Gigabyte M528 MID Update: Official pricing and availability info.

Posted on 12 June 2008 by



One of the most popular MIDs on UMPCPortal, the Gigabyte M528, looks like it might be one of the first to launch and at a far more attractive price than we’d previously heard.

Official information at Computex and sent directly to us from Gigabyte today was that the specifications remain unchanged. We’re still looking at an impressive, pocketable combination of 800×480 touchscreen, 3mp auto-focus cam and 4GB SSD on 800Mhz Silverthorne/Poulsbo (Menlow) with integrated GPS and 3G modules all controlled from the Moblin-based software with it’s ‘Merry-go-round’ user interface. A full suite of applications includes a browser based on the Firefox 3 engine, Skype, Pidgin IM, OpenOffice 2.4 and many others. [more after the pic...]

m528-cut

The price? Including 3G but excluding any form of data contract (you’re free to drop your own SIM into this one unlike the other 3G-enabled MID that launched this week!) is a recommended $750 (end-user price) in the Taiwan market. That compares well with unsubsidised smartphones like the HTC Advantage and Nokia E90 and makes the OQO 02 3G look somewhat over-priced! $750 is ground-breaking for a 3G-enabled miniature computer although, despite its features, it seems it’s still going to disappoint many of you that voted in the poll (shown below.) 80% of people that voted said they’d only pay up to $600 for the device. 10% of you were happy with $750 though so that’s at least 70 of you that will be thinking about placing an order. [Don't forget to use our affiliate links in the product page and help out UMPCPortal!]

Availability will be late-July in Taiwan which is a slip from the previously expected launch date so I expect that we’ll start to see reviews in mid-July (hopefully here at UMPCPortal) where we’ll find out about battery life (our estimate: 2.5 working wifi/3G hours on the 10wh battery) the navigation capabilities (turn-by-turn included?) the quality of the cam (3mp auto-focus sounds impressive,) speed of applications, heat, noise and all the other questions that a spec-sheet doesn’t answer. Availability dates for other territories are not clear at this stage but August seems likely.

Pre-order is now available through our affiliate partners Expansys and Mobilx although they don’t appear to have pricing up yet. I’ve got my order in already though and am looking forward to being one of the early adopters of this new breed of pocketable PCs.

More information including links to our CeBIT hands-on are available in the M528 product page.

{democracy:2}

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28 Comments For This Post

  1. mw65719 says:

    Sounds really interesting, however, while I would not mind paying $750 for this device (provided it fulfills the expectations generated by the specs), it doesn’t offer anything for me that would justify replacing my HTC Shift. And I don’t need two similar devices.
    If I were in the market, I’d take a really close look and frankly, it seems like OQO better lower their prices significantly, as this is basically the same thing as the o2 / e2 (without a harddisk and running Linux instead of Windows).
    Gigabyte should think about offering a larger SSD as an option, 4GB is nothing for a machine that many would probably want to also replace their PMPs with. What is also unfortunate is that they only have a micro-SD slot instead of a full SD one

  2. mw65719 says:

    To add one thing: the price would sound even more attractive if they decided to use real $/€ exchange rates rather than 1:1 when they set their sails in Europe / Germany (with a QWERTZ keyboard of course).
    Just imagine: Less than €500 …

  3. TheDarkFreeSoul says:

    Personally I think MID are going on the wrong way.
    IMHO these devices are overpriced! I think that if there will not be a huge request and attention by consumers there will not be a war on the price.
    An other thing to consider is the exchange from us dollars to euro, that 99,9% of the times it’s 1:1.
    I really hope people will not accept to pay lot of money for these devices.

  4. JC says:

    With an 800MHz Atom, I suspect the Gigabyte M528 may be underpowered relative to an OQO. (Yes, it’s dangerous to compare across different processors like this. However, the VIA C7M and the Atom are at least superficially similar if you don’t look too closely.) It will not run Windows (at least not out of the box) and will have noticeably less persistent storage.

    Yes, there will be people who prefer a Gigabyte M528 over an OQO. I doubt those people would have bought an OQO under any circumstance. Likewise, if you need adequate XP/Vista performance, or more storage space, a Gigabyte M528 won’t suffice. They’re not aimed at the same market.

