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[Engadget] Gateway P-7808u FX gaming laptop unboxing and hands-on

2233 Views 26 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  {core2duo}werd
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The nice folks at Gateway were good enough to send over a fresh-out-of-the-oven P-7808u FX, their newest entry into a now-long lineage of gaming laptops. This $1699 machine replaces the similarly-priced P7811FX that we took a look at a few months ago and, like its older brother, packs some serious gaming-for-your-buck. Who are we to keep you from some delicious unboxing and hands-on dirtiness?

The latest FX sits in the same case as the P-7811 FX, including the gaudy black and orange effects that remind us of an 80s Chevy Monte Carlo (look it up, you'll see what we mean). We're ready for Gateway to leave this design behind -- the FX deserves a new dress, because, really, she has a great personality. Gateway has kept the 5-in-1 multicard reader, HDMI port, triple USB 2.0 plugs, and handy eSATA port while adding a 9-cell battery that provides longer portable gaming time of around four hours. Don't expect to throw this giant into a backpack any time soon, as the P-7808u FX weighs in at a bag-busting 9 pounds while a 17-inch widescreen monitor sits above a full-size keyboard complete with numpad.
The biggest additions to the FX are a 2GHz Core 2 Quad CPU and NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS (with 1GB of GDDR3) that have proven to make this a very adept gaming rig. The new machine is snappier than the 7811 we've been testing: startup time is a good 10 seconds faster when booting into Windows Vista Home 64-bit and Crysis played like a dream at 1440x900 and 8x anti-aliasing. Unfortunately, a more paltry resolution (1440x900 on the 7808 as opposed to the 7811's 1440x1200) was a disappointing and surprising cut and had us yearning for the vast real estate of the predecessor's display. In terms of memory, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500GB HDD spinning at 5400RPM opened applications without much hesitation but a 7200RPM drive would be welcome here.

If you're on the fence, you can't go wrong with the P7808u FX's specifications and price point. However, if you're sitting there sobbing with a 7811 (or similar) gaming rig, don't lose any sleep -- the 7808u is a basic (but welcome) evolutionary jump.
Looks sexy.

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Hmm, is it just me (and my terrible searching skillz), or is this not on the Gateway website yet?
Yeah, Gateway is pretty slow with...well, just about everything.


The lack of keyboard backlighting still bothers me...I thought these versions around this time would have them!
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Looks solid, but I'd never buy another Gateway product. Their support is all North American, but instead of arguing with Indians, now you're arguing with dumb Americans
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bag-busting 9 pounds
Oh please, my school backpack weighs like 20 pounds with the heavy books in it.

It looks nicer than its predecessors.
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Crysis played like a dream at 1440x900 and 8x anti-aliasing
oh yeah ? right !

sure it did, did you know dreams play at 1 FPS ?
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Originally Posted by wolf2009 View Post
oh yeah ? right !

sure it did, did you know dreams play at 1 FPS ?
Lol. Good catch, I never noticed that.
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Originally Posted by wolf2009 View Post
oh yeah ? right !

sure it did, did you know dreams play at 1 FPS ?
"They didn't mention the detail level, I would say low/medium"

"As for the laptop itself it had me right up until they mentioned the resolution of its screen. That is pathetic. Once you've had a high-res laptop screen you CAN'T go back. I have a 15" display with 1900x1200... beautiful!"

.
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Some artsy fartsy kid in my film class has one of those pizza boxes
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Originally Posted by d3v0 View Post
Some artsy fartsy kid in my film class has one of those pizza boxes
Lol. Was it any good?
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Originally Posted by Gillos View Post
"They didn't mention the detail level, I would say low/medium"

"As for the laptop itself it had me right up until they mentioned the resolution of its screen. That is pathetic. Once you've had a high-res laptop screen you CAN'T go back. I have a 15" display with 1900x1200... beautiful!"

.
wow wut, how can a normal person even tell the difference between 1920x1200 and say 1440x900 on a 15".
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If it doesn't run the Q9100 or QX9300, the updated BIOS is useless.
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Originally Posted by noobpower2
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wow wut, how can a normal person even tell the difference between 1920x1200 and say 1440x900 on a 15".

You actually can, but I found that 1680*1050 is really what suits me the best for 15.4", it's very small and sharp and yet still readable without eyestrain, and allows me to keep good performance in games at native res!
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Originally Posted by lolhax
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Oh please, my school backpack weighs like 20 pounds with the heavy books in it.

It looks nicer than its predecessors.

it looks exactly the same...
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I'd rather it had the T9800 2.93GHz than a 2GHz Quad. All those older games that are more or less single-threaded would run much better.

Why won't GW [or Toshiba, Dell] put some speed in their gaming laptops?
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Originally Posted by Admiral Mudkipz
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Lol. Was it any good?

The poor sucker can only use it for a few minutes at a time. Its a 2.5 hour class and the battery wont make it.
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Originally Posted by justarealguy
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Looks solid, but I'd never buy another Gateway product. Their support is all North American, but instead of arguing with Indians, now you're arguing with dumb Americans

I work there. And if you are so smart why did you pay for the service when google.com is free.
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I really like the way the Gateway FX laptops look, I just wish they were customizable. If I got one it would have a 9 cell battery.
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Originally Posted by skatingrocker17
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I really like the way the Gateway FX laptops look, I just wish they were customizable. If I got one it would have a 9 cell battery.

It does come with a 9-cell battery.
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Originally Posted by d3v0 View Post
The poor sucker can only use it for a few minutes at a time. Its a 2.5 hour class and the battery wont make it.
Haha, hence the term desktop replacement, but even those can last somewhat longer than that.
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