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Outputting the video signal via HDMI to our lab's 24" 1920x1200 monitor
was effortless, and audio was piped in successfully to its stereo
speakers. The image was clear without any distortion and looked fantastic when
streaming a 1080p movie. As battery life is good enough to play a 3~4
hour movie in high definition, it makes a decent impromptu media extender,
even without the AC power adapter.
The Intel WiFi Link 5100 AGN device worked very well with the Linksys wireless
G router at SPCR labs. Windows networking was used. It automatically connected
extremely quickly upon bootup or wake from sleep. The average speed was about
18mbps at 12'~30' distance from the router, which is slightly slower than the
fastest wireless PC on this network in the past. It's far greater than the fastest
web access speed, however.
The Atheros gigabit ethernet adapter functioned without issue as well. When
transferring large files over the network through a D-Link gigabit switch, we
saw transfer speeds of 40~45MB/s, though it sometimes peaked to just over 50MB/s,
about as fast as the 5400RPM hard drive would allow.
Like most notebooks Gateway does not provide a proper Vista install disc. In
fact, the EC1803h package was very bare with no discs and little support information.
The hard drive has a hidden 10GB EISA partition which houses a Vista install, the stock drivers and applications. When the system is initially turned
on, Vista deploys from this partition, and about an hour and a half goes by before
the machine is ready to use.
Gateway Recovery Management screen. Partition map underneath.
Gateway's recovery software allows the creation of discs to restore the machine
to its factory defaults. If you do not have an external DVD burner, a restore
can be initiated through the software in Windows, or via a hotkey during the
POST screen. As we would rather not have to go through the long process of removing
all the bloatware after a restore, we opted instead to create an image of the
operating system partition with Acronis
True Image to be stored on a separate partition. To create the second
partition, we ended up using GParted
to shrink the original partition down to 40GB. Vista's Disk Manager would only
let us resize it to a minimum of 150GB and we figured the extra space might
come in handy one day.
EC1803h running on AC at 0.6m
fan off (18 dBA@0.6m)
fan set to low (20 dBA@0.6m)
idle (24 dBA@0.6m)
during Xvid playback (26 dBA@0.6m)
during x264 playback & full load (29 dBA@0.6m)
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