WHAT'S NOT: The 9550xl is big and heavy. It measures an inch deeper and wider than most laptops, and weighs 9.3 pounds with the AC adapter and phone cord. Ironically, the mouse buttons are small and easy to overshoot.
WHAT ELSE: All of the notebook's upgradable components are fairly easy to access, though to reach the hard drive you must remove the floppy-drive module first. Four dedicated shortcut buttons make launching applications, files, and Web sites easy.
Using a 1.2-GHz/800-MHz Pentium III-M processor and loaded with 512MB of RAM, the 9550xl earned a PC WorldBench 4 score of 111. That places it just behind another big notebook, the IBM ThinkPad A30p, which earned a score of 113 with the same processor but only half as much memory. The 9550xl's 3.5-hour battery life is above average. Bundled are Gateway's attractive and thorough user and troubleshooting manuals, including electronic versions on CD-ROM.
UPSHOT: Presenters, graphic artists, and others who need a portable with a huge screen should take a look at the 9550xl. By Carla Thornton