Gateway EC1803h: Netbook or Ultra-portable?

Want to talk about one of the articles in SPCR? Here's the forum for you.
Post Reply
MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Gateway EC1803h: Netbook or Ultra-portable?

Post by MikeC » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:29 am

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Jipa
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Post by Jipa » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:10 am

That looks tempting.


BUT! There's the but, I totally, utterly and absolutely hate the glossy black plastic. It's bad enough in home-hardware (the stand of my TFT is made of it :roll: ) but on portable devices it's just so retarded. Just pull the lappy off the bag/sleeve and it already has the gross finger prints on it.

What's the point?

I realize that not everyone likes the tank-like appearance of the IBM/Lenovo laptops, but I'd choose them or matte finish any and every time over the glossy BS. My 2 cents.

Oh and also, thanks for the review! Par the glossy parts, it sure seems like one nice laptop.
www.Metku.net & www.AllTheMods.com

Cistron
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:18 am
Location: London, UK

Post by Cistron » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:16 am

Jipa wrote:BUT! There's the but, I totally, utterly and absolutely hate the glossy black plastic. It's bad enough in home-hardware (the stand of my TFT is made of it :roll: ) but on portable devices it's just so retarded. Just pull the lappy off the bag/sleeve and it already has the gross finger prints on it.

What's the point?
They also scratch very easily leaving clearly visible marks. I guess it's a big marketing gag in order for people having to buy more protective gear. If my iPod had a saphire watch glass and a brushed titanium shell...

mattthemuppet
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 7:05 am
Location: State College, PA

Post by mattthemuppet » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:46 pm

cool review. I think these sort of laptops are really where it's at right now - 11.6-13.3in, almost all day runtime, enough processing power for the majority of people and light enough to slip into a back pack without worries.

I'm a big big fan of my Acer 3810T - I still can't get over what a bargain it was. The chiclet keyboard isn't great, though I've gotten used to it, and the speakers and mouse buttons leave alot to be desired, but the 7-8h runtime means that I never need to take the powerbrick home from work (though I do at the weekends just in case) and it should make traveling that much easier.

I have mine set to undervolt/clock at idle (6x and 1.013V, the lowest) and load (7x and 1.013V) which helps a bit too - stock is around 1.053V I think. Shame I can't alter fan speed on AC, though unplugged it's very quiet unless under load for long periods (like making a Skype video call).

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:07 pm

Jipa wrote:BUT! There's the but, I totally, utterly and absolutely hate the glossy black plastic. It's bad enough in home-hardware (the stand of my TFT is made of it :roll: ) but on portable devices it's just so retarded. Just pull the lappy off the bag/sleeve and it already has the gross finger prints on it.
I've been wondering how these things will take to a coat of metallic spray paint. Really. I'm going to have to try it on one soon.

Although the brushed aluminum style case looks good, I'm not sure that it's all that practical either. My Lenovo T42, T62 and X300 all have the same rubberized black paint (over plastic or magnesium), which isn't the nasty gloss, but it still gets smudges and ends up looking worn quickly even when it's not. The best I've seen is actually on another Lenovo, the Idealpad Y510 -- which has terrible hinge design (broke on a friend's in less than 6 mos) but a great surface finish --

Image
"distinctive, linen-like Light Weave Texture " -- it shows no wear or smudges.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

lucas82
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:24 pm
Location: Santa Maria - Brasil

Post by lucas82 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:05 pm

How to disable the automatic fan activation when on AC power:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showpos ... count=1791

Acer 1410, 1810, 3810, 4810, 5810 Timeline Drivers, Software, Tweaks and Settings FAQ
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=413140
Last edited by lucas82 on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

autoboy
Posts: 1008
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Post by autoboy » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:39 pm

This looks like the ultimate netbook to me. I use a notebook with a core 2 duo at only 1.5ghz as my main work PC and i frequently find I need more power from it even with pretty simple tasks. That is why I define this as a netbook and not an ultra portable.

HDMI
video acceleration
a CPU that can handle Flash video
11" screen
6 hours of battery life
comfortable keyboard

That sounds like a perfect netbook to me.
I also have a Asus 10" netbook and it's main limitation is flash video and no HDMI output. Otherwise I love it.

mattthemuppet
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 7:05 am
Location: State College, PA

Post by mattthemuppet » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:06 pm

autoboy wrote:This looks like the ultimate netbook to me. I use a notebook with a core 2 duo at only 1.5ghz as my main work PC and i frequently find I need more power from it even with pretty simple tasks. That is why I define this as a netbook and not an ultra portable.

