P-6831 LCD Quality

Given that we know there are at least two different LCD models available with the Gateway FX P-series notebooks, it's important to make it clear that we are reviewing the 1440x900 WXGA+ LCD. The LCD on our particular notebook comes from Samsung, the LTN170X2. As usual, we are dealing with a TN panel, which means worse viewing angles and 6-bit colors. The good news is that the pixel response time is better than older notebook panels (16ms vs. 25ms), and the backlight is rated at 200 nits.

While Samsung states that the contrast ratio is 500:1, it seemed much worse in person and testing confirmed that at least on our particular model the contrast ratio was much lower. Images appeared to be washed out in comparison to other recent notebooks, although we did notice the improvement in brightness. Let's start with a look at brightness levels and contrast ratio.


Display
Quality

Display
Quality

Display
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The white levels are good for a laptop, coming in at over 200 nits. Unfortunately, black levels scale proportionately, and the result is a relatively poor final contrast ratio of around 250:1. We've mentioned in the past that marketing has gotten a bit carried away with the importance of certain specifications, contrast ratio and response time being two of the biggest culprits. The thing is, such specifications are important when they fall below a certain point. It's difficult to tell the difference between a 2000:1 and a 1000:1 contrast ratio, but the difference between 500:1 and 250:1 is very blatant. We're not quite sure why our test results and the LCD specifications differ so much; it could be that Gateway cut some other costs related to the LCD and that's why the contrast ratio is much lower than expected. It's not enough to make us actually recommend against purchasing the P-6831, although if you demand a high-quality LCD you might want to look elsewhere or use an external display.

A new addition to our LCD testing is a look at color gamut. This is something we have wanted to add previously, but we hadn't found any good utilities for generating the appropriate charts and data. We recently found out about Gamutvision, a utility developed by Imatest LLC. They were kind enough to provide us with a copy of their software, and it does exactly what we need. We compared the color profiles of all previously tested laptops to the Adobe RGB 1998 color profile. Below is a chart of the gamut volume for the Gateway P-6831 FX, along with a graph showing the percentage of the Adobe RGB 1998 gamut from the various laptops. Prepare to be disappointed….


Laptop
Display Quality


We commented in the past about how great the LCD on the ASUS G2P looks in comparison to other laptop LCDs. We now have some more detail as to why it looks better. Nearly all of the laptop LCDs we have tested provide less than 50% of the Adobe RGB color gamut — and note that there are more exacting standards than Adobe RGB 1998. The G2P sets the high water mark at 73.28%, while the vast majority of the other notebooks fall under 50%.

More Information on NVIDIA Drivers Display Quality, Continued
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  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Can anyone who has gotten the T5550 proc go to Gateway and enter your serial number and then check out the documentation and let us know if they only list the T5450 info or if they give you the T5550 info?

    I'm trying to figure out if I've got the T5450 or the T5550 before I open the box... of course the box says T5450 and when I enter my serial at gateway I only get the T5450 documentation as well. I also called gateway tech support and that person basically told me that he showed no records of any of these laptops getting the T5550 proc... but he seemed a little "off" to me though and that's of course an incorrect statement.

    TK.
    Reply
  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    ^^^ also though, I've read on the net (so take with some salt) that gateway released a patch because vista was incorrectly ID'ing the proc as a faster one... is there any merit to this... could we all have the T5450 but it's being miss-ID'd? Reply
  • Che - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    My box does say T5450, but I ran CPU-Z and it does identify it as the faster processor. I'll check the serial number later for ya. Reply
  • Che - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    I entered my serial # and it does state it was a T5450. Ship date March 08 Reply
  • teknomedic - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    Thanks for doing that... I decided to just open my box.. figured I'd be upgrading the CPU anyway later... and... got the faster T5550. ;)

    So I guess there really is no way to know what you've got until you turn on the PC.

    My PC has a ship date of March 13th and I got the T5550 @ 1.83Ghz... of course now my wife is jealous so we had to buy one for her as well. Her ship date was March 4th... haven't opened the box yet... but will report what she has when we do. Both computers were bought at Best Buy.
    Reply
  • teknomedic - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    quick update...

    My wife's laptop with a ship date of March 4th ended up having the slower T5450 proc... Also, both laptops have a strange "buzz" or audio distortion of the right speaker while playing some games (mostly Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath).

    Also, I find the proc debate mute now since the P-6860 is coming out... if you can wait a week or so everyone here should now buy the P-6860... it's still only $1349 but gets a few nice upgrades such as the faster T5550 proc, 4GB RAM and a 320GB HDD with Vista 64bit.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    ASUS makes good notebooks, and the F3kA you linked is reasonable. Still, the 8800M GTS is probably 2 to 3 times more powerful than the Mobility HD 2600. You can run the Quake 4, Crysis, UT3, and Bioshock gaming tests quite easily if you want to compare. Same goes for CINEBENCH, 3DMark, and PCMark.

    I think the ASUS might be a better laptop in terms of battery life (it depends on the battery size), but the GPU, CPU, and LCD are all worse than the P-6831. $900 is a fair price for what you get, though.
    Reply
  • Fant - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    I wished Anandtech would have compared the performance of this gateway to a few other laptops such as the $1500 Dell XPS M1530 which comes with c2d, 4gb, 8600Mgt as well as a MBP running XP (via bootcamp) since it also comes with c2d and 8600MGT. Reply
  • ap90033 - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Wow 8600M GT? I had one of those Dells, I SENT IT BACK. It was HORRIBLE for gaming. Seriously, it would be embarrassing for the Dell... Reply
  • predatorramboxxx - Sunday, March 30, 2008 - link

    all of them now have 1.83 or 1.86 check notebook review if you do not believe me.
    mine came with 1.83 from bestbuy

    Reply

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