Gateway Steps Up Netbook Game With EC14D01h: Built-In Optical Drive, Win7

Gateway may not be the giant that Dell is anymore, but they're still hanging around and producing quality machines for a smaller crowd. The company has just announced an expansion for their EC Series, with the new EC14D boasting something that most 11.6" machines don't: an optical drive. The new EC14D01h (full model number) has an 11.6" widescreen display, an integrated DVD drive and a chassis that weighs 3.55lbs.

The drive within is an 8x super-multi double-layer DVD drive, which is frankly something that we'd love to see on every netbook. Or at least more than we currently do. Finding an integrated optical drive within a notebook is tough to do, and we applaud Gateway for stepping outside of the norm here in order to provide something that's rare yet highly loved.

It also features a 1366x768 resolution display, a 6-cell battery, an Intel Dual-Core ULV processor, mutil-card reader, 4GB of RAM a 320GB hard drive, Intel's 4500MHD GPU, Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), Wi-Fi, an integrated webcam and a multi-gesture touchpad. Setting a new bar for netbooks? Quite possibly.

Gateway EC14D01h:

  • Intel® Pentium® ULV Processor SU4100 (1.3GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • 11.6-inch HD Widescreen Ultrabright LED-backlit TFT LCD (1366 x 768 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Mobile Intel®GS45 Express Chipset
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
  • 4096MB DDR2 Dual-Channel 667MHz memory upgradeable to 8GB
  • 320GB(2) 5400RPM SATA hard drive
  • Integrated 8X Super-Multi DVD player
  • Integrated webcam
  • Multi-in-1 digital media card reader
  • Intel® Wi-Fi Link 1000 802.11b/g/Draft-N WiFi CERTIFIED® featuring MIMO technology
  • Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • HDMI and S/PDIF
  • Multi-Gesture Touchpad
  • Standard 6-cell Li-ion (5600 mAh) Battery
  • 3.55 lbs.
  • 11.49” (W) x 1.12” to 1.18” (H) x 8.33” (D)

Via:  Business Wire
Zestia 4 years ago

Awwwww, Gateway. I can't say I miss their Holstein cow themed boxes but a fully equipped notebook might be just the ticket to get them back to mainstream.

gibbersome 4 years ago

This is a good addition to the current netbook offerings, because variety is always good. But do we really need an optical drive in a netbook? I haven't used the DVD drive in my laptop in months. I don't think this needs to become the norm.

I'd rather take the savings in price/weight/size/battery life and seen the netbook with an Nvidian ION instead of the 4500MHD.

Zestia 4 years ago

Good point, so perhaps not the norm. But I think it's good for those on the go with kids in tow. They're lighter and less bulky than a laptop and thus allow for more flexibility when trying to keep the younglings entertained while traveling. I guess it's more of a niche product.

rapid1 4 years ago

Very true gibbersome, but Gateway seems to do a lot of specialized devices or inclusive designs. My notebook is a Gateway P-7811 FX, and for the price I got it for as well as the devices or components in it, I don't think I could have gotten a better solution anywhere. The machine does anything really, and is only under a desktop in a performance and functionality outlook.

Not to mention I payed at least 500 to 1000 less than I would have payed to any other OEM for what I got. This Note/Net book seems in many cases along the same lines. It does not have an Atom CPU is uses a UL processor which is a great bit more functional than a processor like an Atom.

So I see this as more of an ultra-portable than a netbook in all reality. If you throw and SSD in it I would bet you it would outperform almost if not any netbook out there. In most cases it will do so without it because of the more functional processor anyway.

I know it sounds kind of crazy, but if you spent an extra 150 dollars. You could put a 40 GB OS SSD in this thing drop the DVD and throw a 500GB storage drive in it, and still have your DVD if or when you needed it. It has everything else, and a six cell battery except for a solo GPU.

Also don't forget who owns Gateway now they are not in any way a small market player. So Gateway in many ways is more of there specialized and new equipment as well as investigatory equipment branch. Acer owns there own brand, Packard Bell, E-machines, and Gateway. So basically there testing the waters as they often do with Gateway equipment, and seeing what the market wants. The they incorporate it into there other companies as well as Gateways offerings.

