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October 14, 2023

Gateway Gwtn156-7BL Laptop Review

Gateway has been around for a while now, and the brand is back with another thin-and-light laptop for the bargain-hunting crowd. This model is exclusive to Walmart, and it's not a bad choice if you're in the market for a budget Windows machine. It doesn't have a backlit keyboard or the brightest display, but it offers a speedy Intel processor, a comfortable keyboard and a strong port assortment.

It also comes with a 512GB solid-state drive, which is impressive for a laptop at this price. And its battery lasted just a couple of minutes shy of 10 hours during our video streaming test. Unfortunately, a few major compromises prevent this Gateway from being the best affordable laptop.

A slick ocean-blue finish helps this Gateway stand out from other cheap laptops, but the chassis creaks and crunches under your hands from the moment you pick it up. It also has thick bezels around its matte display, and it's not as light as many of the competitors we tested.

The Gateway's biggest saving grace may be its potential to work as a cheap desktop replacement. Its real-world performance is snappy, you can upgrade the memory if needed, and its HDMI port facilitates easy connections to external monitors. It's hard to find a comparable desktop for under $400, though. And even if you plan on doing this, the Gateway's loud upward-firing speakers will still make it difficult to concentrate in noisy environments.