Re: The battery size and shape.
The Gateway is heavy. The battery sticks out almost an inch below the underside of the machine. At first I thought this was going to be a problem. But it has advantages and disadvantages to it.
Disadvantages: Heavy, awkward shape, annoying for laptop cases. These are all valid, and all true. There's no doubt about it.
Advantages: When holding the laptop on your forearm like a pad in portrait mode, you can position it such that your hand is grabbing onto the battery. What this strange battery allows you to do is actually hold the laptop more ergonomically. Your thumb can be wrapped around the batter on the inside with the rest of your fingers wrapped around. You get better grip this way, and it feels more natural. Also, when sitting on a flat surface it puts the laptop at an angle giving you a slight slope that's better for writing or drawing on it (but ultimately not enough.. I prop it up even higher, but nowhere near as high as the stupid stands people sell). In your lap when working, this extra inch up the battery gives you keeps the undersurface of the laptop from touching your clothes/skin.. that's a real bonus because I've never seen a laptop in my entire life that doesn't get hot.. so I don't want the damn thing touching my leg anyway!
The question is do the advantages that I advance are true make any difference to you, and is it enough to outweight the heavy, awkward shape...
I haven't gone and looked elsewhere on this forum, but just to share random trivia with you all... I have a friend who is a Chemistry Professor at Radford Univ. in Virginia. Radford gave I think just about ALL of their faculty Gateway Tablets last year. The general response from him, and what he says most of the other people he knows that he works with is that they are wonderful for teachers. Even more so in the sciences.