The best words used to describe the Gateway UC7807u are “Style that Abandons Convention”. It may seem a bit cliché, but this small brushed metal design is the package consumers want. Today’s notebook customers demand more portability than ever. If consumers can already access anything on the internet via hand held devices and iPhones, notebooks today must offer better quality, better builds, longer battery life and faster speeds if consumers are to choose a device with a larger screen; which is essentially the market the UC7807u fits in. The Gateway UC7807u offers all of these qualities.
- Intel Centrino Processor Technology
- Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T6400 (2.0GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
- Intel GM45 Express Chipset
- 13.3” Ultrabright Widescreen WXGA TFT Display (1280x800)
- 3GB DDR2 667MHz Memory (upgradeable to 4GB)
- 250GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD with up to 1759MB dynamic video memory supporting Microsoft DirectX 10
- Slot-load 8X Multi-Format Dual Layer DVDRW w/ DVD-RAM
- 4-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
- HDMI Connector v1.3
- 1.3 Megapixel Integrated Webcam
- 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery
- Intel WiFi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N Wireless
- 10/100 Ethernet
- (3) USB 2.0 ports, VGA, RJ-45, Headphone/speaker/Line Out, Line-in Jack, Kensington Lock Slot
- HD Audio – two channel, built in speakers
- Expresscard Type 34 expansion slot
- Glossy Moonstone color lid with black brushed metal palm rest and aluminum metal hinge
- Dimensions: 12.6 (W) x 9.4 (D) x 1.5 inches (H)
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
- Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1
- Microsoft Works 9.0
- Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 (60-day trial)
- 1 Year Warranty (Parts / Factory Labor)
- MSRP $799.99
The Gateway UC7807u is a nicely package, powerful little machine that I found enjoyable and easy to use. Easy that is, after unpacking the UC7807u when it first gave me pause; I was not sure how to open it. I looked for the latch to open the lid – there is no latch, only an infinitely small tab that extends over the smooth edge of the lid to get a finger hold to open it up. I seem to always fumble with lid latches so I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the UC7807u by just grabbing hold of the lid edge and pulling it open.
I was then stymied by how exactly to turn it on; there is no visible button to press. I know that the documentation supplied with the computer is there to address this exact issue, but what is the fun in that? I came to discover the power button on the left end of the hinge, subtle but also a little cool.
Gateway has developed a slick but utilitarian industrial design for their notebook series: the charcoal grey body, the band of silver trim that encircles the case and ties in nicely with the silver hinge, the rounded corners of the lid and the beveled front base that makes it easy to grab off a counter with one hand, make for a well thought out, complete design. The glossy finish of the plastic cover does easily pick up fingerprints and smudges - not the best machine to be working on while eating cheese doodles, but a matte finish would have degraded the overall look and feel, the faux metallic finish is pleasing to the eye, so long as you keep a bottle of Windex nearby.
The screen is bright, clear and colorful; I viewed many photos on Flickr and traveled the world on Google Earth, enjoying the vibrant and rich photography and the sharp outlines of the streets and buildings of Rome. I had no need to make any adjustments in brightness.
The screen angle in the dark varies. The picture is washed out when tilted forward, too dim when tilted backward, and seems pretty normal when looking at a 45 degree angle. View the pictures below for more detail.
I am a touch typist so keyboard position and comfort is paramount to me, and the GW UC7807u did not disappoint. The keypads are situated such that ample open, flat space is provided for the fleshy part of my hands to rest in a natural, relaxed position. I could type with great ease, almost as well as I do on my ergonomic keyboard at work with the split and slanted keypad.
The brushed metal bezel around the keypads has nice, cool feel to the palms, but the edge of this bezel is very sharp (as in severe, not dangerous) and little disconcerting to my wrists; I would have preferred this edge to be softened some to make the feel a little more inviting to my white collar hands.
At first blush I did not think I would like the mouse touchpad but I in short order I thought it worked just fine; the factory settings for sensitivity worked well for me. And the location of the mouse buttons is very effective; if I lost my way while viewing the screen I simply needed to find the edge of the case and the buttons, immediately adjacent to the case edge, were easily relocated. However, it is understandable if people find the touchpad uncomfortable. It is circular, instead of the standard square, there is no scroll pad or scroll wheel, and there is only 1 rectangle button representing both left and right mouse buttons.
In front of the silver bar that holds the LCD screen to the notebook, there are a series of red indicators. The first two indicators are play and stop buttons to control the CD/DVDs in the slot loading player located on the right side of the notebook. The buttons glow brighter when pressed adding a bit of flare to the experience. The next track buttons are located on the far right. In between the play/stop and navigation buttons is a touch sensitive volume control. This is a slick feature coming from gateway.
Aside from the glowing touch sensitive multimedia keys, the power indicator also lights up on the left hinge of the notebook, but that is all the LED indicators located on the UC7807u. It would be nice if there was a battery low/charging indicator.
My wireless router is installed in the corner of the basement, but when I brought the UC7807u the bedroom at the other end of house and two floors up it had no problems grabbing the signal and my surfing was uninterrupted, something my Lenovo T60 cannot handle. This is mainly due to the upgraded Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN card in the Gateway versus the older technology Intel R Pro/Wireless 3945 ABG in the Lenovo.
The speakers on the UC7807u are tiny, located right above the keyboard on the left and right side. Quality is nothing special coming from a 13 inch notebook. They do their job fine.
Input and Output Ports
There is access to the UC7807u’s 4-in-1 digital memory card reader. There are no LED indicators on the front of the notebook.