HDMI
video acceleration
a CPU that can handle Flash video
11" screen
6 hours of battery life
comfortable keyboard

That sounds like a perfect netbook to me.
I also have a Asus 10" netbook and it's main limitation is flash video and no HDMI output. Otherwise I love it.
Sounds like a laptop to me :) Catagorisations are essentially meaningless - if it does what you want of it, then that's all that matters. An Atom powered ***?book wouldn't have been powerful enough for me, this one is.

mattthemuppet
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 618
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 7:05 am
Location: State College, PA

Post by mattthemuppet » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:21 pm

lucas82 wrote:How to disable the automatic fan activation when on AC power:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/show...postcount=1791

Acer 1410, 1810, 3810, 4810, 5810 Timeline Drivers, Software, Tweaks and Settings FAQ
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=413140
thanks Lucas, some useful tips there. Sadly can't use the Win7 power management settings for fan control yet as I'm still waiting for my Win7 disk and Vista doesn't have that option. Might check out SmartFan - looks like it could work. I'll report back in the Notebook forum as and when :)

Jipa
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:06 am
Location: Tampere, Finland
Contact:

Post by Jipa » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:58 pm

MikeC wrote: I've been wondering how these things will take to a coat of metallic spray paint. Really. I'm going to have to try it on one soon.

Although the brushed aluminum style case looks good, I'm not sure that it's all that practical either. My Lenovo T42, T62 and X300 all have the same rubberized black paint (over plastic or magnesium), which isn't the nasty gloss, but it still gets smudges and ends up looking worn quickly even when it's not. The best I've seen is actually on another Lenovo, the Idealpad Y510 -- which has terrible hinge design (broke on a friend's in less than 6 mos) but a great surface finish --

PIX

"distinctive, linen-like Light Weave Texture " -- it shows no wear or smudges.
Yeah I had the rubber-ish finish on my X31, and sure it isn't perfect either.

Its just that I already declared a war against super bright blue leds already a couple of years ago, and seeing as there hasn't been much luck on that area, I might start seriously hating the glossy plastic...

- Don Juan. ;)
www.Metku.net & www.AllTheMods.com

paha_paawo
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:50 am

Post by paha_paawo » Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:05 pm

Strangely when the system was idling using the Balanced and Power Savings power schemes, the CPU ran at 1.6GHz with a core voltage of 0.875V according to CPU-Z. In High Performance mode it idled at 1.2GHz but with a higher voltage (0.925V).
That 1.6ghz is actually 800mhz detected incorrectly, because FSB is running at half speed in lowest speedstep state (SLFM) but CPUz doesn't recognize that.

You can verify 800mhz clock speed at least with intel thermal analysis tool.

dhanson865
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
Location: TN, USA

Post by dhanson865 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:41 am

It'd be worth mentioning that the Gateway LT-3103u uses the same screen, has nearly identical form factor and features, and doesn't have the international keyboard issues for those US folk out there.

On the plus side the 3103 also has AMD/ATI graphics instead of the Intel integrated graphics.
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987

Lawrence Lee
SPCR Reviewer
Posts: 1115
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:07 pm
Location: Vancouver

Post by Lawrence Lee » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:36 pm

paha_paawo wrote: That 1.6ghz is actually 800mhz detected incorrectly, because FSB is running at half speed in lowest speedstep state (SLFM) but CPUz doesn't recognize that.

You can verify 800mhz clock speed at least with intel thermal analysis tool.
I believe you are correct but TAT doesn't work on it.

dhanson865 wrote:It'd be worth mentioning that the Gateway LT-3103u uses the same screen, has nearly identical form factor and features, and doesn't have the international keyboard issues for those US folk out there.
Any model you buy in the US won't have international keyboard issues. If you go into a big box store in Canada, 80% of them have international keyboards with the other 20% probably being old stock that hasn't cleared out yet. Asus seems to be the only exception. :(

lizrdtail
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: elsewhere

Post by lizrdtail » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:40 pm

Anyone know what the effective dpi of this screen is? I have one of the Asus EEE PC models with a little screen (can't recall if its 7 or 9) and I can barely read it the text is so darn small.

Listener
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Re: Gateway EC1803h: Netbook or Ultra-portable?

Post by Listener » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:20 pm

Mike, Thanks very much for this review and the ASUS 1005HA review. They helped me move toward a purchase.

I especially valued the detailed noise information.

A little feedback. One of my uses for a notebook is to control a dedicated Music PC in another room using VNC software. the notebook will sit beside my chair as I listen to music and any noise will raise the noise floor. So noise matters as much for the notebook as it would for the PCs in my home office.

Bill

lucas82
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:24 pm
Location: Santa Maria - Brasil

Post by lucas82 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:27 am

There is a large thread about the cousins Acer 1410 and Acer 1810T:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=401647

Listener
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Post by Listener » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:53 am

lucas82 wrote:There is a large thread about the cousins Acer 1410 and Acer 1810T:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=401647
That is a long thread! Thanks.

bill

kittle
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 336
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:44 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Post by kittle » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:03 pm

Nicely done review.

I would be tempted to get one if I hadnt already got a T500 last year.

