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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  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    Lolimaster obviously dont know what he is talking about. Last year the celeron 900 found its way into quite a few sub-$300 notebook deals. And that was a $70 chip. The celeron B810 is a bit more but it has a gpu. It should be faster than an E-350 and get somewhat comparable battery life. I predict that back-to-school sale $300 notebooks will be a battle between the B810 and the E-350. What I still dont get is how brazos notebooks are so expensive when the chip costs so much less. It is clear to me from looking at the atom that even when AMD charges about half for the same class chip, those cost savings simply are not passed on to the consumer. The volume on the intel designs is simply so large that the clearance deals are both more frequent and more of a discount.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    You have to factor in all the costs I suppose. Let's say $50 for the LCD, $100 for the chassis/power/motherboard, $50 for the RAM, and $50 for the storage. Then add in the cost of the actual CPU/APU and you're now at $325 to $350 I'd say.

    Given I'm just estimating prices, some of the stuff may cost more than I guessed, so minimum pricing of around $400 for a 4GB Brazos E-350 is reasonable. But yeah, the $500+ stuff is definitely increasing profit margins a healthy amount (though not up to Apple levels at least).
  • Tasslehoff Burrfoot - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Gateway fails big time!

    Looks nice though....
  • ProDigit - Sunday, March 27, 2011 - link

    These laptops seem interesting when equipping them with an SSD, and a large cell/capacity battery!

    But for 44Wh battery, only to get 4 hours of battery life, is really little.
    Atom netbooks go at least twice to trice as long on battery.
    Granted performance of this thing is better, but I really wished to see these apu's make an 8hour battery life possible!

    I think that should be the next standard, 8hours for school, long flights, or commute, portable office...

    Laptops with only 4 hours of battery are not really speaking to people!
  • Hrel - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    When is Gateway gonna release another laptop that offers a fantastic value like they did a year or so ago with that 17" model with with a 9800GTX GPU in it for about a grand?

    I really want them to release a 15.6" model with a 1080p screen and GTX460 with Sandy Bridge for somewhere around a thousand dollars. I'm thinking like 1200. Cause I was very satisfied with the build quality and keyboard of that model and it was only around for a very short time. They really NEED to do that again.

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