A Week On The Road with the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M

Posted on 19 April 2009 by

19042009748 I’m sitting on the ICE high speed train from Amsterdam to Düsseldorf on the return journey of a combined 6-day business and pleasure trip that has been a big test for the GigabyteT1028M. Gigabytes newest netbook has been in backpakcs, friends houses, in exhibition halls, in cafes, trains and hotels. It’s been used for email, blogging, photo editing, video editing and website administration connected via both WiFi and the retro-fitted 3G module (a Mobilx extra) that uses the built-in SIM slot and 3G antenna.

Right now, as I think about how I’m going to write about how the Touchnote performed this week, I’m really struggling to think of anything that’s wrong with it. Maybe a sharper, matt screen would help and if I’m honest, I don’t like the handbag style case. I’m also struggling to get used to the mouse pointers on the side of the mouse pad but it’s hardly a major complaint. The only significant point to mention would be the battery life which comes in at between 3.25 and 4hrs depending on WiFi On or Off usage. The 6-cell (or a battery pack similar to the one I use) is recommended for anyone wanting to use it for more than a few hour-long sessions between charging.

Nothing much has changed since I gave my first impressions but let me quickly give you the important points again….

  • 3G (module retro-fitted by Mobilx) uses built in SIM and antenna and provides excellent reception. Having a built-in antenna is always an advantage and letting the reseller or end-user choose the 3G module  is exactly the right thing to do. I hope other OEMs learn from this. 3G quality on the Touchnote is one of the high-points for me.
  • Miminal Noise. if you’re in bed of in a very quiet office you’ll notice it, but not in normal use.
  • Minimal heat, as above, you might notice it if you try.
  • Touch layer works extremely well. Fast, fun and accurate on the 10” screen.
  • SD card slot is fast and reliable. Great for transferring photos.
  • Battery life is a consistent 3.25hrs with WiFi on, 4hrs with radio’s off.
  • Keyboard accurate. Small amount of ‘click clack’ on this device but it doesn’t affect typing accuracy.
  • Brightness and sharpness good but not the highest quality available
  • SATA hard drive noticeably faster than my Medion Akoya Mini. (Same as MSI Wind.)
  • Resume, standby quick and reliable (Note: One or two hung hibernations.)
  • Rotation used once for a photo slide-show. 180-degree fold-back used a few times for laid-back browsing.
  • Style, nice, different. The brown color is tasteful.
  • Size and weight acceptable. 1KG would be a lot better but it is no heavier than the average 10” netbook.
  • No scratches. (Case is good for protection despite it’s looks )
  • Solid screen hinge (better than the M912)
  • BT 2.1 and Draft-N wireless support  (Draft-N tested ok with Apple Air Port.)
  • Good quality on-screen control panel  and access button on left-hand-side of device.
  • Overall build quality good (no creaking plastic. finishing good.)
  • Uses lightweight power supply unit at 12VDC.

Overall, the Touchnote delivers a quality experience and given its touchscreen and upgradability, is usable in more scenarios than the average netbook. Its a definate upgrade on some of the earlier netbooks. For me, it’s a significant step up from my Medion Akoya Mini and although I’m interested in the Asus T101H, I don’t see a reason to wait for it. The T1028 has everything I need in a netbook/notebook/laptop and so I’ll be handing over my money to Mobilx.

More information on the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M information page. (Images, links, specifications, guest comments.)

Thanks to Mobilx for the loan of the Touchnote T1028M with fitted 3G module.

Categorized | News

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  • New article: A Week On The Road with the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M http://cli.gs/zdnUzY

  • John

    I so desperately wish the Gigabtye convertible tablet netbooks had Ubuntu support… *sigh*

    • JP

      Well, I agree, but that’s true with other netbooks, too… :-(

      • John

        There are other netbooks with ubuntu … they just aren’t convertible tablets.

        I’m hoping the Asus EeePC’s that are convertible tablets will have at least Xandros support… or that the CTL 2Go will finally release the Ubuntu version of theirs.

        But, right now, nothin’.

  • JP

    Where is the “high-res” version with 1366×768 dots?

  • JP

    “For me, it’s a significant step up from my Medion Akoya Mini and although I’m interested in the Asus T101H, I don’t see a reason to wait for it. The T1028 has everything I need in a netbook/notebook/laptop and so I’ll be handing over my money to Mobilx.”

    Well, there is a couple of points where the Asus T101H will certainly outperform the Gigabyte M1028M:
    * the keyboard will be better, using the new “chicklet” design already in production in the EeePC 1002HE
    * the touchpad will be probably better, simply bigger, with buttons placed below the touchpad, and multitouch gestures and so on — Asus EeePC’s are simply the kings of the netbook touchpads
    * maybe battery life — maybe — seems probable, but we don’t know yet
    * probably light — a little bit

    On the other hand, the Gigabyte M1028M would be a better choice than the Asus T101H because:
    * it is available now; if you want it you can have it, if you want the T101H, you have to wait
    * the Gigabyte is certainly more versatile; like the M912, you can access to all the internals and change whatever you want easilly; also there is both the usual three USB ports and an express card slot — usually there is no express card, and when there is one there is only two USB ports
    * also I think that the “special button” that enables to know in a glance the remaining power of the battery when the device is off is something that won’t be found in the T101H — no other netbook have such a feature for now
    * finally, you may prefer the looks of the Gigabyte: less glossy, less finger-print magnetism, more professionnal, less toy (that’s a subjective matter, however)
    * hey, and what about the hinge? We don’t know yet, but looks like Steve finds the hinge of the T1028M to be very good — I wouldn’t be surprised that the T101H hinge is not that good, but we don’t know until it’s released :-)

    What do you think, Steve?

