Slice it or chop it – that’s what today’s competitive makers have been hammering away while devising portable computing solutions for us. Though hard to guess who started the ‘race to be continued forever,’ we’ve been benefited more than anyone could expect. One of such manufacturer is Acer who has almost pulled off well in hitting the right chords when it comes to offering ‘performance with style.’ To examine this, we straightforwardly said ‘yes’ when its Acer Gateway LT23 netbook made its way onto our desks. Read on to know what exactly happened during our comprehensive review.
The Acer Gateway LT23 approached us in a compact box with a stylish case to safeguard the unit from drops and scratches, a soft cleaning cloth, Acer’s limited product warranty, a quick start and troubleshooting guide, and a charger. On holding it delicately, ‘so lightweight’ were definitely two words that came straight from us. Incredibly handy, the device talks about featuring a fashion-forward design with a subtle canvass pattern and a mosaic vine graphic, with a silver Gateway logo plate on the lid. Though unusual in terms of design, the model somehow couldn’t impress us enough to place it higher than Sony’s beautifully crafted units or Lenovo’s fabrication for that matter. Yet, we liked its organic woven pattern which gives it a natty amalgamation of classical design with a modern twist.
The exquisite sequence of the model comes to light on the matte cover alongside the palm-rest, revealing an adamant feel to the design. A bit to dismay, the outer shell has not been designed smart enough to dodge those dirty fingerprints. However, we liked the netbook’s exquisite look which not only inscribes a style statement, but also makes it highly accessible and portable. The display panel is pretty slender which has Gateway’s logo beneath assigning it a decent look. Unfortunately, the bezel quality which has been carved out with plastic doesn’t impress us at all. If you’re someone who doesn’t like diving into details, the slight disappointment can be overlooked.
The device is extremely lightweight and handy to carry on trips at 2.76 pounds and with dimensions of 10. 17 x 7.24 x 0.94 inches. The power button lights up blue and has been housed on the left side of the keypad. On the right edge, you’ll find ports dedicated to LAN, USB 2.0, Kensington security and audio I/O. Whereas, the left side covers place for two USB 2.0 ports and terminals for charging alongside a VGA output.
The 10.1-inch LED backlit display delivers a 1024 x 600 resolution and looked impressive at the same time. We liked the clarity but the little space consumed by the inferior-looking bezel made us think ‘the screen could’ve been slightly larger.’ The display clarity definitely lived up to our expectations by rendering crystal-clear images. Complementing the screen nicely was netbook’s widely smoked out keys. Acer has neatly distributed the standard-size keys which yet again add up to its neatness tucked inside and enabled us to type with comfort.
Powered by Intel Atom processor N450 and Intel graphics media accelerator 3150 video processor, the netbook also offered a decent experience with letting us indulge in video-chats with our loved ones. The integration of a 1.3 megapixel webcam doesn’t do anything great. The quality level was decent; Acer could have improved on that front though. On the contrary, we were majorly disappointed by the device’s internal audio speakers. We genuinely didn’t like the low power given to its speakers and how poorly it fared. Watching our favorite movies and listening to music could be seen getting affected by this pitfall. In today’s time, where a majority of makers are endeavoring to embed a powerful speaker to uplift the user experience, Acer’s this tweak puts the unit under the shadow. Although it says ‘high-definition audio support,’ our audible senses failed to realize it. We were also mistaken by not having increased the volume at its highest. To put it in a nutshell, concentrating on the noises around while watching videos or listening to songs came pretty easy to us.
Coming to its multi-gesture touchpad which slants subtly towards the silver key and comes highlighted by grooves on the left and right sides, we could see the device swinging between being ‘decent and sluggish.’ We nowhere appreciate the sluggishness it comes with. Once again, this aspect makes us draw a stern comparison with other models surfacing the segment with super-resistive touchpad. Aggravating the disappointment was its appearance which looked slightly small-time. Not only the touchpad appeared slightly inferior in terms of look, but also failed to respond too quickly. However, we could still navigate web pages, media libraries, photos, spreadsheets and more by simply flicking, swirling and pinching our fingers. If decent performance on the touchpad front is concerned, the LT23 gets an easy entry. Apart from this, the Genuine Windows 7 Starter device competes well with a host of powerful features.
On the connectivity front, the netbook features 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and fast Ethernet (10/100). Though we faced some problems with turning on the former one, the experience delivered was fairly good. We could conveniently access web pages and surf the internet quickly. Watching videos in high-quality on YouTube doesn’t come accompanied. The overall Internet experience did leave us with a happy face. At the same time, we feasted upon the device’s dedicated Gateway social network key which literally connected us to our favorite social networking sites in a snap by launching Facebook, YouTube and Flickr with a single log-in to all three sites.
Making the unit powerful is the incorporation of 1024 megabyte DDR2 667MHz SDRAM single channel memory, 160 gigabyte SATA hard drive and Mobile Intel NM10 Express Chipset. The need for storing loads of content gets adequately answered by LT23’s above stated memory status. The device’s pre-loaded software comprising Microsoft Works SE 9.0 for word processing and spreadsheet work and a 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 comes as another perk.
We could continue examining the netbook for extended time courtesy the unit’s impressive 6-cell 2200mAh battery. If you ask us ‘how many hours did it run for,’ approximately 8 hours would drop in as an answer.
The device gets points for embedding a pretty sleek, portable enclosure.
The unit prances with a powerful battery life, which indeed let us carry out our demanding tasks conveniently.
We liked the netbook’s appealingly designed display and impressive visual clarity.
The attempt of merging a classic look with a voguish touch could be appreciated as well.
We were majorly cast down with LT23’s poor audio quality.
Using the touchpad wasn’t a smooth experience either.
Overall, the Acer Gateway LT23 is a decent netbook with room for noteworthy improvements. We liked the device’s fare performance while weakness in certain areas disappointed us. For letting us execute our tasks with incredible portability and keeping us entertained at minimal, we give it a rating of decent 7 out of 10. The netbook is priced at Rs. 22,708, excluding VAT.