to return... and nothing... had to ship it out not very happy so run from the gateway laptops... waiting patiently while still making payments on it.

frustrated gateway owner

Anonymous said...

this is on buy.com as refurb for 600 right now - perhaps all the referbs are these ones with power issues :)

Anonymous said...

hello... Im about to purchase this laptop. Seems really nice for the price. although it doesnt come with a tv-out =(, I think that the price and the power worths it.

PS: maybe you can try disabling the microphone the pitch would go away.

Anonymous said...

I just got one from buy.com for 580, refurbished bu got a 3 year warranty too. great deal love it

Anonymous said...

just ordered one and a swiss gear metallic red "spyder" wireless mouse to match.....refurb from buy.com.......guess ill see if it has issues but i doubt it. fact. refurbs get tested pretty good....in my opinion NIB untested is a crap shoot lol.

Anonymous said...

MIne is a piece of crap. Avoid this computer if you can!!! It worked for a month and then just died. I can't boot it up and can't get anything on the screen. Once in a blue moon, it will decide to work-no problem-and then die a few hours later. I've sent it into Gateway TWICE (going on three times as of today) and they never do anything. They say it works fine. Apparently they have some magical power to make my computer work in their presence! I think they are full of crap and aren't actually doing anything to check my computer. I am very frustrated with this product!

Anonymous said...

Mine had the power issue as stated by others on this thread...it is almost 6 months old now, though. Gateway support is very useless - avoid this laptop or get the extended warrantly from your vendor. Make sure the warrantly allows for a replacement...

Anonymous said...

I have had this computer for little over 7 months now...and like everyone else I had the power failure too. And that was barely at 5 months...Well just recently about a week now 8-23-08, this black space has appreared on the right side of the screen and kinda on the bottom. I thought it was just a resoultion thing but I couldn't figure it out since I'm not an expert on vistas. Well I took it to geek squad and they couldn't figure it out and they said I would have to ship it back to the company again and I told them I would just wait becuase I need it for school. I HATE this computer. I DO NOT RECOMEND IT!!!!

Loren said...

I got this Laptop in January of this year. I took it in in February because it wouldn't stay connected to the internet. I took it back in again come april for the power problem. Best Buy blamed that problem on Vista saying Vista doesn't have a hibernation mode. I have never had my computer in hibernate mode i changed all those setting the day i got this computer so it would never go in sleep mode, or hibernate. I only have it go in standby (unless it is unplugged then i have it shut down). In July I had to take this computer back to best buy again for power problems They had the computer for 4 weeks. I knew it was a power cord problem but when i got the computer back they told me they had to replace the motherboard. Ever since i got the computer back this last time I have to manually connect to the internet any time my computer gets turned off or just goes into standby.
Today i found out there is a magnet under the gateway logo that is in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I was wondering if any other computer has the magnet there.

Anonymous said...

heyy i was wondering waht the name of the software that the web cam has .. i have this computer and had to reinstall the entire vista program and i cant find it anywhere!! thanks

Yatti said...

I got mine awhile back.. I agree with the poster's review.. The volume media touchpad is horrible though.. Not really usable.. I think any Gateway laptop's using those are gonna have the same problem though.. Overall good laptop.. Solid for Windows Vista. Picked mine up for 599 Refurb CDN on TigerDirect.ca.. Eventually had overheat issues.. Heatsink was clogged with dust.. I dissembled it (carefully!) and cleaned it out.. Reapplied Heatsink\Fan with Artic Silver 5.. Has been running fine ever since.. Mainly used for Folding @ Home at the moment.. System is fully encrypted via Truecrypt.

Mark Pope said...

To the person who asked about which webcam software it uses. I believe it's this - http://support.gateway.com/s/SOFTWARE/misc/D20147-001-001/D20147-001-001nv.shtml
I tried getting rid of the useless toolbar, but if you remove the toolbar then the webcam stops working. The best I came up with was to make it vertical, autohiding and put it mostly off screen by the clock. :)

Anonymous said...

I have had nothing but problems with this exact same computer since the day I bought it. There was a loose piece of metal that didn't go to anything, discovered by a Best Buy tech support guy in-store. This was causing other problems. That was almost a year ago. My DVD player didn't work. My screen started to have lines bolt across it vertically and horizontally. Drove 65 miles to my local "Best Buy" and they did a diagnostic scan on it ... and found nothing wrong with it. The next day my screen was dead. So after ANOTHER trip to Best Buy (this is now the second trip of 65 miles each way), it is going to be sent out to the manufacturer. The rep at Best Buy (different from the last guy) said that this particular computer has been recalled. He said that something like 67,000 or so were sold and Best Buy had about 64,000 or so returns. So0o0o0o they will probably NOT give me my money back because there is only one and a half months left in my warranty (black tie one too!). I do not ever want another Gateway computer. EVER. Additionally, the wireless connection is unreliable despite the strength of the signal. It's apparently an N card.

Machelle said...

I read some of the comments on this page and I see that a few Gateway t5450 notebook owners are experiencing the same thing I did when I first got mine a year ago. I don't recommend this notebook but if anyone is stuck with it and has the problem with the PC suddenly turning off (without turning back on), I suggest you read on. The reason why the notebook is doing this is because the stock motherboard that comes with this notebook is very faulty. The Gateway tech will say that it's static electricity, your AC adapter, or your battery but save your breath and time and request a repair. Also, please nag Gateway support when you do send your notebook off for repair. If you don't get on them for a timely repair, I swear that Gateway will absolutely take its time. I hope this helps. Also, HP has a better line of notebooks for about the same price, more or less and it's a lot better. You can find it on the HP site or here: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&a1=Category&v1=Performance+and+entertainment&series_name=HDX18t_series

Anonymous said...

When was it that you heard it was recalled?

Rick said...

After reading these post about this Gateway computer I am somewhat convinced that I will have power issues, noise from the microphone or speakers and the mention that Gateway tech support is not supporting their product offering leads me to the conclusion to look at others.
Someone out there tell me otherwise. Rick

Mark Pope said...

I still like mine. I get a bit of noise, but I've not had the other issues / needed to call tech support.
It's hard to tell what the odds are of getting a good/bad one from this post. It might just be that the few who've had issues want to complain loud (which is understandable).

Anonymous said...

ive had mine for over 2 years now. deployed to iraq with it and the only problem i have had it hdd failure, obviously not computer hardware problem. i love the feel of the keyboard, and the integrated mouse buttons. they are firm and you acually have to press them. i upgraded my os to vista 64 bit, with 2-2gb ddr2 800 mhz ram modules and it seems to work alot smoother. excellent. the internet does get interrupted alot, but only cuz i was using the wrong setting. over all a great comp.

Anonymous said...

I have owned this laptop for almost a year now with absolutely no problems. No whistling sounds. No power failures. I am a moderate user but it is on for a few hours everyday. No problems and I am very satisfied with the product for the money. I bought this one refurbished and maybe that has something to do with it or maybe I just got a good one. Then again, maybe it's just a decent laptop. I have several Gateway products and I am happy with all.