Gateway E-155-C Features and Options

Gateway offers customers the ability to customize quite a few aspects of this particular notebook. Here's a quick overview of the major configuration options available on the E-155-C, not counting any external accessories or peripherals.

Gateway E-155-C System Configuration Options
Processor Core 2 Duo U7500/U7600
Chipset Intel 945GM + ICH7-M DH
FSB Speeds 533 MHz
Memory Speeds DDR2-533
Memory Slots 2 x SO-DIMM, 512MB up to 4GB, DDR2, Dual Channel supported
Graphics Intel GMA 950
Display 12.1" WXGA (1280x800) Touch-Sensitive
Expansion Slots 1 x PC Card type II
2 x mini-PCI (internal) - one occupied by WiFi
Hard Drive 60/80/120GB 5400RPM, 80/100GB 7200RPM
Optical Drive 24X Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM, 8X DVD+/-RW DVD-RAM
Networking/Communications Integrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet and V.90 56K Modem
Intel 3945ABG (802.11A/B/G) Mini PCI Wireless
Audio 24-bit High Definition Audio with 2.0 Speakers
Left Ports Flash reader (SD, MS/Pro, MMC)
1 x VGA
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x PC Card Type II
Docking Station Connection
Right Ports 2 x USB2.0
Optical Drive<.br>1 x 4-pin FireWire
Microphone/Headphones
Front Ports None
Back Ports Modem jack (RJ-11)
Power Connector
Keyboard 83 Key QWERTY (US)
Extras Fingerprint Reader
Touch-sensitive display with tablet interface
Stylus with five replacement tips
Six configurable quick-launch buttons (below LCD)
Battery Options 4-Cell 38.5WHr
6-Cell 57.7WHr
8-Cell (TBD)
Dimensions 11.9"x9.9"x1.17" (LxWxH)
4.85 lbs. (4-cell battery)
5.07 lbs (6-cell battery)
Power Adapter 65W
Operating System Windows XP Tablet Edition
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
Windows Vista Business 32-bit

Given its compact size, it's not too surprising that there are many components which can't be upgraded. Your only choices for the processor are a Core 2 Duo U7500, an ultra low voltage 1.06 GHz 2MB shared cache chip, or the slightly faster U7600 (1.20GHz 2MB). Likewise on the graphics, your only choice is to use the integrated Intel GMA 950 that comes with the 945GM chipset. If you're looking for the ultimate in high-performance computing, the E-155-C definitely isn't going to satisfy. On the other hand, having a dual core processor that runs at 0.900V (or 0.875V at the lowest 800 MHz speed the CPU enters during idle periods) means you get at least decent performance for typical business tasks while potentially improving battery life. If you couldn't tell, this notebook does not use the new Santa Rosa platform - not that it really matters in this case.

In other areas, you still get a reasonable amount of choice. Like the majority of modern laptops, the E-155-C comes with two DDR2 SO-DIMM slots. You can even install 4GB (at the cost of battery life); just remember to purchase a 64-bit operating system if you want to properly utilize more than 2GB of RAM. It appears that for power saving reasons, memory bandwidth is also limited to DDR2-533. Our test system came equipped with Samsung DDR2-667 memory, but it was running at 533 with 4-4-4-12 timings instead of 667 at 5-5-5-15 timings. Considering the relatively slow speed processor, there's likely very little difference in performance between the two memory speeds, so limiting the memory to DDR2-533 in order to improve battery life makes sense.

Did we just mention 64-bit operating systems? Well, unless you want to do it on your own, Gateway is not currently allowing the selection of a 64-bit OS, Vista or otherwise. The cost of a 4GB upgrade is also exorbitantly expensive right now (roughly $800 per SO-DIMM), and again considering the intended use we feel that a 2GB memory configuration makes the most sense. The OS choices at present consist of Windows XP Tablet Edition, Vista Home Premium, or Vista Business - again, all 32-bit versions.

Storage choices are pretty typical, and somewhat surprisingly Gateway offers relatively high performance models. Hard drive sizes range from 60GB up to 160GB, with either 5400 or 7200 RPM spindle speeds. Optical drive options consist of either a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive or a typical 8X multifunction DVD burner (with DVD-RAM support). HD-DVD and Blu-ray drives are not supported as potential upgrades.

Connectivity options include Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, and a 56K modem. Wireless networking is provided courtesy of an Intel 3945ABG adapter.

The display is a 12.1" 1280x800 touch-sensitive LCD panel which we will cover in more detail later. A stylus is included, naturally, and the display can pivot into tablet mode or you can use the system as a normal laptop. The LCD panel is a 6-bit model capable of displaying a maximum of 262,144 simultaneous colors, which is something of a disappointment as we'd prefer an 8-bit panel. In use we didn't really notice any problems with the "missing" colors, though imaging professionals might feel differently.

In the battery department, there are three different capacities listed: 4-cell, 6-cell, or 8-cell. We asked for and received both the 4-cell and 6-cell for testing, and Gateway tells us that the 8-cell battery will be available in August. Battery size translates pretty much directly into battery life, so the 8-cell battery should last twice as long as the 4-cell model, though it will also increase the weight of the laptop by around 8 ounces.

A fingerprint scanner rounds out the features list, allowing you to login/lock/unlock the notebook at the swipe of your finger. The fingerprint scanner is located underneath the display, so it can still be accessed when the system is in tablet PC mode. With the scanner orientation, we found that setting the software to recognize your thumbprint made it a bit easier to swipe.

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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    13-15" screens, discrete graphics, and faster CPUs all generate more heat, which requires better cooling, which makes them quite a bit heavier. And there's still plenty you can do with a laptop that you can't do with a PDA... even if you get a keyboard attachment (which pretty much makes your PDA heavier and less portable). As stated, this laptop certainly isn't for everyone, but it does serve a purpose. It was quite a bit easier to use on an airplane than even a slightly larger laptop, and forget about trying to use a 17" DTR if you're sitting in coach! Reply
  • gigahertz20 - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    Sorry to have to ask this question here but I was wondering when the P35 roundup article will be released? Gary Key promised it would come at the end of June yet here it is July and nothing. Will this roundup be delayed until the end of summer or is it cancelled.

    Thanks for any response.

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Sorry to have to ask this question here but I was wondering when the P35 roundup article will be released? Gary Key promised it would come at the end of June yet here it is July and nothing. Will this roundup be delayed until the end of summer or is it cancelled.


    Sorry about the delay, it will go up right after the m-ATX roundup (which is upside down after NV and AMD had a driver war for IGP solutions this month) that finally starts this week. I have been trying to keep people updated on changes to each board with the short articles. We just received P35 boards from abit, Foxconn,and Biostar that have made it through the first test passes. Please email me if you have any questions about the boards or need further information. I will be glad to provide opinions on the eight boards we have now and an educated guess on the three coming next week.
    Reply
  • FireTech - Saturday, July 07, 2007 - link

    Sorry Gary, but another update in the µATX review update thread you started would be much preferable to this particular comment hidden in a totally unrelated review.
    There are a bunch of guys waiting to hear from you about this and currently feel very let-down.
    Reply
  • najames - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    It will happen right after the mATX roundup. Reply

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