It's quite possible that you've missed the memo, but Microsoft's next major operating system launches this week. Along with pretty much every other PC maker on the planet, Gateway
is also announcing new laptops that hum along on Windows 7
. Starting things off is the 11.6-inch EC14, which gets going at $549.99 and includes a 1.3GHz Pentium Dual Core SU1400 CPU, 1,366 x 768 resolution LED-backlit panel, Intel's GMA 4500MHD graphics, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a built-in webcam and multicard reader, 320GB HDD, WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, a trio of USB 2.0 sockets, HDMI output, multi-gesture trackpad and a battery good for around "six to eight hours" of life. The EC58 and EC54 models are 15.6-inchers, with a base model starting at $649.99 and featuring most of the same specs in a larger enclosure. Naturally, the gang will ship on October 22nd, complete with bundles of "Wow
!" in tow. Er, wait.