Gateway Announces 11.6-inch EC14D with DVD Drive, 15-inch EC58D Comes Along for Ride

Just when you thought optical drives in notebooks were on their way out, along comes the Gateway EC14D, an 11.6-inch notebook with a built-in DVD drive. This system will feature an Intel CULV processor, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, and retail for $629.

Here's the specs of the EC14D:

  • CPU: 1.3GHz Intel Pentium ULV Processor SU4100
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Display/Resolution: 11.6-inch LED-backlit TFT LCD (1366 x 768 resolution)
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
  • Memory/Expandable to: 4GB/8GB
  • Hard drive size/speed: 320GB/5400RPM
  • Optical Drive: 8X Super-Multi DVD player
  • Wireless: Intel Wi-Fi Link 1000 802.11b/g/Draft-N
  • Ports: Three USB, HDMI, Ethernet
  • Size: 11.5 x 8.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds

We haven't seen an optical drive on a production system this small since the Sony Vaio TT--and that notebook's starting price was more than $2,000. We like the fact that Gateway includes an HDMI port on the EC14D, but wonder if the integrated graphics will provide enough oomph if someone outputs a DVD to a large-screen TV. Also, Gateway's press release makes no mention of a Blu-ray option--let's hope one is made available.

The other system Gateway announced, with considerably less fanfare, is the EC58D, which will have a 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel resolution display, Intel Core 2 Duo or Pentium Dual-Core processors, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and integrated DVD drives. Not bad for a system less than an inch thin, and starting at $649.

However, based on the image Gateway provided, the EC58D looks little more than a slightly modified and rebranded Acer Aspire Timeline 5810T, currently selling for about the same price. As with the Gateway LT21/Acer 5032h, we don't quite understand why Acer/Gateway has to release two of the same product.

Look for our hands-on post later today.

LAPTOP Reviews Editor