Charles enjoys reviewing and photographing food and restaurants. I provide relevant food-related content to potential customers and patrons.
Budget Shoppers Unite!
As most of my faithful readers may already know, I am notoriously cheap. I also can't resist a good bargain when I find one. I happened to be in the market for a new Windows 11 laptop for producing and editing my videos for YouTube. This led to many searches and visits to the local electronics stores before finally settling on the Gateway Ultra Slim laptop from Wal-Mart. The specifications looked decent on paper, good enough for what my intended use was going to be. I ordered it online at Walmart.com and within two days it was on my doorstep. Kudos to Wal-Mart.
Gateway is Back?
It looks as if Gateway has been resurrected. Born again and emblazoned with their iconic cow pattern branding, the Gateway label is back from the dead! Available exclusively online, these budget laptops are only available for purchase from Walmart. I did some quick digging and found that according to Forbes Magazine, Gateway was founded in 1985 and quickly became the largest direct-to-consumer PC seller in the US during the '90s. After plummeting sales and interest, Gateway was eventually acquired by the Acer computer company in 2007 where they continued to market Gateway branded computers until 2013. The black and white boxes quickly disappeared from shelves. By 2022, Gateway was back in the marketplace and offering inexpensive laptops for purchase online exclusively at walmart.com.
What's in the Black and White Cow Patterned Box?
Windows 10 Home (S mode)
4 GB Memory (RAM)
USB Type-C x 1
Product Dimensions: 14.1” x 9.4” x 0.78”
AMD Ryzen™ 3 3250U Processor with Radeon™ Graphics
1.0 MP Front-Facing Camera
USB 3.0 x 2
Weight: 4.0 lbs.
Up to 8.5 hours of battery life
Built-in Stereo Speakers x 2
Free Upgrade to Windows 11 when available
Tuned by THX™ Audio
Micro SD Slot (Up to 512 GB) x 1
128 GB eMMC Storage
HDMI Output x 1
The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly!
On first inspection, once I fired up this ultra-slim laptop from Walmart, I noticed the high-resolution screen and vibrant colors. It appears to be an anti-glare screen and my bright overhead light didn't affect its visibility at all. It seemed to boot up quickly and everything operated smoothly at this point. Then the updates started and everything went downhill quickly from there.
Immediately out of the box, I noticed how cheaply this laptop was made. On the right side of the keyboard, the plastic was bulging out and the seams didn't line up properly. The CTRL key was sticky and made loud clicking sounds when pressed. This Gateway had a poor fit and finish overall and was made entirely of cheap plastic.
I understand that this laptop is definitely not designed to be a high-end laptop but a basic, simple laptop for everyday use. But the issues I encountered with this cheap piece of technology rendered the laptop basically unusable.
Everything started out fine and was working flawlessly until the first time that the Gateway Ultra Slim laptop began its update process. After the first round of updates was installed, the laptop reset and I continued working with it without issue. After about five minutes of web browsing and moving files around, the screen froze turned black, and the laptop restarted on its own. This happened two or three more times until a message popped up regarding issues with the AMD graphics card.
I did some quick troubleshooting and decided to roll back the driver to the older version, thinking that the updated driver may be causing the issue. This did not help. After every five minutes of use, the laptop would crash and restart. I immediately shut it down and initiated a return at walmart.com.
My advice to anyone interested in purchasing the Gateway Ultra Slim laptop from Wal-Mart is to think twice. I wasn't able to thoroughly test this unit and provide a decent review due to the issues I experienced with crashes and overall instability. If I had to rate it, I would have to give it an overall score of 0.5/5.0. A complete waste of time and money.
That's about all on this one, stay tuned for my review of the ASUS VivoBook from Staples that I purchased as a replacement. Have a great day!
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Charles Kikas