Gateway Taps AMD Athlon Processor for LT3100 Netbook

While AMD has said it's not interested in making netbooks at this time, Gateway uses the chip maker's Athlon processor in a new netbook called the Gateway LT3100. The LT3100 is Gateway's first offering for the netbook, or mininotebook, market. Gateway is owned by desktop and notebook maker Acer.

Gateway is now the latest PC maker to offer its own netbook-the Gateway LT3100-but the company has turned to Advanced Micro Devices instead of Intel for the processor to power it.

While AMD has remained on the sidelines when it comes to netbooks, instead deciding to focus on its own "Yukon" platform for thin-and-light laptops, Gateway decided to use the AMD Athlon 64 L110 chip for the LT3100.

Gateway, which is owned by Acer, released the LT3100 netbook on June 23. The Gateway LT3100, which also offers an 11.6-inch display and weighs a little more than 3 pounds, costs about $399, according to the company.

Netbooks have remained a bright spot in a PC market that has been impacted by the recession in the United States and a sluggish global economy. A recent report by iSuppli found that worldwide PC shipments dropped about 8 percent overall in the first quarter of 2009, although netbook shipments increased about 10 percent year over year.

At the same time, the sheer number of netbooks in the marketplace is beginning to cause some confusion. Right now, the top PC suppliers-Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Toshiba-all offer several different types of netbooks or mininotebooks. A report by the NPD Group found that consumers are confused about how netbooks differ from standard laptops, and this has left many customers unhappy.

For a look at Acer's new line of laptops and netbooks, please click here.

This could be one reason why Gateway went with AMD instead of using Intel's Atom processor. However, the screen size of the LT3100 and its starting price mean that this netbook is actually closer to the configurations found in a full-fledged laptop.

Most netbooks have screen sizes ranging from 7 to 10 inches, although companies such as Dell have pushed that definition further by offering netbooks with 12-inch screens.

In addition to the single-core Athlon 64 L110 processor (1.20GHz), the Gateway LT 3100 offers up to 2GB of DDR2 (double date 2) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a hard disk drive with up to 250GB of data storage, an ATI Radeon X1270 graphics chip, three USB 2.0 ports and 802.11 b/g wireless technologies.

The Gateway LT3100 also supports Microsoft Windows Vista and offers a six-cell battery that provides up to 5 hours of battery life.