Exterior Overview

The Gateway FX chassis is pretty similar to what you see in most other 17" notebooks, with a few noteworthy exceptions. Besides the exterior styling, the most interesting difference is that the entire unit is "flatter" and perhaps slimmer than most of the other 17" notebooks we've looked at recently. Understandably, notebooks like the Dell XPS M1730 are quite large — they need to be in order to provide adequate cooling for the dual GPUs. The Clevo M570RU chassis is smaller than the Dell, but it has a sloped design so that the back is quite a bit thicker than the front (22mm vs. 44mm). In contrast, the Gateway FX chassis is much flatter: 33 mm thick at the front and 43 mm thick at the back. It also doesn't have any thick "feet" to raise the bottom of the laptop above a flat surface. We generally like the flatter feel of the Gateway chassis, though other opinions may vary.

There's an unfortunate drawback to the design, however. The battery protrudes quite a bit from the back of the notebook, as you can see in the images below. This can make it more than a little difficult to fit in standard 17" notebook carrying cases. What we weren't able to confirm is whether our battery is the standard size, but judging from the other pictures we've seen there's only one battery available. Despite what the website says (Gateway lists a 2600 mAh battery), the actual battery is a 7800 mAh (86.5 Whr) 9-cell design.

We also want to take a moment to comment on the keyboard layout. Gateway got this aspect almost exactly right. You get a full-size number keypad, and all the keys are where you would expect them to be, including large enter and zero keys. The Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys are above the number keypad, which is not necessarily ideal, but we had no problems adapting to this location after a few hours. (If you try to use multiple notebooks, it can get confusing at times remembering where some of the keys are.) Some people might argue about the placement of the Fn key in the lower left corner. I personally prefer to have my Ctrl key in that location, so I would dock points from the keyboard layout; Anand on the other hand gets upset if the Fn key is not in the bottom left corner. You also get a second Fn key located near the cursor keys, which is unusual but not necessarily bad.

The keyboard on the Dell XPS M1730 is still the gold standard by which I judge all other keyboards. It does everything right, and the LED backlighting option is an added bonus. If the XPS M1730 keyboard earns an A+ grade, the Gateway FX is not far behind, garnering an A or an A- depending on how you feel about the Ctrl/Fn key positioning.

Gateway P-6831 FX Overview No Disassemble!


View All Comments

  • deshiboy - Monday, January 25, 2010 - link

    I use the FX for school and my Sager 8690 for gaming. Sager looks plain but preforms likes a desktop, I wish they did a better job on the battery life. But thats where my FX comes in to save the day. Reply
  • atlmann10 - Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - link

    Gateways doing the same thing with the next on this line except its centrino 2/core2duo with ddr3 and a 9800 GTI for 1449 frickin awesome these will be hard to come by after the last one (the one in this review) Reply
  • atlmann10 - Tuesday, August 5, 2008 - link

    oh with a 7200 rpm Hard drive and wireless N oh did I mention ddr3 can you say lower power better performance Reply
  • xeryx - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    Obviously Gateway and Best Buy has decided to blow away the competition with this notebook!!

    I have been laptop Gaming for years, because my job keeps me on the road alot. It is a great way to pass the time away from family, and stay out of trouble.

    I currently own a Sager 17" laptop with the 7800m 2gb, and a 80gb hd. When I bought it new it was $2200.

    As a comparison to the Gateway, (Best Buy version)get an almost equivalent system from Sager, your looking at $2200. In all fairness, that is the 8800gtx ($395) and a 2.1 ghz (t8100) with no option of a second HD, let alone Raid 0. It also has the fingerprint scanner.

    To me the 2nd hd (even though 5400) is very important, let alone the potential for raid 0. I find that laptop HD performance is not very good overall, and can cause delays when gaming.

    Screen resolution, I have been gaming at 1680x1050 and in all honesty, it is too high for a 17" screen. Especially in the desktop. 1920 is way too high for a 17" screen, unless you have SLI8800m's. That is a completely different bracket.

    In my opinion they did an excellent job in trading off, and adding in some very key features. SO you basically save $1000.00 for a little bit less performance than a 8800 GTX machine. The key here though is at @ $1200, not $2000 you get a machine that will be able to handle just about anything you can through at it (Crysis doesn't count).

    If you are thinking about getting a laptop, for gaming...this is the absolute best smoking deal you can find!!
  • Rekonn - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    Anybody have an update on when the P-6860fx will be out? Reply
  • Rekonn - Friday, April 11, 2008 - link

    Found answer today on Yahoo finance:

    The Gateway P-6860FX comes with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition with SP1 and will be available beginning this weekend at Best Buy with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $1,349.99. It comes with NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8800M GTS 512MB GDDR3, an Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor, 3072MB of DDR2 SDRAM and a 250GB(1) 5400RPM SATA hard drive. This system also comes with a multi-format dual layer DVD-R/RW/DVD-RAM drive with LabelFlash technology(2) for burning images and text onto a DVD or CD.
  • teknomedic - Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - link

    I've returned both my P-6831s because of the P-6860FX... the above post is a bit wrong about the specs... here's what I know:

    Gateway P-6860 FX
    Basically the same as the P-6831 with a few nice upgrades:

    Proc = T5550 @ 1.83-1.86Ghz (up from T5450 @ 1.6Ghz)
    RAM = 4GB (up from 3GB)
    HDD = 320GB SATA (5400rpm) (up from 250GB)
    OS = Vista Home Premium SP1 (64bit) (up/down from 32bit?)
    MSRP Price = $1,349.99 (same price before BB $100 off online)

    All other hardware appears to be the same... there's a small chance that the CD-Burner supports one more Dual Layer format, but that could simply be because of Best Buy not listing specs correctly.

    Side note... has anyone had issues with the right speaker having bad distortions on certain sounds or speach from games... both my P6831s had this issue (another reason I returned them).


    HEY, Anandtech.com.... any chance we can get a refreshed review including the P-6860... it would be interesting to see if the extra boost of Proc and RAM with 64bit OS helps or hurts the laptop.

    ***please, please, please, please, please***

  • xeryx - Thursday, June 5, 2008 - link

    You did forget a couple of other differences.

    BTW Get this Laptop at Best Buy!! The upgrades are well worth it as compared to the Gateway website!!!

    1) Comes with the Bluetooth the Gateway 172s does not
    2) The wireless adapter is the upgraded to support b/g/n
    3) 64bit operating system vs 32bit

    Thank goodness you can Raid 0 this puppy later, I was worried! The specs for the 172s says no raid support??
  • kyp275 - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    aye, a refresh on the review for the 6860 would be great :) Reply
  • Rekonn - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    Yes, please update the review! I'm planning to buy a laptop soon and would love to see how the faster Proc, more RAM, and 64bit OS affect results. Reply

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