Gigabyte M700 overview and video

Posted on 15 May 2008 by



m700-1 The M700 I previewed earlier looks like a normal 7″ Slate UMPC but it’s got quite a few unique features that set it apart  from the average UMPC.  It’s aimed at mobile media usage and includes the VIA 1.2Ghz processor with the new VX800 chipset which has Chrome 9 graphics and video decoding hardware in it. The main feature though is the docking station which is ‘IPTV’ capable. That is, it has a digital TV decoder in it (the type will obviously depend on  the territory that the device is being sold in) and is said to be able to convert and relay video back out via an IP connection. The outstanding question is, does the dock act as a standalone ‘head-end’ streaming device or does it require the M700 to be in the dock. It would be a bit silly to have to leave the M700 ‘Mobile’ PC in the dock when you go mobile but maybe Gigabyte are counting on you buying two M700’s! Methinks not. There’s an IR receiver on the dock as well as an optical drive slot and an SD card slot. On the back you’ll find TV signal inputs (the device I saw at CeBIT had digital cable inputs) and a plethora of audio and video connectors. I wish I had an image of the back of the dock but I’m afraid that’s a photo that I didn’t take.

The UMPC itself looks quite slick. Its very light and has an optical mouse, capacitive scrollbar, GPS and a 1024×600 screen. Gigabyte has included an on-screen keyboard and there appears to be some TV control software included too. Details of this aren’t clear at the moment. The other thing that isn’t clear is the price and the sales package. Is the dock included or do you have to buy it separately. Gigabyte are aiming to get this one out in Q3 so expect more details and a full review towards the end of summer.

In the video below I’ve put together some clips that JKK and myself took at CeBIT and an interview session we had Gigabyte. You can also find  some images detailing the ports and features of the device in the M700 gallery.


Also available on YouTube.

 

You can find and track more information on the M700 through the UMPCPortal M700 product information page.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Lardo says:

    I don´t really get why such a potentially interesting device like this one, available “toward the end of summer”, will have a dinosaur-processor like the VIA; pair that with a regular HD (that will make such a thin slate probably hot and noisy, in a time when the Atoms are already in town) and you have technology from last year packed in a (probably pricey) “multimedia” combo, that I very much doubt most of the folks were asking for (Specially “interesting” the idea of having to carry around the dock station when you want to connect most of the peripherals: where´s the portability factor then???).

    It may be just me, but this UMPC world is losing me month a month. And if Asus or any other manufacturer decides to make an 8-10″ EEE Slate (or even better, one with a detachable keyboard), paired with silent, non-toasty processors, and within EEE prices, I see VERY dark clouds in the distance for this kind of devices…

    Cheers

  2. tk4killa says:

    I agree with you this is a interesting device, but VIA processors are not that bad (Amtek T770 is a good performer with 1.2GHz).
    The overheating and noises can be overcome, and overall i think UMPC/MID could be the future of portable computers.
    Except if phones become super powerful and run heavyweight OS(s).

  3. sergueis says:

    Phones?? Are you crazy man? Phones will be the mainstream pf mobile computing only and only they’ll manage to provide us a virtual screen 3-4-5 times bigger than their real screen. I don’t care if it’s gonna be a screen-built-in-your-glasses or 2D-picture-floating-in-the-air or anything else. But the point is: with phones’ tiny screens it’s impossible to do any basic computing (not speaking of such things like Photoshop and a kind).

  4. th3g1vr says:

    Lardo, FTR: Via processors may be no longer mainstream, but the fact is they’ve been pioneering in the area power-efficiency long before any other chip manufacturing company still significantly active today. In fact, that’s why AMD bought them in the first place- most modern AMD chips use some Via technology, and the AMD Geode makes very heavy use of it- it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say the Geode is just a re-branded Via product. But speculations aside, Via is still the trusted providers of several data-transfer/network-based technologies- check your USB hub, network adapter or router chip and I’d bet it has Via written all over it.

    also FYI- the most critically accepted UMPC in existence, the OQO, used and still uses Via