    To say that they’re basically the same thing except for the operating system and the lack of a hard drive is sort of like saying that the M528 is basically the same thing as a desktop except for the size. To those who find the OS, and storage capacity important, it’s not even remotely the same thing. Those who don’t were unlikely to be interested in the OQO in the first place.

    This isn’t to say, BTW, that I would mind if the OQO were cheaper or offered more for the money.

  5. MID fan says:

    What I don’t understand is will the Gigabyte MID have integrated Wifi b/g card? There seems to be conflicting info with some places stating that this MID will have Wifi via an external 802.11 b/g module. Can someone shed some light on this? TIA, the info on the MIDs is much welcome :)

  6. tal says:

    Chippy can you maybe shed more light for us less educated fans please with a comparison between the OQO2 and the m528? Besides OS, HD and price, any other key differentiators?

  7. chippy says:

    I’m not sure if people realise how expensive minaturisation is, how expensive 3G is, how expensive minturised design is, gps, auto-focus cams, etc etc.

    A lot of people seem to be complaining about the price but dont see to realise 3 fundamental things.
    1) Parts cost, ID and board design on something as small as this, with a sliding keyboard, isn’t cheap. When you can sell a million devices in a month like HTC or Nokia then you can push down the price but until that happens, Gigabyte haven’t got a chance.
    2) This is possibly the cheapest 3G-enabled mini-PC available. Far more capable than smartphones for internet and productivity work.
    3) Its the first device in an untested market with unknown competitors. MIDs aren’t there to compete with smartphones, iphones or netbooks, they are there to offer FIE, pro-mobility, high-end video playback to specific early-adopter customers that will pay more. As time goes on and OEMs get more confident with this market and establish good sales channels, the prices will go down, as it did with Origami devices and mininotes, prices will drop.

    Be realistic people.

    I’m ill today and i’m ticked that people believe a leading-edge piece of minaturised tech can be stamped out for pocket-money prices. Maybe Sascha and JKK will calm me down in the the podcast we’re doing tonight!

    Chippy.

  8. chippy says:

    Tal. The main difference is the target market.
    OQO had no competition in their offering to pro-mobile users. For the 20 or so thousand people that wanted pocketable productivity on a desktop OS, price was probably no issue.

    Technically there are differences but its basically the free-reign that OQO had that kept their prices high. I’m sure they’re re-thinking their strategy now though.

    Steve

  9. TheDarkFreeSoul says:

    Hey Chippy, it’s sad to read such a reaction by you… I’m sorry but my comment was just a personal opinion, obviously it can be wrong, and also consider that I’m not a market expert.
    Anyway I just think that MIDs are a great product, imho much more interesting then netbooks, I really love them and it would be a pity if they will have a short future due to of high prices… I hope to be wrong.

    Get better soon.
    Best regards,

    A

  10. chippy says:

    TheDarkFreeSoul

    I wasnt refering directly to your email. Sorry if it seemed that way.
    I’ve read a lot of reactions to ‘expensive’ technology lately and sometimes I think we just get too greedy! I still think the M528 is pricd correctly. If I was product manager, I would have set the same pricing recommendation and thought about leaving room to drop prices by 25% over 18 months.

    Regards
    Steve.

  11. ecsk2 says:

    The problem I have with all these is they have a the same 4 row very flat buttoned “HTC like” keyboard :(

    I really prefer (love!) the Sharp made device’s keyboards!

  12. tal says:

    Being the n00b that I am, can i buy bigger micro-SD and put it in instead (without meddling with the device)? What is the largest available micro-SD card todate?

    thanks!

  13. safeway says:

    any pricing info on a gigabyte m528 without the
    3g(hspda)in it?

  14. Joel says:

    People simply are not going to pay $750 and up to surf the internet a bit and check their email. That’s why everyone has been and continues to say that umpcs and mids are too expensive.

    I suppose that the cost could be justified if you did a good deal of your work with it. Seriously though, if you used this as your primary work device, your job must be pathetically easy.

  15. jay says:

    just imagine this running android on it. what better o/s so you get to use that 800mhz processor as over kill. DOnt forget there might be better microsoft software like windows mobile 7 that would run more optimal and similar feature set as xp/vista. the whole point is its a mid – not a full computer but not just a web browser its in the middle get it? mid…

  16. Steve Summers says:

    This is just nuts. If Acer can build the Aspire One and make money selling them for under $400, why can’t any of these guys simply remove the keyboard, add a touch screen membrane, move the display to the top of the main case and eliminate the hinge, and build us an 8.9″ tablet PC for… Under $400? If I want the internet on a tiny screen and the ability to make a phone call, I have that on my Sprint Mogul. As long as the tablet has bluetooth, it can borrow 3G from my phone, if there’s no WiFi around.

