Gateway M-275 - Legacy Hardware for a reason
I have owned one of the older Gateway M-275 tablet notebooks for about a year now. I am a computer technician by trade, but even if I were not I would still love this notebook. My primary likes are the obvious ones....reversible screen and stylus etc... But the real "meat and potatoes" of this system has to do with the relative ease with which one can upgrade the thing. Granted I was a little taken aback by having to take the keyboard off just to be able to access the second memory expansion DIMM slot, but I have to admit it has been one of the hardest working little computers I've ever pwned ( noobs with ) . I have had to change the hard drive, upgrade the memory to a single gig stick ( that was before I found the second memory slot underneath the keyboard) and I also had to take the laptop damn near completely apart to change the cpu cooling fan. What surprised me was how easy it was to get into the thing. The M-275 fits together alot like legos. If you've ever worked on a laptop's hardware before then you will most likely know where everything goes. It's a very generically built laptop computer. All of the integrated hardware works in Ubuntu Linux "out of the box" that includes the wireless adapter. Additionally the integrated wifi adapter is compatible with airmon-ng ( for you linux folks) So with this massive antennae wrapped around the LCD it makes for a great war-driver. I still have not found an external antennae which works better than the integrated one. ( antennae) Everywhere I read says the original battery is some kind of industry titan that lasts a while.... sadly my battery was already toast by the time I got my hands on this computer. One glaring design flaw is the weak central LCD swivel which will almost inevitably get hyper-twisted in the improper direction, causing the LCD bezel ( not the screen ) to form a very distinctive crack. You will notice these models are almost always cracked along the right hand screw cover on the face of the LCD bezel. One awesome design foresight is the uniquely formed cool air intake vent, which is designed to be able to pull cool air into the cpu cooling chanels ( heat sink ) even when the notebook it laying on a flat surface. This does NOT include a blanket people.... ( no laptop can do that I don't think ) this is accomplshed with little rubber boots which allow for enough clearance not to burn the machine up after extended or heavy use. Believe it or not even some "new" notebooks do not enjoy this design and will literally heat up enough to cause discomfort to one's lap :P I added a single one gigabyte stick of RAM to my m-275 thinking that due to the tablet status that maybe I was limited to only one peice of RAM. Later I had to change the fan and that's when discovered the 256 MB RAM chip underneath the keyboard. So at some point I will plop another gig of ram in it and see what happens :) I bet she'll be a bit more snappy then :) But really it's just fine running on a full gig of pc 333 -2700 Over all I have to say this laptop has held up far more reliably in the Colorado altitude and cold for longer than some notebooks my customers have purchased this year.... But don't take my word for it.... you decide!!!
Fort Collins, CO