Thread: If you're getting a laptop, don't get a gateway

  1. #1
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    New York

    If you're getting a laptop, don't get a gateway

    Meh, this is my personal strikeout against gateway laptops. If you are thinking of getting a laptop (now or in the near future) do NOT go for a gateway laptop, their hardware is crap.

    In the year that I've owned my laptop now, I can't tell you all the problems I've had with the stupid thing.

    When I first got the laptop, it would randomly crash and go to the blue screen of death for no reason whatsoever, so I looked around for any viri on my computer, none. spyware/adware, none. So I figured it was probably a hardware problem and I noticed one time on the boot up it actually said what the problem was (it flashed up for a whopping 3 seconds) and I noticed that it said something about the PCMCIA controllers or something like that. So, once I boot up, I go in to the device manager and disable the PCMCIA card slots and voila, no more blue screen of death, and also no PCMCIA ports, wahoo.

    Then, after that, I start playing a game on the laptop and realize after an hour or so of playing that my hands are feeling really warm, so I touch my hand to the keyboard and have to take my hand away because it's so fricking hot. I quickly turn the computer off and unplug the power and turn it over, and I notice that the fan that blows air OUT of the laptop is on the BOTTOM, so in other words, if you want to place the laptop on a table, you CAN'T or you'll melt the table and/or laptop, because it's blowing hot air right back at itself, how grand of gateway to do that. And the fan's not even that powerful either, when I prop up the laptop with something on the back the computer still heats up whenever I'm doing anything processor intensive above normal heat amounts, which is just stupid.

    And if you'll all recall, a couple months ago, some keys on my laptop have stopped working (including, but not limited to, y, 6, comma, right shift, escape, and the F5 key). So I have been having to use my USB keyboard just so that I can type without having to use an onscreen keyboard! And to top that off, because of the usb keyboard, I have to have a usb mouse attached to the side because it's a hassle to move your hand from the keyboard to the touchpad and ends up being just unproductive.

    Yet another thing, just recently I was playing the game freelancer, and I forgot to prop up my laptop on something to keep it somewhat cool, and low and behold, an hour or two in to the game, my laptop just completely randomly turns off! I check the power, fine, battery, fine, no real reason why it should turn off, so I go to turn it on, and all of a sudden the 5 lights on the top start flashing on and off and nothing happens. I try to turn it off, nothing happens, so I take out the power cable, still flashing, and then I have to take out the fricking battery just to have them stop flashing. I then feel the laptop and notice that it's insanely fricking hot again, and I'm assuming that it turning off was the safety feature in the hardware to keep my house from setting on fire because gateway doesn't know the bottom of a laptop from the side and can't figure out where to put fans so they work effectively.

    Let's see, another thing, my battery has also now reached a life span of a whole 5 minutes. Yup, five minutes. If I unplug it from the wall to go somewhere, I have just enough time to run from one room to another and plug it in again.

    So, let's look at this, I have a computer that needs an external keyboard plugged in, needs an external mouse, and must be plugged in to the wall....sounds familiar, OH WAIT, IT SOUNDS LIKE A FRICKING DESKTOP COMPUTER!

    Oh, and did I mention the usb ports randomly don't work either?

    oh, and did I also mention that most of the hardware crap that's been going on happened within about 2 weeks of the warranty expiring? figures eh?

    ARGGGG I hate this laptop

    Don't go gateway, that's all I can say.
    Last edited by jverkoey; 09-08-2004 at 10:23 PM.

  2. #2
    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    between photons and phonons
    I know the feeling altough im using a Dell...

    For me the best thing is still "renting" a laptop which means ill pay for it every year an amount of money on top of that some insurance money and if i keep paying for 3 or 4 years however you want it to be the laptop will become yours...

    But the most beatifull thingie of all this is that the insurance company gives you a new laptop as soon as there is any serious problem, even if you would spill any soft drink or whatsoever on top of it and it gets broke they would still give you a brandnew model ( newer model ).

    I don´t know but in Universitíes they have this thing ( at least with us ) and companys have the same rules here although being in a company you just get a new one every 2 years ( of course you will have to prove that you need the laptop to improve your working abilities etc...)



  3. #3
    Its not rocket science vasanth's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    had no problems with my sony... execpt was unable to insall linux on it..... Installed gentoo on it yesterday and its smooth as ever...

    so i would recommend sony to anyone and keep away from acer too

  4. #4
    Me -=SoKrA=-'s Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    I haven't had any problems with my compaq, although it gets really hot when you play a DVD in it.

    This presario has two fans. One works at different speeds and is practilcally always on, but when the temp goes over 61 C the seconds turns on, and is capable of reducing the temperature of the processor down to the high forties. Even during kernel compiles!

    It also works well with Linux. I haven't had a problem with compatability(sp?), although DMA seems off in but I'm not sure why.
    SoKrA-BTS "Judge not the program I made, but the one I've yet to code"
    I say what I say, I mean what I mean.
    IDE: emacs + make + gcc and proud of it.

  5. #5
    Just one more wrong move. -KEN-'s Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    I wouldn't trust Dell, Compaq, or HP with a laptop. Gateway I might consider, since I've always had good experiences with Gateway desktops.

    IBM and Apple. They've got the best laptops around. Maybe Sager or Alienware if you want a desktop replacement and you've got the cash.

