Hands On: The Gateway NV55S02u Ultimate Notebook Review

Written by Alan Monday, 17 October 2011 07:00

gateway nv55s02u Hands On: The Gateway NV55S02u Ultimate Notebook Review

Gateway was once one of the top names in the home computer industry, right up there with Dell as THE PC’s to get.  Then, around the time that the Gateway stores failed, the quality of their products also began to fail.  Fast-Forward several years and Gateway is again on the rise.  They haven’t regained their earlier prominence, but they are once again making quality computers, with an especially solid collection of notebooks and netbooks.

Recently I have had the opportunity to use the Gateway NV55S02u notebook.  This is a full-sized laptop with a 15.6 inch screen and a lot of power.  It’s one of Gateway’s top-of-the-line models with some of the best components packed into it.

Hardware Specs

  • Processor: AMD Quad-core A6-3400M
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR3 (maximum of 8 GB)
  • Storage: 500 GB SATA
  • Optical: DVD-Super Multi DL Drive
  • Screen: 15.6 inch 16:9 HD LED LCD
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6520G
  • Network: 802.11 b/g/n and Gigabit Ethernet
  • Built-in Webcam
  • Built-in Microphone
  • 3 USB Ports (2.0 only)
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet (RJ-45)
  • VGA
  • Headphone Jack
  • Microphone Jack
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium

As you can see from the above-listed specs, this notebook has plenty of power with it’s Quad-core processor and 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, plus plenty of storage with a generous 500 GB hard drive.  The 802.11 n and gigabit ethernet ensure you will not have any connection issues, at least on your end of the pipe.

gateway nv55s02u in use 1024x577 Hands On: The Gateway NV55S02u Ultimate Notebook Review



Two words here – speed and power.  This is perhaps the fastest notebook computer I have used.  It boots fast, connects to WiFi fast, and launches programs fast.  The screen plays beautiful video with little or no buffering thanks to the high-speed WiFi card.  The computer comes with surprisingly little of the typical manufacturer bloatware that we have become used to.  Sure, there’s some, like the usual suspects such as Norton (60 Day Trial), Nero, Gateway Games, and a few others.  On the other hand, Windows Live Essentials comes pre-installed, which saves a step for the typical user.  The webcam and microphone that come built-in work surprisingly well, allowing you to video-chat using only ear-buds, while sending out a nice clear picture.  I would never have purchased a white notebook.  I just never thought I would like that color for a PC, but I have to say, this color scheme is beautiful.  The two-toned white and silver hardware really stands out.  Finally, the F keys at the top of the keyboard also double as other functions, such as media control, which is a nice touch.


As mentioned in the “Pros” section, there is some pre-installed junkware, but it can easily be cleaned up with something like PC Decrapifier.  Since it’s less than what some other systems (HP I’m looking at you) come with, I don’t really think this is a fair “con”, but I wanted to mention it.  The Touch-Pad is highly-sensitive, to the point that the cursor will jump almost constantly when trying to type.  You can, however, disable it with quick press of the F6 button.  Press it again when you want your pointer back.  All 3 USB ports are 2.0, which is fine, but with 3.0 now finding it’s way into hardware, it would have been a nice inclusion here.


Gateway has made a good comeback.  They are once again producing quality hardware, and are on their way to regaining their previous reputation.  It remains to be seen where they will go from here, but I have hopes.  You have read the Pros and Cons of this particular notebook and can draw your own conclusions, but if you want my opinion, it’s that the Pros outweigh the Cons.  I have been using it for a month and am writing this review on it.  I have not had a single hardware or software problem.  In fact, I have two children who want netbooks for Christmas and I am considering getting Gateways for them.  I was a Gateway customer long ago, and have since moved on to Dell, but Gateway may just win me back.

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 Hands On: The Gateway NV55S02u Ultimate Notebook Review


Alan is the owner and editor of Making Windows Easy. In addition to writing about technology he is also an avid distance runner and hiker. Read More

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  1. O-G-   |  Tuesday, 15 May 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Hi. I just wanted to leave my review of this laptop because I bought it when it was on sale and there were no user reviews out there and now I seriously regret it. Clearly I made a mistake in purchasing a laptop from a company that is new to laptops. I know that Gateway is a decent company and based on their success with desktops, I thought their laptops would be good too, but don’t be fooled by its physically appealing exterior. They’ve made it look like a MAC, but there is nothing in the quality that mimics a MAC. Within a month of buying it I started having problems. A few times it would shut down on its own and then it completely stopped working altogether (and I hadn’t downloaded anything on the computer other than Microsoft Office). The computer would either not turn on or would not get past the Windows Start-up page. I tried it periodically for 2 months until finally it started up completely. It worked fine for a while but then 3 or 4 months after that, the left mouse button stopped working too. It stopped making the clicking sound and would only work if you pressed down real hard and sometimes not even then. Then the mousepad itself stopped working so I couldn’t actually click on anything. for a month or so I had to navigate my computer through the keyboard entirely. This was especially difficult because I use my laptop for law school and need it every day for class notes and assignments. I had to reboot my entire computer to get the mousepad to start working but the key is still broken. My 1 year warranty is not even up yet and the customer service at Gateway refuses to address any of these problems. If I were you, I would stay away. I will be using this computer until it stops working entirely (which should be soon) and then I will never buy a gateway product ever again. Shoddy workmanship and horrible customer service policies. DO NOT BUY!

  2. Alan   |  Tuesday, 15 May 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I have been using it daily since last August and have had no problems.

  3. Rich   |  Sunday, 14 July 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I’ve had this laptop for almost a year now and the only issue I’ve had is that every now and then I have to do a hard reset because colored lines suddenly start going up and down the screen and it beeps intermittently. I had it checked out and the tech said the motherboard does not have damage and he thought it was a software issue. I messed around with drivers for awhile and thought something might be goofy with the SMBus but wasn’t sure. I’ve been living with the minor inconvenience of it acting up in this way, but it’s only happening every few days. I’m thinking there could be an overheating issue, because AMD does have a track-record with them. I’m a big fan of this computer and I use it daily as a student and computer tech.

  4. Alan   |  Sunday, 14 July 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Thankfully, I have not had that issue, though that does not help you. Mine does get hot, so that could be the problem.

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