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Gateway Launches Athlon-powered Netbook

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 46 comments

Gateway has officially announced its LT3103u netbook packing AMD's Athlon 64 L110 and we have to admit, this netbook has us excited.

Weighing in at 3.04 lbs. and 1.03 inches thick, the LT3103u packs AMD’s Athlon 64 L110 single-core CPU (1.2 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 512 KB L2 Cache), 2 GB of DDR2, ATI Radeon X1270 graphics coupled with an AMD RS690E chipset, a 250 GB hard drive, 802.11b/g, an 11.6-inch high-def WXGA Ultrabrite LED-backlit display, 3 x USB 2.0, VGA, multi-card reader, high-def audio support, a mic, audio out and a 0.3 mp webcam.

Alright so the size of the display (11.6-inches in case you got lost in all the numbers) along with the fact that it ships with Windows Vista Home Basic means it definitely falls into our “this is not a netbook” category. However, its netbook pricetag makes up for all of that. There’s no word on a specific launch date but when it does go on sale, the computer will be available at Best Buy and you can take one home for just $400, which definitely isn’t a bad deal.

What do you guys think? Is there anyone on the market for a netbook and would consider the Gateway LT3103u an option? Let us know!

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  • 4 Hide
    gaevs , June 23, 2009 1:49 PM
    Good, nice specs, way better than Atom, i want one..., the questin, it will have the option to upgrade to Windows 7?
  • 2 Hide
    kawininjazx , June 23, 2009 1:52 PM
    Yea, that 1.2Ghz Athlon is going to run like a dog on Vista Basic. The 2GB of memory will help, of course I don't know why all netbooks don't come with two, the cost difference is like $3!!! I would stick with an atom, but I wouldn't mind a netbook bigger than 10 inches.
  • 2 Hide
    sakanagai , June 23, 2009 1:52 PM
    Is the lone requirement for a netbook these days simply no optical drive and a slow processor? Designation aside, it should be interesting to see how an Athlon performs in the ultra-cheap sector. The last AMD netbook I remember was the OLPC XO-1 (running a 400 MHz Geode). Any ideas what kind of battery life to expect?
  • Display all 46 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    tomtom_32 , June 23, 2009 2:04 PM
    Although the cpu is very weak, but i would love something compact and cheap which dosn't shout i'm a netbook, cause of course it's 11 inches!
    this could be my ideal laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , June 23, 2009 2:20 PM
    think, it could be twice as fast as the atom.
    250GB HDD and 11.6inch screen for $400 is nice. anything about it is good except maybe for the battery life which we don't know yet.
  • 2 Hide
    trinix , June 23, 2009 2:21 PM
    It sounds like the best of all worlds. Strong enough to do most of your on the road things, what you'd want a netbook for, yet cheap enough to rival competing Atom netbooks as being better and able to handle things the atom can't.

    If I needed a netbook/small laptop, this would be the thing I would get. I'd go for something a bit stronger and bigger though. I want to do more than just that, so it's either going to be a heavy laptop or just a pc, but probably another pc for me.
  • 7 Hide
    paranoidmage , June 23, 2009 2:27 PM
    I think Tom's needs to review this and compare it to Atom based netbook.

    I have no idea how well this processor can perform, but the better graphics should help.
  • 0 Hide
    ricardok , June 23, 2009 2:37 PM
    Why compare it just with Atom? Didn't TH did an ION review? Grab one of those new Athlon Netbooks and throw it in the middle to do a review on all three.. We already know that the ION can kick atoms' butt, but I think that the Athlon does offer a better performance than the Atom at any giving time (tho I think the graphic card will suffer if compared to the 9400M)..