  6. #6
    Registered User VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Gateway sucks at everything. I wouldn't own their crap if they paid me to use it.

    Unfortunately you must get a proprietary system when it comes to laptops. Every laptop I've ever worked on has its own slew of problems be it Compaq (terrible tech support with morons on the phone), Dell - good tech support IMO but still your laptop is only warranted for so long and then the components are hard to get, HP should stick to printers and get out of computers totally....

    I would recommend DELL over all of them...but I frequently do tech support for many of my friends who have major issues even with DELL systems.

    All of the manuf. fail to provide a licensed copy of your Windows XP as well as drivers. They simply include a disk image which overwrites everything on the drive byte for byte. Basically it slaps the original image when you bought the machine back onto the drive. No other way to do it. Call the companies that manuf. the hardware for these laptops and they will tell you they do not support that model. This is because they manuf. for DELL, HP, Compaq, etc., and they do not offer tech support. They tell you to go to the OEM laptop manufacturer who, when contacted, will only tell you to use the recovery disk which uses the aforementioned disk image.

    A lot of money is to be made in this sector if one company could offer laptops like home-built desktops are. Components or complete systems with drivers, XP, and everything needed to get going.

    If you mess a driver up on a laptop....there is no way to reinstall or get a newer version. The driver is also proprietary. Some companies are starting to include drivers....but most do not.

    Be wary of laptops my friends. They are a money pit right now.

  7. #7
    ... kermit's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Hey Bubba, you mentioned all the ibm compatible stuff, but what about Apple machines?

  8. #8
    Registered User whackaxe's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by vasanth
    keep away from acer too
    i'll second that. my step mum bought one and programs all started crashing one day, no explanation or anything. your just using excel for 15 seconds, and then link, your windows just disapears faster than the program takes to start up

    i would recomend sony VAIO, my dad has a sony vaio with a 1600*1200 screen res (i know, its feckin' huge) never had any problems
    I loathe pointers

  9. #9
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    well, just for the record. My Dell 600m laptop has been nothing but awsome. ive never had any problems with it whatsoever. Ive had it for one year now. It runs linux just fine. graphics, cpu performance, LCD, and everything else has just been surprisingly good. Im not trying to be a dell sales rep here but i am just that pleased with my laptop. Banana bread is without a doubt the best form of bread there is. Ive never had to use their tech support so i cant really comment on that. Overall, its a pretty sweet machine.

  10. #10
    Just one more wrong move. -KEN-'s Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by kermit
    Hey Bubba, you mentioned all the ibm compatible stuff, but what about Apple machines?

    Well, considering they only really have two laptops, the iBook and the Powerbook...

    They're both great machines. The iBook is cheap, sturdy, and an all around good machine for something like a student. I wouldn't really go for the 14", though - stick with 12. The 14 is just bigger and has the same resolution. A few more features, but for the price you can get a 12" PowerBook, which is a better machine anyway. The larger sized PowerBooks are even better, if you need something beyond 12".

  11. #11
    Just one more wrong move. -KEN-'s Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba
    Strange little rant
    You forgot to mention IBMs, which are the only portable (non-desktop-replacement) laptops which AREN'T a money pit.

  12. #12
    Magically delicious LuckY's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Just my 2 cents... Don't get a Dell. Aside from the fact that there was a class action lawsuit against Dell for several series of laptops over the years because half of the keyboard would stop working 85% of the time and that the "mouse" buttons _broke_ off after short, standard use, there is a defect in the thing that would cause it to die in suspend mode after it put itself to sleep. Also, the terrible design of the AC adapter in the laptop port caused the bending to rip the sheath open so the wires are all exposed and I fear for my life every time I touch the damned thing.

  13. #13
    I'm less than sure.... abyssphobia's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    In my experience with laptops
    I had an IBM that worked fine, but one day the screen go black and it just say hit any keyboard to continue, and didn't work, Hopefuly It has warranty, and they said that it was the mother board, but now I have a bell and I don't have any problems. I would prefer a sony vaio ohh!!! but they are so expensive , just my luck!!!

    well to me IBM and Bell works fine.

    At jverkoey I know how upset you feel, but do as I did, proclame the warranty.
    At GanglyLamb The thing that you propouse seems good, I would investigate if is that system in my college,I think so in theory. Good point.

    P.s. Forgive my bad English.
    Last edited by abyssphobia; 09-09-2004 at 10:18 AM.
    Have I crossed the line?

  14. #14
    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I guess most companies have a few good models and a few bad models :shrug:

    My sister has a dell and it works great--I can't think of any problems with it so far.

    Oh and she also got a nice wireless optical mouse (microsoft I think) that works better than any mouse I've ever used. I can move the mouse cursor around from a different room (through the wall), works on almost any surface, and the batteries seem to last for a very long time. I think it cost less than $50. Maybe technology is just getting better, but I've heard of some really bad wireless mouses
    "Think not but that I know these things; or think
    I know them not: not therefore am I short
    Of knowing what I ought."
    -John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)

    "Work hard and it might happen."

  15. #15
    i dont know Vicious's Avatar
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    May 2002
    The best mouse I have ever had is this microsoft optical (not wireless) mouse that was bought at office max for $9...
    What is C++?

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