As for the glossy finish -- im of the same mind: whats the point?
Sure it looks nice on the showroom floor, but when your traveling its really easy to get smudges and such on it. Ponder grabbing a snack at the airport while you wait for your plane.. greasy fingerprints anyone? ... nothankyou.

The Matte finishes work just fine. both screen and casing.

Although I Really like the look of that "Linen-like Light Weave Texture"
[size=75]1: Asus P6X58D, i7 980x (stock), GTX285 2gb (stock), 12GB ram
2: Tyan k8we, SC742S-B case, 2x Opteron 280, GTX210 (stock), 6GB ram, 2x zalman cps9700 - no fan, Sythe ultra-kaze
3: Thinkpad T500[/size]

dawnpatrol
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:24 am
Location: London

Got mine yesterday..

Post by dawnpatrol » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:59 am

I took the plunge and on a business trip to Toronto bought one for my 11 yr old from Futureshop..paid $499 plus tax..which is conveniently below the new uk limit for bringing goods back in to the uk.

Beautiful machine..streets ahead of the Atom machines..the case attracts fingerprints but nothing is perfect.

Best thing is that it feels comfortable to work on and it is fast and responsive.

I bought the 2 yr international warranty for $99 plus tax..hopefully I won't need it but I don't want to have to return to Canada to get it fixed.

I think this machine represents affordable, high performance, mobile computing...and in today's world that is what is required for a lot of people.

Pretty ironic that I get to struggle on my trusty old IBM X30 ad my eldest gets this lovely machine...I suspext I will get the dual core one..but only if the price isn't riduculous.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Re: Got mine yesterday..

Post by MikeC » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:31 pm

dawnpatrol wrote:I took the plunge and on a business trip to Toronto bought one for my 11 yr old from Futureshop..paid $499 plus tax..which is conveniently below the new uk limit for bringing goods back in to the uk.

Beautiful machine..streets ahead of the Atom machines..the case attracts fingerprints but nothing is perfect.

Best thing is that it feels comfortable to work on and it is fast and responsive.

I bought the 2 yr international warranty for $99 plus tax..hopefully I won't need it but I don't want to have to return to Canada to get it fixed.

I think this machine represents affordable, high performance, mobile computing...and in today's world that is what is required for a lot of people.

Pretty ironic that I get to struggle on my trusty old IBM X30 ad my eldest gets this lovely machine...I suspext I will get the dual core one..but only if the price isn't riduculous.
There are also 13.3" screen ulra slims using the same C2D Solo CULV CPU, like the MSI x340.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

RoGuE
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Post by RoGuE » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:45 pm

with the huge netbook boom lately, I think it would be really cool to have an SPCR roundup.

I realize models change fast, so maybe this wouldn't be practical...but it would be so nice to have the roundup if I were in the market for one.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:19 pm

RoGuE wrote:with the huge netbook boom lately, I think it would be really cool to have an SPCR roundup.

I realize models change fast, so maybe this wouldn't be practical...but it would be so nice to have the roundup if I were in the market for one.
I, for one, am really not interested in reviewing netbooks. They are just too similar and all suffer the same problem: Atom. Yeah, Atom brought them into existence, but it's the achilles heel, too -- just not fast or powerful enough for anything vaguely serious. IMO, answering the question of the article intro, this Gateway/Acer is not a netbook but a new class of laptop -- low power, long mobile life, slim/light and good enough CPU power. If we could get a steady stream of CULV laptops through SPCR, we'd happily get into reviewing them on a regular basis.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

RoGuE
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Post by RoGuE » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:30 pm

understandable...you make a good point. I guess we'll see what happens...

Listener
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Post by Listener » Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:50 pm

MikeC wrote: I, for one, am really not interested in reviewing netbooks.
...
IMO, answering the question of the article intro, this Gateway/Acer is not a netbook but a new class of laptop -- low power, long mobile life, slim/light and good enough CPU power. If we could get a steady stream of CULV laptops through SPCR, we'd happily get into reviewing them on a regular basis.
I think the one netbook review you published is fine for characterizing the current generation of netbooks. Maybe when a new generation of Atom CPUs appears, there might be value in one review of that generation of netbooks.

I got real value out of the CULV notebook review you have done. I hope you will cover the CULV notebooks as more models become available. I am especially interested in noise issues which rarely get more than a sentence in other reviews.

Bill

cloneman
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 9:48 am

Post by cloneman » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:30 am

Old thread bump... anyone notice how mediocre the screen is on this netbook? I can't seem to get over it, its quite unspectacular and the higi ppi doesnt help....

I'm considering an rma and hope they have more than 1 panel supplier....
[size=75]P4 2.8 w/ Ninja - HIS Radeon 9800 Pro - Fortron Zen 300W fanless - BQE Case Fan @ 12V, Sflex @ 5V[/size]

Post Reply