The Gateway Solo 9300 CL is an outstanding notebook computer, and a good value for the money. It has a Pentium III 650 Mhz, and a fair amount of ram, although I increased the ram on mine to 160. I like the fact that the CL has a battery life of nearly five hours. Mine has a large 15" TFT (thin film transistor) screen which is well lit and looks great from any angle, and it's the perfect fit for watching those DVD movies on a long layover in a boring airport. The built in speakers are quite adequate for a laptop, but I prefer to use mine with a headset plugged into the headphone jack. The touchpad is easy to use, and great to navigate with. It has two buttons below it, but why use the buttons when you can quietly tap the touchpad and elicit the same result? I use my laptop a lot, especially for Internet and word-processing. This laptop is perfect for that. The layout of the keyboard is a little scrunched up, but the empty area at the bottom of the form factor makes a good hand-rest.Mine also came with the extra handy Gateway GoBack software... if you encounter something such as a fatal exception error or install something and it screws up your computers settings, you can go back to the way it was previously set simply by holding down the space bar during the boot-up. After using it four or five hours in a row, the laptop has the tendency to get very warm, just short of hot in fact - but this has not concerned me much so far. If you're a hardcore gamer or a graphics pro this computer can handle a lot - but it's probably not the one for you.. look at the Solo 9300 XL instead. However, if you're a regular home user or a business person, this is the notebook you want! A few other things I also added to round out my purchase were the Kensington Casual Carrying Case, the APC PNote Pro Surge Protector, and the HP PhotoSmart P1000 Printer. I wrote a separate review about the photo-quality printer.
I am in the somewhat unfortunate position of being the owner of a Gateway Solo laptop. The laptop (costing over £2,200 exluding VAT) was shipped to me FEBRUARY 2000 with a faulty modem. After many hours dealing with a somewhat inept technical support department the laptop was returned to have the modem replaced. The laptop was returned to me with a faulty monitor and the port covers missing. The CD drive now makes a loud 'grinding sound' and is very slow. The 'helpful' people at Gateway told me that the flickering in monitors was common in laptops and that the port covers were not required. Oh, and by the way, the modem still didn't function. After some debate, the laptop was again returned for repair. I was eager to test it, only this time the keyboard was not working properly. I was informed this was a driver problem (although their support had formatted and reinstalled all the software). I explained that keys were falling off the keyboard. They shipped me a new keyboard to install. Unfortunately, it was shipped to the wrong address. To my list of peripheral's I have had to purchase I added an external keyboard to my external modem. The keyboard was shipped to the wrong address so I never received it. Gateway support now informed me that the machine warranty was only valid for 12 months and they would no longer support the machine (very fair, given it has hardly been usable for the last year). After many hours 'discussing' with their 'customer relations' department they kindly have agreed to fix the keyboard that they sent me broken. I have just received the machine back again and am going to have to reinstall all my software and data (10th time? I have lost count). I don't think I am going to bother to test it, rather buy another machine from a supplier! Oh and by the way, I have been told by a number of staff at Gateway that they don't have
a complaints department. Not surprising, they would be overworked.
I have just got my 9300 solo its very good the only problem that I have with gateway is there customer service, when I ordered my laptop I asked for some speakers to go with it,was sold some that dont work on a laptop. I have now telephoned them twice,emailed them three times been promised a reply still waiting, three weeks later still have speakers that dont work. The laptop itself is very good dvds look fantastic the sound through headphones is great,it has more than I will ever use,its as fast as my desk top pc,if you are thinking of buying a laptop then I dont think you could go wrong with the 9300,with the removable hard drive its easy to upgrade I opted for an upgrade on the ram to 128,£40 at point of purchase,the keyboard is of a very good size keys feels good to use in fact better than my desk top,battery life is good with the in car/plane adapter your very mobile the modem seems a little slow but that may be my connection,mine came with windows 98se you can have me at no extra. there's plenty of plugin options,with the dvd controls on the front it makes it easy to fast forward rewind stop etc. one key mail button web key home key help button, you can programme these to your own use overall I must say this is a very good laptop buy it. It's worth the extra cost for the build quality changeble bays which allow for many different combinations even two hard drives.
Gateway has released a new Notebook on to the market, it costs just a bit over £2000, so you it will probably be more for the serious buyer. If you did buy the computer you would be very happy with the 700MHz Intel PentiumIII Processor alongside the 96Mb of memory and the 12Gb Hard Disk. The DVD-ROM drive is removable so if in future date you decide to swap for a CD-RW or a Floppy drive, the option is there. The price for this I was very dissapointed with, the price I think is too much, if you searched a little harder I am sure you could probably find a better speck Laptop for the same price. * 700MHz Intel Pentium III processor * 128Mb SDRAM Memory * 12Gb hard disk * V90 modem * DVD-Rom Drive * 15.1" TFT screen * Weight 3.6Kg * Plus - MS Works Suite 2000 Price: £2,290 inc. VAT
The toughest, most popular kids get picked first for kick ball, but sometimes it's the last kid who ends up team MVP. In the leading-edge laptop troupe, the Gateway Solo 9300cx's extensive battery life, cushy usability, and cutting-edge ports make it a first choice for any team. But cheaper leading-edge notebooks pack enough punch to be equally valuable players. $6 Million Battery Life The Solo 9300cx impressed us most with its battery life, lasting nearly 3.5 hours on drain tests. But the Solo will last this long only if you set its SpeedStep processor to battery-optimized performance, causing it to run at a slower 500 MHz. Running at its maximum 650-MHz performance, the Gateway still achieved a lengthy 2 hours and 49 minutes. Thankfully, you won't need to worry about lagging performance, should you decide to use battery-optimized speed. When watching a movie at both 500 MHz and 650 MHz with the Solo's 6X DVD drive and huge, 15-inch TFT, we noticed no difference. As CNET Labs' business applications tests show, either speed also works fine for basic tasks such as Word, Web surfing, and email. Of course, the system's ample 128MB of RAM and fast 8MB ATI Rage Mobility graphics chip played a significant part in its satisfying performance. And you'll be able to store several years' worth of files on the Gateway's massive 18GB hard drive. Smooth Operator The Solo 9300cx looks just as great live as it does on paper. The system offers internal DVD and floppy drives, yet it manages to maintain a svelte, 1.5-inch-high chassis, weighing in at 8.5 pounds. Gateway has squeezed plenty of usability pleasures into the Solo's skinny case, including four programmable buttons for one-touch application launching; external CD buttons that let you play discs without booting up your system; and an expansive, comfortable keyboard. One nit to pick: We'd prefer to see a space between the right Shift key and
the inverted-T cursor pad, to prevent your right pinkie from hitting the up arrow and misplacing the pointer. The 9300cx also offers the latest ports, including one each of composite video-in and -out, two USB, and one FireWire. We see the value in the video and USB ports, as many devices support these standards. But currently, only a handful of expensive FireWire devices exist, most notably digital camcorders. So unless you're a digital video pro, we suggest saving several hundred dollars by choosing a lower-end model without FireWire, such as the 9300cs, and spending $100 on a service and support plan beyond the default 12-month parts and labor warranty. Fortunately, you won't have to pay extra for a decent software suite, since the 9300cx ships with Microsoft Office 2000. The Gateway Solo 9300cx would no doubt make an excellent addition to any organization. But at $3,949, it will also make quite a dent in any savings. Your best bet is to order this system sans FireWire, or if you really want to pinch pennies, go for a thousands-cheaper laptop, such as the Quantex W-1511.