    Also, netbooks are all about battery life.. So that has to be reviewed too.
  • 0 Hide
    TheMan1214 , June 23, 2009 2:43 PM
    Based on the above i would totally go for it, and as for it having windows 7;depending on when it comes out i'd assume there would either be an upgrade deal or just coming with it. Beats a lot of the other netbooks i see out here
  • 1 Hide
    thomaseron , June 23, 2009 3:37 PM
    I would buy it. :-)
  • 1 Hide
    Niva , June 23, 2009 4:16 PM
    I would buy it if it had linux and was $50 cheaper.
  • 0 Hide
    frozenlead , June 23, 2009 4:19 PM
    Looks like the Athlon 64 is getting a new lease on life.
  • 1 Hide
    sakanagai , June 23, 2009 4:19 PM
    DailyTech has an article on this,too: link

    The machine will come with ATI Radeon X1270 graphics, 250GB HDD, and up to 2GB of RAM with power coming from a 6-cell battery good for up to five hours.

    Five hours (3 or so under load) isn't bad for a netbook, but I'd like more from a 6-cell battery. Still, if it the performance is there this machine could be worth a look.
  • 0 Hide
    sakanagai , June 23, 2009 4:30 PM
    Sorry, used HTML for the link. fixed
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 23, 2009 4:43 PM
    It is a single core machine, which is not really as helpful as HT powered cpu's.
    Even if the Atom is a smaller processor, it has HT, and therefor the ability to do some virusscanning in the background, while still being snappy in executing small commands like opening windows.

    This singlecore device does not have that option, meaning the thread of opening a folder needs to be squeezed in the main thread of the (doubtlessly) faster CPU.
    Despite the CPU being faster, it needs to wait for some cycles before it can actually execute the command of opening a folder.
    While on a dualcore, or hyperthreading machine, the OS will automatically rout the command to the first available thread or core.

    So in my mind, for smaller tasks and office productivity an Atom is much better. Depending on the processor, benchmarks need to describe exactly how fast this 1,2Ghz Athlon CPU compares to a 1,66Ghz Atom processor. Chances are the Athlon will perform better on single threaded applications (like encoding of music), but might or might not be better with dual/quad threaded applications.

    Also the battery life will be a large definer of whether or not the device will become a success.
    A 3-5 hours battery life with a 1,2Ghz processor isn't really spectacular anymore;in fact, perhaps it is better to go with a Core2Duo machine @2Ghz for $400. They might have an hour less battery life, but they perform at least twice to 4 times as fast.

    People that love battery life (that eg: just listen to mp3, and browse web),will prefer a real Atom netbook.
    People that prefer performance might go for a budget priced laptop.

    I think this netbook is not out of the ordinary, sorry to say; and I see no specific reason as to why buy it!

    It is impressive to cram a 1280x800 resolution in 11" though!
  • -1 Hide
    aspireonelover , June 23, 2009 4:45 PM
    sure it's more powerful, but when you compare the power/performance ratio, Then I'm not sure about that... I'm pretty sure that Intel's still going to beat AMD. Hands down. Overall, the battery life with the Atom platform will be a bit better for sure.
  • 2 Hide
    Regulas , June 23, 2009 5:03 PM
    Interesting, this might be a nice Ubuntu rig. Will keep it mind.
  • 0 Hide
    aspireonelover , June 23, 2009 5:25 PM
    ProDigit80It is impressive to cram a 1280x800 resolution in 11" though!

    I totally agree with that statement!
  • 1 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , June 23, 2009 5:25 PM
    RegulasInteresting, this might be a nice Ubuntu rig. Will keep it mind.

    Just remember to use an older release, or keep in mind that you'll be limited to the open source driver for the graphics chip. ATI stopped supporting these cards with their official Linux binaries, and the older drivers don't play nice with current
  • 0 Hide
    nachowarrior , June 23, 2009 5:35 PM
    graphics chipset is what interests me the most in any given notebook/netbook on the low end of the price range. If i can get some gaming in at 1024x768 on the go for under 500 bucks that'd be nice. Having said that, intel can't do a decent graphics chip, which makes me wonder why any mfg ever uses them... oh yeah, cuz they're paid to do so.
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