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The ’90s are back: Gateway laptops have been resurrected as Walmart exclusives

Remember Gateway laptops? If you grew up in the ’90s, they were probably the brand of your first laptop. Like a revival of your favorite childhood television show, the Gateway brand has been raised from the dead — cow imagery and all. The brand, which is owned by computer maker Acer, is making its own comeback with a line of new laptops, tablets, and convertibles that will be exclusive to Walmart.

So, what’s forcing these cows out of hibernation? For Gateway parent Acer, its about new silicon from Intel and AMD, including the successsul new mobile Ryzen 4000 processors.

“Gateway laptops are powered by Intel processors and AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics,” the company said in a prepared statement, noting the power efficiency, performance, and responsiveness of these chips. “AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics feature a powerful combination of processor and graphics technology for efficient and exceptional performance.”

In addition to the new processors, Gateway also name-dropped partners like THX, which delivers 7.1 spatial audio tuning, and Microsoft for its Windows 10 platform.

There will be several different laptop series available at launch, with the company promising even more models to come. Gateway will launch an Ultra Slim Laptop lineup, promising portability and balanced power, a 2-in-1 convertible that’s economically priced, and a more premium Creators Series aimed at gamers and creative professionals who dare sport Gateway branding on the lid.

The Creators Series come with 15.6-inch screens, and two models will encompass this lineup. The first model, which retails for $899, is powered by AMD’s six-core Ryzen 5 4600H processor alongside Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, while the second model relies on an Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics. Despite being targeted at PC enthusiasts, Gateway’s cows may be a bit sluggish, as neither model comes with Nvidia’s Super-branded GPUs. Both laptops are equipped with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage in an all-black design, with THX audio tuning and THX display calibration.

Gateway’s convertible series is aimed at price-conscious back-to-school shoppers who need an economical Intel Celeron-powered device with an 11.6-inch display that can quickly transform between laptop and tablet. The $299 device comes with 4GB of memory, 64GB of storage, and one year of Microsoft 365 Personal access, along with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage access.

Gateway’s Ultra Slim Laptop series features a variety of different options — ranging from budget AMD A4 and Intel Celeron processors to more powerful Ryzen and Core CPUs — that start at just $199. At the base price, you’re getting an 11.5-inch display with an A4 processor, giving it similar features to the convertible, while the most premium version retails for $649 and comes with a 15.6-inch display, Core i5 CPU, and 16GB of memory alongside 256GB of storage. The remaining models come with 14.1-inch displays, and you’ll find a variety of colors available for these notebooks, including black, purple, blue, and green.

Given the choices of affordable netbooks and Chromebooks already on the market from parent Acer , it’s unclear how successful Gateway will be after slapping its name on these models. Even if the pandemic forces a whole generation of students to study, work, and play from home, they’re likely too young to fall for the nostalgia of Gateway’s animal-print branding.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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