    • The touchpad could be an area where things are better over the gigabyte, yes. The weight and styling too. Battery is unknown but i suspect it will be better than the t1028 based on the design.

      I dont think anyone willk be unhappy with either purchase though. Both grreat choices.

      Steve

  • Gigabyte, AFAIK, has no U.S. presence. Any chance of this winding up over here at a NON-exoritant gray-market (ie Dynamism) import price?

    And is it final that Asus is not going to do something like this?

  • fab

    seems a nice design, but at that price i would go for a 12.1 inch tablet from hp. nearly same price and waaaay more powerful. not much bigger in size….

  • John in Norway

    So, is this any good in bright natural light conditions? Are any netbooks?

    • In Bright natural light, yes. Not outside in sunlight though.

  • Hey, thanks so much for posting this! I’m pretty much sold, and will probably be ordering one within the next two days.

    However, I still have several more questions. Is the antenna for 3G prewired even if I don’t order the 3G module, just in case I want to upgrade later? Same thing for the 3G SIM slot? Also, does the SD card stick out significantly? Could you perhaps take a photo? Thirdly, what are your thoughts on build quality from Gigabyte as opposed to ASUS. I’ve owned a 701 4G and I have been very impressed with the build quality.

    Thanks again for keeping us updated!

    • I understand the 3G is pre0wired for all models but please check with your reseller. Same for SIM slot.
      SD card sticks out about 4mm.
      FOr build quality i’d say it’s up with the best but from what i’ve seen, the Asus and Samsung models look slightly better.

      Steve

  • Dan

    How well does it run windows 7 ?Does the 3g work in 7 ? Does Microsoft Origami work in 7?

    • I havent done any Windows 7 testing yet. I’m having too much fun and productivity in XP!

      S

  • Kim Schulz

    My biggest rant about this touchnote is the fact that it has such a low screen resolution. This is a thing I really really like about my M912X and I would not like a resolution any lower than I have now (especially as the screen has gotten bigger).
    The rest seems awsome to me, and I would absolutely buy one if the screen-res got fixed.

  • James

    I am curious, have seen you saying battery is like one in M912. Does the 6cell battery work from the M912 in the T1028? If so how much does it stick out?

    • I need to get hold of the 6-cell to check that out.

  • nice report, seems to be a real good device. hmm should i whait for t101? i think i give asus a chance and then buy the gigabyte :-)

  • I think this would be perfect for work, so time to see if we can get a couple in the UK… http://cli.gs/zdnUzY

  • JP

    Chippy, have you tried to drive an external display with the Gigabyte T1028M?

    I would like to know if it could drive an 1920×1200 display…

  • Found: A week on the road with the Touchnote http://tinyurl.com/mn7cd7

  • JB

    Is the touchscreen good for taking notes (i.e., handwriting), or is it mainly for browsing (using your finger)?

    • JB,

      I have found that the screen is best used for browsing and things like that with your finger, however, you can take notes (and the experience is nice.) The only caveat is that the palm detection doesn’t always work out – sometimes you will have the pen “skip” down to where your palm is. However, if you keep pressure off your palm so its very light, then you can write just fine!

      Good luck!

  • Jack Wolfe

    I can’t believe no ones commented on the COLOR yet. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an uglier color put onto a laptop in my life.

    I have the M1028M in my Mobilx shopping cart right now, ready to be shipped to the U.S. at the touch of a button – for the jaw-droppingly cheap price of $632. $675 if you include shipping.

    But I really think I may not buy it, merely because of the color. I mean GOD, have you ever seen an uglier piece of hardware? If they don’t come forth with information about new colors soon, I may have to buy the m912.

    I wish the T91 and the T101 were going to be marketed in the US, though, I think they may have been a bit better.

    And, any word when the other M1028 models will be available? Seems like it may be worth waiting for the variation that has the N280 processor and the graphics chipset.

    • It’s not at all bad in real life/ I was a bit worried about the color too but it’s a coffee brown and the casing has an excelent quality deep shine to it. Just have to watch the fingerprints!

  • Jack Wolfe

    Err, T1028M, rather.

  • Stefan

    Hi Chippy!

    Maybe you can help me out but first thanks for your reviews and I’m realy excited about the Touchnote. The only reason why I’m not ordering one right now is that I actually looking for the T1028X with higher resolution which brings me directly to my question.

