Gateway offer low-price, high-spec Tablet PC, the E155C

Chris Davies - Apr 19, 2007

Mainstream PC manufacturer Gateway have just unveiled their latest Tablet PC assault on the Best Buy masses, with the introduction of the E155C "Thin & Light Convertible Notebook".  They've obviously been studying their market, too; Gateway's first foray into pen-computing was very much a normal laptop with the addition of a swivel hinge and digitiser (in an act of cost-cutting they even eschewed the by-now industry standard Wacom digitiser panel), but the E155C has picked up on many of the successful innovations from other tablet manufacturers with the bonus of a typical low price.


 Gateway E155C

Based around a 12.1-inch, 1280 x 800 widescreen that can be operated both with a dedicated Wacom stylus or directly with a finger, the 4.5lb machine also boasts an internal optical drive, dual-rotating hinge that should hopefully reduce the number of "snapping" accidents when users attempt to turn the screen the wrong way, and an Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 CPU.

Gateway E155C

Other tried and tested goodies include a biometric fingerprint scanner, a choice of three batteries (4, 6 and 8 cell units offering 3, 6 or 8 hours battery life respectively), ambient light sensor to adjust screen backlighting according the environment and what they're calling an "anti-reflection polarizer" which offers some degree of improved visibility in sunlight.  Gigabit ethernet is another treat, as is the news that a draft-N option to replace the standard a/b/g WiFi should be available at some point after launch. 

Gateway E155C

Perhaps most important is the price: $1,849.99 for the launch model, with a lower-spec variant called the C-120X arriving in May for $1,499.  That should see students and home users well served, since the spec list (reproduced in full below) measures up decidedly well to that of high-end alternatives such as Lenovo's X60t with its recent Core 2 Duo upgrade. 

They may be criticised by some for replicating not innovating, but everyone else will likely see this new Gateway machine for what it is: a lower-cost challenge to existing tablet manufacturers and a further attempt to break through into the mainstream.  With the greatly improved pen-computing technology in Vista - which Gateway claim this machine has been expressly designed for, although XP is still an option - and the insanely convenient passive/active touchscreen, the E155C could be the machine that follows through on Microsoft's long-standing predictions for the concept.


Operating Systems
Genuine Microsoft® Windows XP Tablet PC Edition1
Processor & Motherboard
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage Processor2

2 Execution Cores
Integrated 2MB Level 2 Cache
533 MHz FSB
Intel® 945GM Chipset
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
Dual Channel DDR2 Memory
Dual-channel 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM (runs at 533MHz)
Two 200-pin SODIMM Sockets on Motherboard
Both End-User Accessible
Expandable to 4GB 533 or 667 MHz DDR2

512MB DDR2 (1x512)
1024MB DDR2 (1x1024)
1024MB DDR2 (2x512)
2048MB DDR2 (2x1024)
Supports 2.5" Hard Drives
120GB SATA 5400RPM
12.1" WXGA TFT Active Matrix Color Display

Max Resolution: 1280 x 800
Display Colors: 262,144
3.3 V power supply
Anti-reflection polarizer for "sun-light readability"
Graphics, Sound & Multimedia
Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950

Up to 128MB shared memory (when 512MB or more system memory present)
Max external resolution: 2048 x 1536
Microsoft® DirectX® 9 support
WDDM support
Audio Chipset

SigmaTel 9205
Audio features

SoundBlaster® Pro, MIDI and Windows® sound system compatible
3D sound support
64-channel wavetable synthesis
Audio AC '97 2.3 compliant
Integrated speakers
Networking & Communications
Integrated v.92 56K modem

RJ-11 port
Integrated Intel® 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet

Supports Wake-on-LAN from S3, S4, S5 and Boot from LAN (S4 and S5 while on AC Only)
RJ-45 port
Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 ABG 802.11a/b/g mini-card
Factory installed diversified antenna
Wi-Fi protected access (WPA) and WPA2 support
Wi-Fi certified
Cisco compatible extension (version 4) certified
Integrated Bluetooth 2.0

Factory installed diversified antenna
I/O Ports
2 USB 2.0 ports
VGA port with screws
Type II PC card bus slot
IEEE 1394 (4-pin)
6-in-1 Digital Card Reader (MMC, SD, MS, MSP, Mini Secure Digital™ and RS-MMC)
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Power input
Port replicator connector
Biometric Fingerprint Reader
UPEK TCD4 + TCS3 chipset
Includes scroll capabilities in tablet mode
Dimenions & Weight
11.9" (W) x 9.9"(D) x 1.17(H) (w/ Standard Battery)
4.85 lbs (w/4-cell lithium ion battery and CD/DVDRW)
4.5 lbs (w/4-cell lithium ion battery and weight saver)
5.07 lbs (w/6-cell lithium ion battery and CD/DVDRW)
4.74 lbs (w/6-cell lithium ion battery and weight saver)
* Some features require Windows Vista

Gateway E155C Tablet PC [via GottaBeMobile - thanks to Warner for the tip!]

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