Gateway EC Notebooks Carry 8-Hour Batteries, Windows 7

Gateway is kicking off an EC Series of notebooks with the introduction of the EC58, EC54 and EC14, all of which run Windows 7 and feature long battery life and touchpads with multitouch.

Gateway on Oct. 19 introduced an EC Series of notebook PCs that will be available with the Oct. 22 arrival of Microsoft's Windows 7. The series so far comprises the EC58, EC54 and EC14, all of which run Windows 7 Home Premium and offer up to 8 hours of battery life as well as touchpads with multitouch capabilities.
The EC58 and EC54 have 15.6-inch LED-backlit high-definition widescreen displays, weigh 5.29 pounds and measure 14.85 by 10.0 by 1.08 inches at their thickest points.
They feature integrated 802.11b/g/draft-n wireless, an integrated HD Webcam and digital microphone for online chatting and video conferencing, a one-touch PowerSave key for putting the notebooks into an energy-conservation mode, and a MyBackup Manager for quickly backing up files.
Processors are an Intel Pentium Dual-Core SU4100 (1.3GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB) and Mobile Intel GS45 Express chip set, and there's a 4500MHD Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, 4,096MB of DDR3 (double data rate 3) dual-channel 1,066MHz memory upgradable to 8GB, and a 5,400-rpm SATA (Serial ATA) hard drive with 320GB capacity.
The two notebooks put an emphasis on entertainment as well, given their high-definition screens, second-generation Dolby Sound Room audio enhancement, built-in speakers, 8xDVD-SuperMulti Double-Layer drive and multi-in-one media cards.
Both combine an aluminum alloy case with a glossy cover, offer a choice of Arctic Silver or Pacific Blue finishes and are priced at $649.99.
Slimmest and lightest of the three new offerings is the EC14, an ultraportable notebook that weighs (in its EC1430u configuration) 3.08 pounds, measures 11.2 by 8.03 by 1.18 inches at its thickest point and offers an 11.6-inch HD widescreen, LED-backlit TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD screen.
Like the other two new notebooks, EC14 has Gigabit Ethernet, as well as the same flavors of wireless, plus an Intel Pentium Dual Core processor (1.3GHz, 2MB of Level 2 cache, 800MHz FSB), a Mobile Intel GS45 Express chip set, an Intel 4,500MHD graphics media accelerator, a 5,400-rpm SATA hard drive of 320GB capacity and 4,096MB of DDR2 667MHz memory that's upgradable to 8GB.
There's a Webcam, multi-in-one digital media card reader, three USB ports and an HDMI port. Pricing starts at $549.99.
"The new Gateway EC Series product lines were designed for the many PC users that have embraced the fun and productivity of being able to compute and stay in touch while away from their home or office," Acer America Senior Manager of Product Marketing Ray Sawall said in a statement. Acer owns Gateway.
"We're delivering exactly what they need-incredibly long and reliable battery life, vibrant widescreen displays and wireless connectivity-all uniquely stylish, thin and lightweight designs," Sawall said.
Fujitsu, Dell and Acer, among others, have announced new devices to coincide with the arrival of Windows 7. An Oct. 12 report from analysis company Jeffries & Co. said the new OS could encourage a massive industry refresh of PCs.
Likewise, an October report from asset-management company Softchoice revealed that far more enterprises are in a position to update to Windows 7 than were able to update to Vista at its release time. Softchoice reported that more than 90 percent of the enterprise PCs it looked at in its research are still running Windows XP-an operating system that Microsoft no longer supports.