I bought a new Gateway 3520GZ (catchy name, eh?) laptop last week, and aside from the awkwardness of the touchpad (let’s face it, nothing on a laptop can live up to what I’../../../2005/01/igesture_review.html”>iGesture), I’m really enjoying it.
It wasn’t terribly pricey (as far as laptops go), and it’s thin and compact–nice for traveling. It’s not so small that the keyboard is difficult to type on, though. Ergonomics-wise, I like the feel of the keys much better than the Microsoft split keyboard I’ve been using on my desktop computer of late. They respond to a soft touch without feeling mushy. As mentioned, the touchpad isn’t brilliant (you can do the tap and double tap for clicking much as with the iGesture, but this isn’t nearly as responsive), but I like it more than those pencil-eraser nub mouses that many laptops come with.
The Gateway 3520GZ isn’t as powerful as a lot of the higher end laptops on the market, but it’s fine for surfing the net and doing Word stuff, which is mostly what I do. The battery lasts about 4 hours, which is pretty decent for laptops. I haven’t installed Dragon NaturallySpeaking yet, but I will probably do so soon. The laptop has 512 MB of memory, so I’m hoping that’s enough for the program to run smoothly. (I know at 256, Dragon was a bit slow on my old computer.) I’ll install that in the next week or two and let you know how it runs.