    Any chance you might now when the “X” model will be available ? The Gigabyte website shows it as “Available now” but I can’t find it anywhere to buy. I also queried Mobilx but didn’t receive a awnser yet. I would realy prefere the higher resolution and the N280 should give this already great netbook a real performance boost,

    Would you recommend waiting even longer for the “P” model (with the GN40 chipset ) if it’s ever will be released because I can’t find info about that model on Gigabyte’s website only some general information on old postings across the web.

    Finally is the “X” version also prewired for 3G and what do you think might be the impact on battery life with the higher resolution and stronger atom.

    Many thanks for your time

    Cheers
    Stefan

  • Stefan

    Hi Chippy!

    Maybe you can help me out with my questions but first thanks for your reviews you are doing a great job.

    I’m realy excited about the Touchnote and the only reason why I’m not ordering one right now is that I’m actually looking for the “X” model which brings be directly to my questions.

    Can you astimate when the T1028X will be available ? Maybe you can judge through experince because the Gigabyte website states it as “Available now” but can’t find it. I also queried Mobilx but didn’t received a awnser yet.

    The reason why I wan’t the X model is that I would prefere the higher resolution and the N280 would give this already great netbook a real performance boost. How high would you judge the impact on battery life with the higher resolution and stronger CPU ?

    And finally is the “P” model still on it’s way ? Gigabyte’s website is only listing M,G and X and no word about “P” with the GN40 chipset and would it be worth to wait for it even longer because I’m having already a hard time waiting for the X model to be available and not ordering the M right away.

    Many thanks for your time and I would voluntere to do some benchmarking for you on the T1028X for you when I get my hands on it.

    cheers
    stefan

    • Stefan

      sorry for double posting, Opera crashed when I was clicking on submit and after restarting the old session I didn’t see my first posting :/

    • Jack Wolfe

      The N280 processor would actually improve the battery life. Contrary to it’s increased performance, it’s actually significantly more efficient than the N270.

      • Stefan

        Well that’s a unexpected surprise, thanks for that info

  • Giles

    I’ve just received my T1028. Got it sent from Taiwan. It’s brilliant. Exactly what I needed. My work keeps me outdoors and away from the office most of the time. Got the 6 cell battery and so far 5 hours of use with the screen turned right down but running wifi the whole time. Really good for watching movies in bed with the screen folded back ans a wired headset plugged in.
    Does anyone know how to activate handwriting recognition or where to find software? I dont have an external cd rom so cant run the driver cd to see if there’s anything uninstalled.

  • marcus

    I wonder if t1028 could be used as a e-book reader. Would the 10 inch screen be sufficient to read pdf’s of magazines or ebooks or comics ( in bed)?

    • Giles

      One of the first things that I installed on my T1028 is Mobipocket Reader. I’ve been using it for years, mainly because, firstly, its free, and secondly, there’s an app for PC and an app for my Nokia (S60) all under one account. The nice thing about it is that you can simply drag your pdf’s into Mobipocket and it will convert them to .prc (I think). Very user friendly and easy

  • Michael

    Hi! Thanks for your reviews on the t1028! I’m thinking about replacing my x61t with the gigabyte netvertible. But i’m a bit concerned about the ink-experience. Is it any good when using windows 7? I understand you’re running the t1028 on w7 rc. are there any problems with the palm of the hand while writing?

    best regards!
    Michael

  • Dima

    Hi,
    Is it necessary to add the Screen Protector film on the screen?
    I could find only Brando usd14-18.

    • ScottyJavea

      I use screen protectors from “posr.us”.
      They are US$ 10/- each.

      My only complaint is that they are thicker at the edges and require more pressure there.

      But, I will continue to use one. They are removeable.

      Regards,
      ScottyJavea

  • ScottyJavea

    Dear All,

    The T1028X works fine in the following :-

    1. Dual boot with Win 7 and XP.
    2. Triple boot with Win7, Xp and Ubuntu.

    NOTE: For the above I set up 3 partitions.

    The only prob with Win 7 is that the cursor does not follow the stylus in Portrait mode ??.

    Regards,
    ScottyJavea

    • johnkzin

      You set it up with Ubuntu? Does the screen rotation work? Or do you have to keep it in landscape orientation?

      Ubuntu UMPC and Ubuntu NBR, on the Samsung Q1 Ultra, both have a screen rotation issue where the screen rotates, but the touch-screen coordinates do not. So, unless you’re touching right on the identity diagonal, where you touch isn’t what the UI things you touched.

      Since this wasn’t even fixed for Ubuntu 9.04 NBR, I assumed it wouldn’t work on any of the convertible tablet netbooks, either.

      • ScottyJavea

        I have not worked on touch screen stuff in Ubuntu yet. I installed Ubuntu 9.10 as part of my Javea Computer Club duties running the Linux SIG.

        The Win 7 portrait mode has been corrected with Win7 drivers and apps from Gigabyte.
        Well Done, Gigabyte !
        These include a new Smart Manager and touch tap setup.
        I can also do screen writing with stylus or finger.

        At the moment I do have a Win 7 problem with gesturing as the mapping settings do not seem to work using the Win 7 app ???.
        More later,

        Regards,
        ScottyJavea

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