    I’d really rather have a tablet than a tiny laptop, but I’m not going to pay $750 for one.

  17. Mike Cane says:

    Nope. That price is too high. For US$500, I think I can get an iPhone 3G with *32GB* of storage. And this is offering just 4GB — like my lousy Palm LifeDrive?

  18. Travis says:

    What time is the podcast? GMT.

  19. scape says:

    iphone sets you back quite a bit per month. it’s also not as open ended as a MID is…i agree though, drop the keyboard, that could have been a battery with that wasted space. 2.5 hour battery is a waste for a device like this. I think 5 hour minimum for acceptable use.

  20. John says:

    Which 3G bands will it do? Or is it just going to use an Express Card? For example, can I use it with T-Mobile-USA’s 3G (WCDMA 1700/2100)? Or am I going to be limited to AT&T’s 3G? Or will it not support USA 3G at all?

  21. Tal says:

    Will I be able to replace the 4GB card with a Sandisk 8GB Micro-SDHC Card without meddling with the device (simple remove, plug and play …)?

  22. less_us says:

    Well, $750 seems a bit high..
    Keyboard is not essential for me, and now if asus will give its r50a for less than $500 it will be the case.

  23. GrantH says:

    Question: What this would seem to be comparable to is the Nokia n810. (Granted, the N810 does not have direct cell capabilities.) Why has nobody compared the two? What (if anything) am I missing?

  24. Mike Cane says:

    >>>iphone sets you back quite a bit per month. it’s also not as open ended as a MID is

    Yes, but I’d also be using it as a phone too.

    And come on, 4GB of storage?! For $750?

    This is a serious No Sale.

    Joe Reply:

    I agree. It’s not a good buy at $500! Slow and no memory.

  25. Kenji Hollis says:

    Got word from a Gigabyte representative on the support board for Gigabyte that the expected release date is July 7th. Whether or not this actually occurs is anyone’s guess, however, I will keep in touch with the representative and get more information if I can.

  26. Carolyn Schuk says:

    Thanks for your insights on this– I picked up the Chunghwa/GIGABYTE announcement today, but there was precious little about the gizmo itself.

  27. Fusiondog says:

    I wish people who didn’t understand the purpose of a particular device wouldn’t just declare its crap.

    I’m a SysAdmin, my job causes me to work at unexpected times from wherever I may be and this kind of device is perfect for someone like me. I need something small and light enough to keep with me, able to connect to the Internet in any number of ways from anywhere, has some signifigant RAM and processing power, and the ability to run a full featured OS like Ubuntu Mobile w/ Open Office or any linux at all. (Windows is not, and should not be a consideration for any computer any more IMHO). I currently have a Nokia N810 and while I love it for what it is, its old tech now.

    So for me it was between this and the LG XNote B831. I LOVE the keyboard and mouse interface on the LG, but the HDD and size make it to heavy and large to really be a pocket machine, plus I’d have to pay for a Windows license that I wouldn’t use.

    Add it all together and this is the right machine for me. MicroSD cards will be 32GB by the beginning of next year so as long as there is more than enough room for an OS install and all my apps (which 4GBs is for a non-Superbloated OS) I can keep multiple microSD cards with any media I might need. Though I plan to actually get work done on it.

  28. tweebs says:

    I stumbled upon this device when researching a GPS replacement. I looked closely at the Nokia N810 for it’s GPS capabilities but it seemed to have problems and only one crappy software package.

    Since the Gigabyte M528 is the same device as the Aigo (which sells for $650) but includes the HSDPA 3G card I think I’ll be getting the Gigabyte. Windows XP drivers will be out shortly for the Aigo, which has already demonstrated it can run windows.

    As for the price I agree $750 is alot, but I’m sure it will drop closer to $650 before too long. I’m really hoping they didn’t cheep out on the GPS chipset. With a decent GPS running for ~$400, I’d pay the extra money to have a full computer on the road without carrying a second device. The SSD is soldered to the board so no chance of upgrading. I also wish they had included a full SD and not micro.

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