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Gateway M675XL 17.1-in Notebook Review,
"the Worlds Fastest (Notebook) Computer" ?

December 2, 2003 by Zack Bryce, Tech Lab Mgr.
Tested by our 6 member Review Panel and Tech Lab Engineers

According to many computer industry analysts, “Notebook” computers are selling better than desktops and may well be taking their place in business, and in your homes. Not surprisingly, the major computer brands are reacting to this in a big way.

There is an old saying “The Best Things Come in Small Packages”, and while that may be true for MP3 players, Cell Phones, PDA’s and girlfriends, it’s not true from SUV’s, Homes and Paychecks. But, what about a notebook computer? Is it Best to the Smallest or is it Better to be Big? It all depends on what you are using it for the majority of the time; either mostly traveling, or sitting on your desk for 80% of its use.

After using and testing literally hundreds of notebooks over the last five years, our esteemed staff is inclined to vote for a “medium” size and weight notebook. Up until now, finding a true desktop replacement multimedia notebook with REAL ball-buster performance meant buying a “Barge” disguised as a computer. Gateway’s new M675XL 17-inch Multimedia Notebook is the first to be “not too big and not too small, but just right!” Thank you Goldie Locks of notebooks (our Editor).

When we first heard about the Gateway M675XL having a 16:10 ratio 17.1-inch TFT Display, I have to tell you we were expecting a huge and hefty notebook. But when the shipping box arrived, and it was surprisingly light, we expected that Gateway had sent the wrong notebook to review. Weren’t we surprised when the sleek M675 emerged from the box!

There are actually three different models in the M675 series, two with 17.1-in and one with a 15.4-in 16:10 ratio (Cinema) display –

Gateway® M675CS - 15.4” $1749.99 2.8GHz
Gateway® M675X -    17.1” $1999.99 3.0GHz
Gateway® M675XL -  17.1” $2499.99 3.2GHz

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He ain’t heavy . .
At only 8.8 lbs and 15.75” x 10.63” x 1.52”, the Intel P-4 3.20GHz powered M675XL is only a couple pounds heavier than the G4 1.33GHz Mac 17-inch, and barely ½-inch thicker. The other dimensions are nearly the same. Compare that to the other major PC contender, Toshiba’s P25-S609 17.1-in Notebook is a barge at 10 lbs, nearly 2-inches thick (measured) and it only has a 3.0GHz Pentium 4.

Let’s compare (US$) prices too:
Gateway M67XL - 3.20GHz     $2,499.
Toshiba P2-609 - 3.00GHz      $2,799.
Apple G4 17-inch - 1.33 GHz   $2,999.


The designers paid a lot of attention to the design to create a very appealing package that is a comparatively light notebook for what it can do and contains. Silver on the outside and black on the inside, it has the look of a fast sports car.
    

  Front M675XL, click on any image to zoom in

On the front edge of the M675XL are a bank of blue status LED’s and all the DVD/Audio controls. Also are the great sounding speakers where they belong to bounce sound off the hard surface the notebook will likely be resting on. (Basic acoustics, those who put speakers on the keyboard should note!)bar
"shoot-out at the Notebook Coral, click here for the M675 / Apple face to face..."
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The right side has a USB 2.0 port and the DVD-R/W / CDRW bay; the left side has three audio ports, a single i.Link FireWire 400 port and another USB 2.0 ports. There is also a novel removeable 6 in 1 Flash Memory Card bay. You can optionally buy a second HDD or Floppy Drive bay. Wow!
   
  

Bringing up the rear panel of the M675XL are two more USB 2.0 ports, S/Video out , 56k modem, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Serial and a Parallel port.

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