It may be just a refresh, but Gateway's ID47H07u (a follow-up to the ID47H02u) is an improvement on an already-solid budget notebook. For the budget-conscious price of $699, you get a slick design, good audio quality, and impressive battery life. Our review gave the ID47H07u a full four stars, but chances are you'll want to know a few more details before making that purchase.
First thing's first: This Gateway is a looker. We're fans of the aluminum-alloy design and the ultra-thin bezel (which crams a 14-inch display into a space meant for 13-inch screens). At 4.4 pounds, it's no ultraportable, but it's hardly chunky. The ID47H07u also earned points for its strong audio quality, thanks in part to the included Dolby Home Theater v.4 software. And while this laptop is no graphics giant, it held its own on our benchmark. Finally, a battery life of 7:48 seals the deal; that's more than 30 minutes longer than the thin-and-light average.
The ID47H07u does have some downsides, however. We found the touchpad to be a too sticky for our tastes, and the 14.1-inch display provided pretty narrow viewing angles. Keep in mind the $699 MSRP, though; you do get what you pay for, and the 1D47H07u gives you quite a lot for the price.