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 (1×512)
1024MB DDR2 (1×1024)
1024MB DDR2 (2×512)
2048MB DDR2 (2×1024)
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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