Most laptops that are above 15-inch are chunky, chubby machines that are in desperate need of loosing some flab. Gateway's ID58, however, is different. It may have sharp looks, but does it have the muscle to handle heavy computational tasks of today? Let's explore.
Design and Build
The first thing you observe when you hold the Gateway ID58 is its slim frame. For a 15.6 incher, this model is thinner than others. It also doesn't weigh too much; it's not going to flex your muscles a lot while carrying it around. The build is just about decent - not exactly solid but we do appreciate its sturdy hinge. The navy blue and silver colour treatment given to the laptop looks rather cool, although the glossy top expectedly attracts fingerprints. Its pointy sides add to its distinct appearance, but their sharpness can poke when held.
On the inside it has a distinct look, thanks to the curved speaker grille occupying the space between the keyboard and screen. The sound quality emitted is just about acceptable, but we felt the volume could have been a little louder. The 1366 x 768 pixel resolution screen does a decent job of portraying content with clarity. But it's somewhat less for a screen this big. A 1440 x 900 pixel screen would have hit the sweet spot. On the brighter side (quite literally), the screen brightness is adequate. We were slightly disappointed with the quality of the webcam above, but then if you don't use it often, it's not going to be a deal breaker for you.
Now on to one of the better things about this laptop - the keyboard. The keys are well-sized, have a smooth texture and offer a tactile feel. Overall, they are a pleasure to type on. I have to say that this laptop has one of the better keyboards out there. A dedicated num-pad at the side is the icing on the cake.
The touchpad, although a wee bit smaller than our liking, offers an accurate response. Another good thing is its support for multi touch gestures, something we've appreciated time and again. On the sides we have the usual array of ports amongst which is a USB/eSATA combo that could prove useful to some. Another functional addition is the slot-loading optical drive to the right. People making use of the ExpressCard should strike this one off their list since it does not have one.