Think about this my Notebook existed as a product for one month at BestBuy. They also made 2 more devices like it following that, with varying equipment changes, which were available at the same location for about 3 weeks each. I have no clue what they have now, but I will bet in every brand they own there are various components from it or like it inside. I see this as the same type of thing.

Nethersprite 4 years ago

"I know it sounds kind of crazy, but if you spent an extra 150 dollars. You could put a 40 GB OS SSD in this thing drop the DVD and throw a 500GB storage drive in it, and still have your DVD if or when you needed it."

Actually, not crazy at all. Some IBM ThinkPads, as everyone knows, have removable optical drives. (Duh). Well, the geniuses at IBM made a second hard drive caddy that fits into the optical drive bay on some models, and bingo! Since this was before SSDs, let's say 80 GB 7200 rpm drive as the main HD, and a DVD optical drive that could be switched out for a 250 GB 5400 rpm drive for storage when you needed it.

That said, the necessity of an optical drive depends on user. Let me present two cases:

1.) The gamer. He (because ALL gamers are guys, right? :P ) wants a netbook with nVidia ION, and he doesn't need an optical drive because he will be playing games that he got from his Steam account. After all, NETbooks have an internet connection, right? So what does he do to listen to music? iTunes (or something). How about movies? Well, there's Netflix. And he can always access the net, which gives him HotHardware (set as the homepage, of course). :P

2.) The casual user. Probably not as computer-savvy. Probably also has a large collection of DVDs. Integrated graphics (like the graphics chipset on this fine Gateway) are just fine for SD DVDs, so pop one in on a long train ride and suddenly you wouldn't know what to do without a DVD drive.

m-manla 4 years ago


infinityzen 4 years ago

Actually, this thing is dual core (The SU4100 is an ULV Pentium Dual Core) and the whole package comes in at $630. Little expensive for a "netbook" but a good price for a well featured ultra portable laptop.

I just wish their top 11" model (EC14D07u, $680) came with a DVD drive. It des have an ULV Core2Duo (SU7300), 500GiB HDD, and add "a" specs to the wifi.

animatortom 4 years ago

"I've Never trusted Gateway....I never have......I can never forgive them for the death of my son..."

My Tablet is a Gateway, and although I have been very happy when I have it working, and it has proven useful over the years. The build quality was never there! You know all the little things that add up. Like the power connector is wobbly and doesn't remain powered. The screen began to separate around the edges and the twist joint cracks the plastic around the screen. Then the buttons Power/screen HB, DVD stopped working, as well as many cosmetics issues. Not to mention poor quality batteries. yet the parts made by other companies have remained strong, Intel, wacom mag pad. In other words Durable it ain't!

the thing that always has plagued me about them is the God awful, customer service!! I had one back around 94, and the CS was very bad back then as well. And that was when their CS was still here in the states? Now it is kinda spread all over. When you call you don't know if you will get someone in Tennessee or Timbuktu.

I believe that back in the early 90's they started to generate alot of corporate contracts. This made their private sales kinda like a redheaded drunk stepchild (don't get me wrong I like redheads). They just stopped giving any kind of crap. Now all they are doing is trying to jump onto the Netbook bandwagon since they have seen other garner some success with it. I am sure if they cannot sell these to some dupes who are at best buy, they will just kick down the price and partner with sprint or whoever doesn't have a Netbook deal for their customers and pawn it onto them.

That is why....Gateway? Never Again!

InfinityzeN 4 years ago

Seriously, stop. 

Currently Gateway has "100% within USA/Canada support and CS".  They have been rated as one of the top computer companies for customer support by Consumer Report for the last ~3 years.  Their top support plan is not tied to a product, but to support.  They will help you with troubleshooting/setting up any companies products, along with helping you figure out how to get the other company to give you a replacement/repairs.

The Gateway from the 90's is no more.  The current company only shares the name, being a branch of Acer in which they showcase their cutting edge and nitch products.

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