- Written by: Isabel Eanes
- Category: Computer and Technology, Electronic, Guide, Product Review
- Published: April 20, 2020
The Gateway NV5503u laptop, priced at $450, is one of the best inexpensive computers on the market. I recently purchased this Gateway as a work computer for when I am away from my desktop. Having been disappointed by the lack of functionality on my iPad and a previous laptop, I was in the market for an inexpensive laptop with a large screen, fast processor and plenty of memory. The NV5503u has plenty of power and functionality, but it does have a few drawbacks.
I don’t want to bore my readers with a list of tech specs; however, there are a few important specifications to keep in mind when purchasing a laptop. This Gateway comes equipped with 3GB of DDR3 memory (RAM), 320GB hard drive, Intel graphics card, 1.3MP webcam, 3 USB ports, DVD player, Wi-Fi and Windows 7. The large hard drive space gives you plenty of room for storing large files, while the webcam gives decent resolution for video chatting. The 3 USB ports and windows 7 are a great addition for laptops in this price range.
The 3GB of DDR3 memory gives enough power for efficient multitasking, such as internet browsing and media viewing. However, I have found that it lags during heavy periods of multitasking. For faster speeds, I would recommend updating the DDR3 memory to 8GB for faster processing speeds. For the casual user, the included 3GB is powerful enough for everyday tasks.
Battery life is rated at around 4-hours, with actual use I have found that two to three hours are about average. The reason for the lost battery life? Wi-Fi, wireless mouse and higher performance settings drain the battery at a faster rate. However, using the power saver option on the battery setting gives a greatly reduced performance, which is not worth the extra battery life. You may not want to bring your laptop to the cheap computer repair in London even though the service there is great. So always make sure that when buying laptop, choose one that has a durable and long battery life. This will help you save money in the long run.
When I first purchased this Gateway, I thought the 15.6″ widescreen would seem small. However, this was not the case. Windows 7 offers a great feature that allows you to take two open windows and “lock” them into half of the screen. This allows you to work simultaneously and improves efficiency. The screen is large enough to multitask without squinting at the screen. I would advise against the smaller screens on budget laptops because the difference between a 15.6″ screen and 14″ screen is very noticeable.
Setting up the computer with the Windows 7 OS is very easy. Within five minutes of taking the laptop out of the box, I had everything up and running. For the novice and casual user, the setup process is painless. The keyboard comes equipped with a full numeric keypad, which is an excellent feature for a laptop of this price range. The keys give enough space to type, but I did find some problems with the touchpad. The touchpad has a feature that allows you to go back or forward with the swipe of two or three fingers, respectively. However, the sensitivity and lag time between swipes makes this great feature hard to use. Overall, the usability of this laptop is good, but it could use some improvements to the touchpad.
For a laptop under $500, this Gateway NV55C03u is an excellent purchase. This laptop is great for someone looking for a supplemental computer or one for moderate use. However, I would upgrade the RAM for heavy users to increase multitasking efficiency.