The black-and-white cow logo remains as a suble reference to the company’s rural beginnings.
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Gateway is back! One of the earliest American PC companies, Gateway may be most remembered for its black-and-white-spotted â€ścowâ€ť logo, a reference to the companyâ€™s start (as Gateway 2000) on a farm near Sioux City, Iowa, in 1985.A lot has happened in the last 35 years. After Acer agreed to acquire the Gateway brand for $710 million in 2007, the company essentially went quiet.Â In its new life, Gateway is a Walmart-exclusive, value-priced brand offering everything from an Android tablet to a gaming laptop.Â (Walmart also manufactures its own lineup of Motile laptops, which weâ€™ve found to be surprisingly good.) It appears that the iconic â€ścowâ€ť-spotted boxes have returned, too.Â PCWorld editors know a thing or two about how to shop for a â€śvalue-pricedâ€ť laptop you wonâ€™t regret, so we took a quick look at the initial offerings on the Gateway product page on Walmartâ€™s website.Â The Gateway 11.6-inch Ultra Slim Notebook, $180 from Walmart.com, has one great thing going for it other than theÂ rock-bottom-price: the 1920×1080 (FHD) display resolution. You can find displays as big as 15.6-inch with that spec, so having it on one this small means images will be unusually crisp. Everything else about this laptop is modest to a fault: The memory and storage amounts are meager, and even the webcam is 480p instead of the predominant 720p.Â We also noticed, on that Gateway laptop and a few others priced $369 and cheaper, that they all usedÂ the Windows 10 S operating system. This is the version that restricts you to apps available through the Windows Store. If your computing needs are modest (as they should be if you buy a laptop this inexpensive) you might not mind; but if you want to use any third-party applications, from antivirus to image- or video-editing, you canâ€™t use them with Windows 10 S.Â As you inch closer to $500, compromises start to fall away. The Gateway 14.1-inch FHD Ultra Slim Notebook ($479 at Walmart.com) offers full-fledged Windows 10 Home, and a solid-performing Intel 10th-gen Core i5-1035G1 processor with a generous 16GB of RAM.Â The 256GB SSD is modestly sized, but youâ€™ll likely feel the pinch only if you download games or save piles of videos and photos. The â€ś1MPâ€ť webcam indicates a conventional 720p resolution. You even get a basic USB-C port (for data only, not charging) along with a legacy USB-A.Â The most expensive laptop currently available is the Gateway Creator Series 15.6-inch FHD Performance Notebook ($999 at Walmart.com). As the name suggests, these laptops are intended for graphics-intensive work and also gamingâ€”Gateway even bundles a monthâ€™s free trial of Microsoftâ€™s Xbox Game Pass for PC.Gateway must have poured all its budget for this laptop into the GPU, a solid RTX 2060 with ray tracing and AI capabilities, because this supposedly â€śperformanceâ€ť model cuts some notable corners otherwise. It carries the Core i5-10300H processor, the respectable, but lowest-end member of Intelâ€™s Comet Lake H CPUs for gaming. The 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD are on the skimpy side for a power user. Also note that the 15.6-inch display offers just a 1920×1080 (FHD) resolution, which starts to look grainy on a screen of that size. You have an HDMI port to connect an external monitor, but there’s no Thunderbolt port for more advanced display and storage options (just a regular USB-C port for data and charging).Â Laptops prices have risen steadily this year, so we applaud the arrival of a value brand. Just remember to pay attention to details like operating system, display, and memory and storage amounts when shopping for a cheap laptop. Gateway said more models would be coming to Walmart in the fall.Â
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