What is it? This is a laptop with a fairly recent Intel Core i5 CPU and 16GB RAM that retails for less than $399 (as of September 29th). It comes from a trusted retailer (Walmart) and has a lot of features that make it a great fit for a wide variety of use cases thanks to the larger-than-usual system memory. The GWTN141-10BK (that’s its name) is definitely one of the best value-for-money laptops on the market at the time of writing.
What makes it special? Its main appeal is the 16GB DDR4 RAM; that’s twice what others similar-priced laptops offer and it matters because more memory help with running multiple applications at the same time. The fact that it is also dual-channel is also worth mentioning.
What else should we know? This Gateway laptop also comes with a 11th generation Core i5 CPU, the i5-1135G7 processor, in black or blue; other colors (green or silver) cost a few dollars more. It may be three years old already but still manages to score a respectable 10,000 marks on the popular Passmark benchmark, a very good score for a quad-core model. It has a fingerprint reader (making it a great choice as a business laptop), a 14.1-inch full HD display, audio tuned by THX, a bigger-than-average 512GB SSD, Bluetooth 5.1 (the latest is 5.3) and Wi-Fi 5 (latest is 7) courtesy of an onboard Intel AC9461 chip. Expansion options include a HDMI port, a microSD card slot plus three USB ports. There’s also free slot to add one more M.2 SATA SSD and some buyers have reportedly been able to swap the onboard Windows 10 for Fedora Linux.
Any cons? Gateway says that the onboard 51WHr battery will last up to 10 hours which surprisingly is backed by independent reviews. There’s no backlit keyboard or IR camera which - at this price - is perfectly acceptable. Both reviews also highlighted the weak touchpad. It is also heavier than expected at 1.64Kg, probably due to the use of aluminum for the outer lid.
What have others said about it? Notebookcheck reviewed it in June 2021 and gave it a solid 79% saying, “The inexpensive Gateway GWTN141 excels at maximizing performance per dollar with lots of RAM and storage, super-quiet fan, and a long battery life. It can even house up to two M.2 SSDs which we weren't expecting from such a cheap system”. In August 2021, Cnet said that it was a bargain, even at its sticker price of $500.
What about after sales? The item is sold and shipped by a third party on Walmart but you get the full 12-month warranty and the support from the world’s largest retail store. You can also protect your purchase by adding a Walmart Protection Plan by Allstate that costs as little as
$26 $23 (when purchasing a three-year plan). It cover accidents (drops, spills, cracks) and hardware failure.
Anything else? There are cheaper laptops with 16GB of RAM but they all suffer from one or more major weaknesses (e.g. sub-par processor, HD display etc). But if you find a better new deal, let me know.
The Dell Inspiron 15 3525, which costs $499.99, has a much faster processor, a 1TB SSD and a bigger display; Gateway offers better value when it comes to the battery capacity, the presence of a Type-C connector, the quality of its webcam (HD vs 1-megapixel) and the affordability of its extended warranty.
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.