Gateway LT2000: A New Netbook Appears

Not to be outdone by competing companies in the current netbook craze, Gateway has announced a new addition to its compact notebook line: the LT2000 series. With a 10.1-inch screen, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports, a built-in Webcam, and the ability to connect to the Internet, the LT2000 sounds just...like...every...other...netbook.

Seriously, we're at the point now where we need more differentiation between these miniature laptops, not more bargain-box confusion. But since the specs and a handful of images are all we have to go on, let's get to it.

To judge from the photos, I'd say that the LT2000 looks similar to other budget netbooks.It lacks awesome design flourishes, it isn't pink, it doesn't look as though it might transform into an awesome robot. Though I have yet to lay a hand on a review model, this offering is definitely not the Optimus Prime (or the Gobots, for that matter) of netbooks. It does seem on a par with other budget netbooks on most key specs, though: a 1.6GHz N270 Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, and a 160GB hard drive. Less impressive is the LT2000's three-cell battery, which (if you're lucky) will last 3 hours according to Gateway reps. We're talking about a $300 machine here, but rival netbooks (like the Toshiba NB205-310) that don't cost much more can last over three times as long.

On the software side, the LT2000 netbooks come equipped with Windows XP and preinstalled software--some free stuff (such as Adobe Reader), and some trial bloatware (such as Microsoft Works with Office Home and Student 2007).

One somewhat unusual element of the LT2000 is its multigesture touchpad, which allows users to swirl and flick their way through Web pages, music, and media.But even this feature appears on other models such as the Acer Aspire AS5536.

The LT2000 series netbooks are available now, in your choice of Cherry Red or NightSky Black. Stay tuned for a full review once test units arrive at our PC World Test Center.

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