Hands on With the Gateway NX100

I've been waiting for a few weeks now to bust this new Gateway ultralight open and I'm pleased to say that this ultra-light laptop that is a grand departure from Gateway's current line-up and an interesting PC, if slightly flawed, PC to boot.

Read on, post jump.

The best thing about the NX100 is its size. It's just about 1 inch thick and weighs just about 3.5 pounds with a standard battery. Larger batteries are available, but they kind of destroy the aesthetic. The case is black—how much more black could it get?—and has a rubberized wrist rest. These are minor details that really stand out.

Hands on With the Gateway NX100

In terms of battery life, this initial model that I tested was pretty weak. It can last about 2 hours on one charge, but with external DVD drives and the like it might be considerably less. An extra battery pack is definitely a must. The NX100 runs a 1.2-GHz Core Solo processor and has a 12.1-inch screen. It comes with an external optical drive, up to 2GB of memory, and a 6-in-1 card reader. It also has 2 USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port, and PCMCIA slot. Bluetooth is optional.

Generally, this is a great portable notebook, especially when paired with a dock and an extra battery. A fully-loaded model costs about $1,625 and lesser models start at about $1,400, so you're not paying that much for some great portability. Gaming on this thing? Nah. But Road Warriors take now—it's lighter than a copy of The Da Vinci Code.

Hands on With the Gateway NX100

Overall, battery life is the big downfall here, but that can be remedied. While Gateway has made lots of beige boxes in their day, it's good to see them branching out.