The UC7807u has a tiny webcam on top of the LCD, and it appears to have the correct drivers installed, but there is not any software located on the computer to use it. Third party software must be required.
The right side of the notebook has the convenient slot loading CD/DVD writer combo which is very slick. More notebooks should move to slot loading. There is also two USB 2.0 ports and the power connection.
The left side of the notebook has an Ethernet port, exhaust fan, HDMI out port, VGA output, one USB 2.0 port and a microphone and headphone jack.
There are not ports on the rear of the notebook; the battery is located here.
There are four vents and access to the battery on the bottom of the UC7807u.
The 3Dmark Benchmarks are the most common benchmarks used to determine if the notebook is configured to play the latest games. More specifically, it is used to determine the direct X performance of the graphics cards. The higher the score, the more suited your notebook is to playing games. The number behind the 3dMark Benchmark (3dmark2001, 3dmark03 etc) is related to the year the test relates to technology, which is why the 2001 scores are always significantly higher than the 06 scores. You can compare the scores of this notebook to other notebooks by going here.
In this review, since this notebook is not equipped with high performance graphic cards, we did not test all of the 3dmark and other graphically demanding benches. We ran two tests to show the comparison between dedicated graphics and integrated graphics (like this notebook is equipped with).
Aquamark is an older graphics benchmark that was designed to see how well a graphics card is performing in DirectX 9 environments.
Compare Benchmark Here
Super Pi calculates Pi to a certain amount of digits you prescribe, and the faster it does it, the better your notebook performs. For all my tests using Super Pi I calculate to 2 million digits of accuracy.
1 minute 35 seconds
Compare Benchmark Here
|In addition to the standard tests, there are 7 summary results plus the overall "PassMark Rating" result. The benchmark results are presented as easy to read bar charts so that you don't need to spend hours studying the number to know the result. Timing for the tests is done using high resolution timers, which are accurate to approximately 1 millionth of a second on most PC's.
A major advantage is the support for built-in baseline results which allows you to compare computer systems (a baseline is a standard set of results from another computer). These baseline results can be used to determine how fast your computer is in comparison with other computer systems.
PerformanceTest comes with six baseline results as well as the ability to search and download thousands more from our online database of user submission.
This is not a very particular good PassMark rating, but this is mainly due to the lack of dedicated graphics in this notebook.
This benchmark evaluated how well internet browsers run on notebooks. The benchmark is run on the browsers listed in the screenshot below and put through a verity of tests. In this outcome, Safari was the clear victor.
Compare Benchmark Here
Windows Experience Index
|The Windows Experience Index is a new feature built into Windows Vista that is designed to help you better understand how well Windows Vista and other software will perform on your PC.
Your computer, running Windows Vista, is assigned a rating number called a "base score" that is achieved by measuring the capability of your computer's hardware configuration. This base score rating will help you to more confidently buy additional hardware, programs, and software that are matched to your computer's base score.
The scale of the Windows Experience Index ranges from 1.0 to 5.9. A higher base score generally means that your computer will perform better and faster than a computer with a lower base score, especially when performing more advanced and resource-intensive tasks.
This next benchmark I ran is called HD Tune which measures raw performance of transfer rates, access times, CPU usage, burst rate and the overall health of your hard drive setup. A couple of obvious notes; the burst rate should always be higher than the maximum transfer rate of your score. In this case it is. The second number to look at is the Access Time. The bigger the number, the better the performance. This notebook is equipped with a slower speed hard drive (5400 rpms) in SATA I.
Size and Weight
While weighing in at 5.3 lbs, and not a lightweight machine by today’s standards, I had no problems schlepping it around the house: to the couch for surfing during the Sox game, to the easy chair in the bedroom for surfing during the NCAA championship game, and to bed even, sitting up and surfing during the Celtics game. I threw it in my briefcase and toted it to work; it felt just like my Lenovo T60 I seem to be tethered to these days. I could envision easily carrying this through airports on a business trip, as well as under the arm or in a messenger bag across a college campus.
Heat and Noise
The left side exhaust heat is pretty warm but not obtrusive. There was no discomfort while resting the unit in my lap on or my stomach in the times I sprawled out. The side exhaust vent reached temperatures up to 122 Fahrenheit. The following is the heat map of the keyboard in Fahrenheit.
Crazy battery life; I normally do not run multiple applications while testing the battery life of notebook because it is not very practical, but when I saw how long the battery life of the Gateway UC7807u while just surfing the web, I decided to add a few things to the equation. I was listening to Sirius Satellite radio, while on wifi, and watching a DVD at the same time.
1/8 Screen Brightness – 206 minutes - streaming Sirius radio on wifi, while watching a DVD (Vista Power Saving Mode)
8/8 Screen Brightness – 151 minutes - streaming Sirius radio on wifi (Vista Balanced Mode)
The UC7807u comes preinstalled with a few ad programs such as eba, netzero and earthlink, but also comes with Microsoft Works 9.0 and a 60 day trial of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007.
Size: Good size for portability
Weight: only 5 pounds
Screen: Bright, no dead pixels
Keyboard: Comfortable, large keys
Battery Life: Any time a notebook can get over three hours of battery life on any setting is a plus.
Price: A budget notebook for sure
Mousepad: Uncomfortable and no scroll pad or wheel
Apps: Loaded with ads software you'll probably never use
With the UC7807u, Gateway delivers a very powerful, attractive, simple notebook at a palatable price point. It is lightweight yet still provides a clear, bright screen, and ample wire-free processing performance. This machine would make an excellent college computer for the mobile student, or even for the middle-aged guy who studies Rome history while nestled in his bed.