Friday, August 23, 2013

Gateway LT LT4010U PC Netbook - Inexpensive and Versatile, But Has Issues

We bought the Gateway LT LT4010U netbook for my mother-in-law to take with her to China so that she could use Skype and probably use the Internet as well. For only $178 plus tax it was less than what I spend on groceries most days going to Costco (grainted "groceries" includes single-malt Scotch or a case of Pinot Noir).

As a result of its low price, I didn't expect much but was pleasantly surprised. In this day and age of the tablet (we have a couple of tablets at home), who needs a netbook? Excellent question.

While the tablets are great for consuming content, netbooks (and other things with keyboards) are better if you need to create content. In other words, if you have to type a lot. But in our case, we just wanted something that is easier to use for someone who is 65 years old with no computer skills. Sounds counter-intuitive? I won't go further into the reasoning, but will concentrate instead on this netbook.

With its Intel Atom N2600 processor, Windows 7 Starter and 320 GB hard drive as well as a camera above its 10.1-inch LED-lit screen. Its 3-cell battery is good for several hours of activities (your mileage may vary).

It comes with a power adapter that will work in any country (110-240V) and has a detagacble plug so that you can purchase a plug for another country.

It comes with Windows 7 Starter preinstalled and I used Vistallator to switch most of it to Chinese (simplified Mandarin). After installing Skype, the netbook's camera worked flawlessly and now my mother-in-law uses Skype on this neetbook in China. She also became addicted to Internet. Thanks, Gateway!


The  keyboard has flat buttons that are difficult to distinguish by touch and "F" buttons as well as some others need to be accessed while holfing the "(Fn)" button, which is plain stupid. The touchpad is ok, but instead of two buttons for left and right click functionality, there is only one long button that can detect which side of it you "click". Problem is it is needlessly too stiff.

There was Norton (Symantec) backup 30-day trial software preinstalled that bugged me every day with offers to activate itself. It was not easy to get rid of.

Pros: Low price, camera for Skyping, etc., low power consumption
Cons: Keyboard not for those who need to type a lot, stiff touchpad bar

Bottom Line

This netbook will not win any speed contests. In fact, running more than one application at a time is definitely taxing it. But to leiserly browse the web or use the Skype, it is more than sufficient. And for much less than $200, it is a steal.

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