With so much talk about Windows Vista, I will not add anymore unnecessary comment. However, I will highlight some of office productivity software and drivers that are necessary for ordinary users in a home or small office environment as we proceed.
If you are buying this laptop from retailers; likely they will ask if you want to make a system DVD backup for a charge of about $70. It is entirely up to you. I declined the offer because I use Acronis Image
for my system backup. Or, Gateway provides "System Recovery" utility so that the users could burn it onto DVD disc. I strongly recommend all users to do this.
In the package:
- Windows Vista Upgrade DVD
- Product Key
- Operating System Disc
- Setup Guide and Starter Guide
Before we proceed, let's take a look at the crapware re-installed at the factory. Remember, there is no free lunch and most of the pre-installed junks are not free, but junks.:) I use Vista uninstall to remove all but the followings: MS Money 2006, Quick Time and Adobe Reader 8.0. Then, I installed my own licensed software such as Norton Antivirus, MS Office 2003, PhotoImpact etc.
Interesting and confusing to see the left label reads "Vista Home Premium" while the left says "Vista Basic" in truth the former was installed with media player and "aero" are in the package.
The "Ultra Bright" screen is too glossy with too much reflection to my liking
The keyboard is a bit flimsy; but I kind of getting use to it after a month.
From the front, microphone and audio jacks, speakers and two LED indicators for power on and battery condition (purple being charged and blue means fully charged).
On the right side; DVD R/W, RJ45 /RJ11 and VGA (D-Sub) connection for external display.
On the left side; CPU exhaust, 3-USBs, 4-in1 Media card and PCMCIA slots. The 3 USB placement is okay, I prefer to have a fourth one on the other side.
Closer look of the 4-1 Media and PCMCIA slots. The four media are: SD, XD, Memory Pro, Mini-SD with adapter. By the way, 4GB capacity cards are out of the question here. It works up to 2GB, anything higher you will have to get USB adaptor.