Gateway announced this past Moday that they're releasing to the market a trio of value-oriented desktop (well, really nettop) replacement notebooks built around AMD's Fusion platform. Brazos has been a big hit with OEMs as nearly every major manufacturer is producing machines based around it, particularly the extremely popular E-350 APU.

The new NV series from Gateway features across the board 15.6" LED-backlit 1366x768 displays, wireless-n connectivity, HDMI, 1.3-megapixel webcams, and six-cell, 44Wh batteries. They also feature the now-traditional Acer/Gateway island-style keyboard that remains the bane of my existence, much to Jarred's continued amusement. As a whole the line may not seem too exciting, but remember these notebooks are gunning for users on the strictest of budgets and top out at an MSRP of $470.

Gateway's flagship model is the catchily-named NV51B05u. This is the $470 one, and it ships with the AMD E-350 APU, 3GB of DDR3, and a 500GB 5400-RPM hard drive. Presently, the NV51B05u is the only model on Gateway's website, but it can be found here. Gateway quotes over four hours of running time on the battery, and our experience with the E-350 suggests that figure is probably accurate for moderate loads.

On the other hand, Gateway is a little more cagey with detailed specs about the other models that are rounding out the line. At $450 is the NV51B02u, which also features the E-350. Odds are good this model has a smaller hard drive and/or less RAM. And at the extremely entry-level $400 price point is the NV51B08u which swaps out the E-350 for the C-50. The AMD C-50 retains both cores, but runs at a much slower 1GHz and clocks the graphics core at just 280MHz, though it also features a TDP of just 9W, half that of the already frugal E-350.

Unfortunately these prices seem a little on the high side for what you get. Compare the NV51 series to Gateway's own NV50: starting at $450, you get bumped up to a 2.1GHz Phenom II triple-core and 4GB of DDR3. Of course you'll sacrifice mobility and battery life for the privilege, so for users who are going to want to take their 15.6" notebook onn the go, the newer NV51 with the E-350 may seem like the better call. Ultimately, though, an important takeaway is that this extreme budget market segment may not be for you, but users who don't need much from a machine are going to get more mileage out of these notebooks. This is a market that used to be served by AMD's dire V-series processor, so the E-350 is going to be a major upgrade. 

And just to sweeten the pot, we'll have Toshiba's 15.6" Brazos model, the C655D, in house soon.

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  • ProDigit - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    I find 8 to 9 inch netbooks perfect! Especially as gaming console.
    I hear all these people crap about 9" being too small, but they never complain about their (MUCH SMALLER) Nintendo Gameboy, or DS, or PlayStation Portable, cellphones or GPS systems!

    It are crappers like you that made companies go over to the bigger, more bulky models; which I don't think is an improvement at all!

    I have no issues typing on a 9" keyboard; and I much prefer that over a 10" version!

    9" fits in the inside of your jacket. Is good for thumb typing as well as regular typing.
    The screen size is perfect for a 1367*768 resolution because you keep those netbooks very close to your eyes anyways.

    And it's size is just made for lower battery life! (smaller screen, less light is necessary from the backlight, smaller internals, smaller fan,...)
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Where can I find an 8" netbook with a 1368*768 screen?
  • Basilisk - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    If you think larger screen sizes always relates to power use, you probably are relatively young! With aging, eyesight often deteriorates and those small screens become cumbersome if not almost useless. Sure, larger screens cost more and many older folks are more price sensitive and thus can't afford them, but... I'd be hesitant to recommend anything but the largest sizes to anyone in their 60's and up. (I'm traveling at the moment, and I find even my sister's 17" lappy poses proiblems for my 64yo eyes.)
  • ProDigit - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    hah, what a bunchload of crap are you vomiting!

    1- 15" displays cost less than 10-11" screens due to their higher demand and production.

    2- Larger screens ALWAYS use more power! More backlight to be able to see something on the screen, while on a small screen that light is more focused, and thus, you save battery

    3- If you already can't see 1367*768 resolution on a 9" screen, I seriously suggest you to get glasses! Every person, even with not a perfect 10/10 vision, should be able to see it.
  • frozentundra123456 - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    I am older, but luckily have fairly good eyesight. The thing I dont like about the netbook size chasis is the small keyboard.
    I think the E350 APU is "fast enough" for a 15.6 in chasis. The only problem I see with these notebooks is that I think they are overpriced, unless they become available for quite a bit less than list. I am not sure I see any point to the C-50 platform in a notebook. It is barely faster than a smartphone or tablet.

    Oh, I forgot, the other problem is that they are made by Gateway. My experience with Gateway products has been very poor. I bought one laptop from them and had to exhange it because it would not power up when taken brand new from the box. The replacement had several instances where it would not power up either, and eventually died after slightly more than a year.
  • mino - Saturday, March 26, 2011 - link

    The single point of C-50 in 15" stuff: PRICE!

    On top of that, even that puny little C-50 has more than average GPU muscle onboard ...
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, March 26, 2011 - link

    More than average? If by average you mean the old Core 2 Duo GMA 4500MHD, then yes, but the HD 6250 is generally slower than even Arrandale's IGP. More compatible, perhaps, but compatibility isn't all that useful when you're talking sub 20FPS. C-50 is fine for the AMD netbook alternatives (i.e. under $350 with Win7 Starter), and our forthcoming review suggests the C-50 is about 10% faster in single-core and 10% slower in multi-core compared to the Atom N550. You're still looking at a lot of compromises with any $350 netbook, though.
  • mino - Monday, April 4, 2011 - link

    More than average of what is on the market in that price category.

    18W Arrandale Celerons and Pentiums are anything but speed daemons. And that is the HIGH end.

    On top of that once you include driver (in)quality into the mix, HD6250 ends up beaten only by HD6310 and (in games) by SB. Neither of which are actually competitors. 5 FPS in an OpenGL app is still incomparably better than blank screen...

    Even the most basic C-30 will run almost anything you throw at it. Including say even Hyper-V. Not a single Intel's APU has such can-run capability.
  • ProDigit - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    Totally agree with you!
  • Zingam - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link


    - That's cheaper than iPad. Can somebody explain me why these craptabs cost so much?

    I want to get one but there is no way I'm paying that much for a toilet browser!

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