Gateway’s LT3100 series notebooks are a bit larger than typical netbooks, but they pack 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel displays which help me foregive the extra size. The other thing that sets the LT3100 apart from pretty much every netbook on the market is the fact that it ships with an AMD Athlon L110 64 bit processor and ATI radeon X1270 graphics.
Gadling’s Scott Carmichael picked one up from Best Buy this weekend, and he’s been quite impressed so far. The Gateway LT3103u that Best Buy carries sells for $399 and includes 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and Windows Vista Home Basic (which means it won’t qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7, but you should be able to upgrade yourself if you’re willing to shell out the extra money).
Carmichael reports that the case is made of shiny, fingerprint-magnet style plastic. The keyboard is decent, and features two full sized shift keys, but has a bit of flex to it. The touchpad has two buttons and supports multi-touch gestures. And there are access panels for upgrading the RAM and hard drive.
Most significantly, the LT3103u performs reasonably well, and Carmichael says it handles 720 MKV files as well as Flash video from Hulu and other web video sites. 1080p video, not so much. No word on battery life yet, but he hasn’t had the laptop very long.
It’s not all hugs and puppies though. He reports the notebook has a noisy hard drive and a few other problems.
If you’re thinking about picking up an LT3100, you should definitely check out the full review. Or stop by your local Best Buy and play on the store model and then let us know what you think in the comments.