Gateway NV59c Review

While it’s far from the ideal travel notebook, its affordable prices and comfortable controls make the Gateway NV59c a decent value for the right type of user.
While it’s far from the ideal travel notebook, its affordable prices and comfortable controls make the Gateway NV59c a decent value for the right type of user.
While it’s far from the ideal travel notebook, its affordable prices and comfortable controls make the Gateway NV59c a decent value for the right type of user.


  • Attractive wave pattern design
  • Loud upfiring speakers
  • Smooth 1080p playback, VGA and HDMI output
  • Built-in Blu-ray drive and WiMax
  • Large 15.6-inch screen
  • Respectably desktop performance, quick boot
  • Comfortable keyboard, trackpad


  • Lid damages easily
  • Low resolution (1366 x 960)
  • Somewhat bulky
  • So-so battery life
  • Loads of bloatware
  • Clunky WiMax utilities

DT Editors' Rating

Whether you’re folded into a hostel bunk beside a bunch of snoring Germans, holed up in a concrete box of a dorm room, or just too cheap for a TV, a laptop can be as much an entertainment center as a tool for communication, study and productivity. Gateway’s NV59c shoulders the burden of keeping users grinning with a 15.6-inch screen, integrated Blu-ray player, and even built-in WiMax for keeping the Hulu, YouTube and Netflix videos rolling, even when you’re away from home. While it’s far from the ideal travel notebook, its affordable prices and comfortable controls make the NV59c a decent value for the right type of user. Continue on to our full review below for our in-depth look at the Gateway NV59c.


Gateway stuffs the NV59c with processors as fast as the Core i5 460M and options like ATI Radeon HD 5470 or Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, but our NV59c66u came with a Core i3 370M (clocked at 2.4GHz) and vanilla Intel HD graphics. It also sports a 500GB hard drive, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a Blu-ray drive.

At a portly 5.72 pounds and 1.34 inches thick, the NV59 certainly feels happiest on a desktop, but it’s actually reasonably competitive — A similarly equipped Dell Inspiron 15 packs a little more meat on the bones while HP’s G62 cuts a bit away, leaving the NV59 about average.

Gateway NV59cDesign

HP may have nabbed the “Envy” name for its own premium notebook series, but that hasn’t prevented Gateway from rolling with the same semantics through its “NV” model designation. And the same marketing angle: “Your friends will want one.” To that end, the NV59c sports a good deal more flair than your average Gateway workhorse. The lid and wrist rest both sport Gateway’s “wave pattern” design, almost like a digital woodgrain. It’s oddly fitting for an entertainment laptop, almost hearkening to the 80-pound wood entertainment centers that dominated the shag-carpeted living rooms of yesteryear, except you don’t have to slather it in Pledge every week. Gateway also adds bright metal accents, which seem to be a staple of the brand, with a brushed Gateway badge on the lid and a chrome strip above the keyboard.

We didn’t catch wind of any creaks or squeaks from the NV59c, but like most notebooks in this price and size class, the lid delivers quite a bit of flex when you lay into it. Ours also managed to pick up two tiny dings in the course of normal wear and tear around the Digital Trends offices — a disturbing first for any review notebook. We have a Lenovo X61, by comparison, that has seen four trips to Vegas for CES, side jaunts to Spain, Denmark and Japan, but hasn’t managed to pick up the same damage.

Ports and connectivity

As an entertainment notebook, Gateway’s NV59c has all the bases covered with both VGA and HDMI video outputs for throwing content up to the big screen, along with the typical microphone and headphone jacks, all on the left-hand side. You’ll also find an Ethernet jack nestled in there, a USB jack, and the power at the far rear. The right houses a tray-loading USB drive and two extra USB ports. A discreet slot up front accommodates SD cards.

Gateway NV59c


Like many of the Gateway notebooks we’ve had the opportunity of reviewing recently, the NV59c comes packed to the seams with worthless software you really don’t want. The worst offender: Norton Internet Security, which asks to be enabled every time you boot and can’t be disabled without uninstalling it. We also grew to loathe the preinstalled video effects, which drop down whenever you hover near a spot at the top of screen, creating a constant nuisance, and Best Buy’s PC App, which is little more than a Best Buy store barging its way onto your desktop. CyberDVD seemed like a smart choice for use with the included Blu-ray drive, but we had to update it online before it would even play a Blu-ray movie. Long story short: Everyone will want to do a little housekeeping when they crack open the NV59c for the first time, but vets might even contemplate reinstalling Windows 7 from scratch to rid the machine of the bloatware infesting it from the factory.

Keyboard and trackpad

Running against the current trend toward Chiclet-style keyboards, Gateway’s NV59c gets an interesting treatment we can only describe as nouveau typewriter: flat key tops hover above a deep keyboard tray, with spaces between them so vast each key almost appears to be floating above its own shadow. The look isn’t for everyone, and compulsive snackers will quickly fill the canyons with Cheez-It crumbs, but we tip our hats to Gateway for trying something different. The visual “depth” of the tray translates to deep, satisfying keypresses that made us prefer this style to comparatively shallow Chiclets, and the size of the keyboard also lends itself to a full-size number pad. Oddly enough, there’s also a dedicated “social networks” button in the far upper right that opens a Gateway app for using Facebook and YouTube, but unless you’re embarrassingly addicted to pictures of your friends, it’s just another key.

Gateway NV59cThe trackpad on the NV59c has been set in flush with the wrist rest — it’s actually part of it. Only raised lines to either side tell you where the mousing surface begins and ends. Despite this potential concession to fashion, it works marvellously, even with multi-touch gestures. The silver button bar below works fine and doesn’t collect fingerprints as some chrome models on other notebooks do, even if the hollow sound it makes with every click is less than confidence inspiring.


A large 15.6-inch display and bright LED backlight make the NV59c a suitable fill-in for a TV in just about any scenario, but it’s missing one crucial ingredient: Pixels. Despite equipping the notebook with a Blu-ray drive for 1080p video playback, the display sports a modest 1366 x 768 resolution – the same number of pixels you might find jammed into a much smaller notebook like Sony’s 11.1-inch Vaio X. It’s pretty much the bare minimum for side-by-side multitasking, and the hi-def brilliance of Blu-ray gets crushed to 720p.

A glossy topcoat and relatively poor horizontal viewing angle can also make it challenging to watch TV in rooms with overhead lighting or split it with a friend, though sturdy, far-reclining hinges work in its favor for tight spots, something budget notebooks typically skimp on.

Product Review

The MacBook Air plays the oldies we love, but the band is getting old

We’ve waited for a long time for an update to the MacBook Air, and Apple finally delivered one. With a lot of features ported over from the MacBook Pro, is this new laptop what Apple fans have always wanted?
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Changing file associations in Windows 10 is quick and easy with these steps

Learning how to change file associations can make editing certain file types much quicker than manually selecting your preferred application every time you open them. Just follow these short steps and you'll be on your way in no time.
Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement, or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as picking from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.

These laptop bags will keep your notebook secure wherever you go

Choosing the right laptop bag is no easy feat -- after all, no one likes to second-guess themselves. Here are some of the best laptop bags on the market, from backpacks to sleeves, so you can get it right the first time around.

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

Don't know what to do with all your old DVDs? Here's how to convert them to MP4

Given today's rapid technological advancements, physical discs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Check out our guide on how to convert a DVD to MP4, so you can ditch discs for digital files.