Thanks to our friends at Dynamism, we’ve got the Gigabyte U2142 Ultrabook Convertible to take a look at. A full review is in the works, but for now we’ve popped open the box for some photos and give our initial impressions after some hands-on time.
The folks at mobilegeeks.com have a hands on video of the recently re-announced Gigabyte U2142 Convertible Ultrabook. Its an 11.6 inch 1366×768 device that comes with a swivel screen similar to the Lenovo Thinkpad Twist and features a whole host of ports for excellent connectivity and also has storage options up to 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD. There is also the possibility to upgrade the RAM up to 16GB. See our previous coverage here.
At CES 2013 last week, Gigabyte re-announced the U2142 ‘Masterclass’ Ultrabook, a swiveling touchscreen unit based on Ivy Bridge which we heard about back in October. The company is upgrading the powerful U2442 gaming Ultrabook with a new Nvidia GPU and touchscreen.
Though not a particularly popular brand in the US, Gigabyte has earned some loyal fans (one of them being our very own Chippy!) thanks to their ability to make quality computing products. Now Gigabyte has entered the Ultrabook segment with the U2442 “extreme Ultrabook”, as they’re calling it. There are two variants of the U2442: the U2442N and U2442V (which is the one that we’ve got); the only differences is the processor (Core i5 vs. i7). There’s also talk of a non-Ultrabook version which is likely to be referred to as the U2440 — be sure not to mix them up! Does Gigabyte’s first entry into the Ultrabook realm stand up to their prior products? Step inside to our full U2442V review to find out.
Our pals at Dynamism sent us over the new Gigabyte U2442 Ultrabook with discrete graphics to have a look at. Gigabyte is also launching non-Ultrabook versions of the U2442, but the U2442V which we’ve got is the high-end Ultrabook model. Pretty much every spec is what you might ask for from an ideal Ultrabook. I’ve been using the U2442V for a few days now and have some initial thoughts to share about this performance powerhouse.
After I had tested the N570-based S1080 tablet yesterday I had a great discussion with Gigabyte about mobile video editing. Gigabyte have always explored new features and pushed the boundaries in some way another so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the representative told me I should wait for Computex to see the T20xx range of devices that will come with the latest, Sandy Bridge versions of Intel’s Core i3 or i5 CPUs. I understood that they would be convertible too.
That’s going to be something to test as soon as possible because if they manage it, we could have another low-cost power-option on our hands. If they manage to get some decent battery life out of it and keep it under 1.5KG too, it’s going to be very interesting indeed. I sincerely hope that the rep knew what he was talking about and can’t wait to hear more.
Computex starts on May 31st and we’re planning to be there.
Gigabyte launched a new Tablet PC at CES that we haven’t reported on yet. My fellow MeetMobility podcaster Sascha of Netbooknews has just had hands-on today so it’s worth plugging his video and talking a little about the device.
Firstly, we’re talking about 10â€ capacitive touchscreen tablet at 900gm running Windows 7 on a netbook platform with the N570 (2×1.66Ghz) CPU. Usefully, there’s a built-in mouse area and left-and-right mouse buttons which is perfect for two-handed use. Unfortunately, there’s no digitiser so you’re left with a slight mismatch between the pen-focused Windows 7 and the finger-focused touchscreen. It’s something we’ve seen in a few devices recently and we don’t like the trend. HP have it right with the dual-mode 500 slate as do Lenovo and Motion Computing.
Interestingly though, the device isn’t aimed at vertical markets. The press-release from Gigabyte (Jan 6th) sates: â€œThe S1080 is designed to be the ultimate mobile device to fit the demanding needs of consumers who need a high-performing multitasking slate that offers the full productivity of a PC,â€ OK, taken from that angle, they might have it right. There’s a suite of overlay software and, i’m pleased to say, provision for a docking port that looks, based on the size of those connectors, to offer serious connectivity. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a PCI-Express slot in the docking station. Gigabyte are no stranger to the idea of PCI Express but it has far more value on a powered docking station. Later in the press release, Gigabyte allude to a more professional customer: â€œThe large hard drive also makes it the perfect device to load custom business and enterprise applications"
We seem to have an interesting product here for either consumer or enterprise marketsâ€¦until we look at battery life which brings a huge question mark to the table. N570 at 900gm means max 30Wh battery and that means 3-4hrs in my opinion. I’ve tested the 1KG N350 (Samsung, also dual-core Atom) and that didn’t get much past 4hrs. Still, with the dock in use, this could be something for hot-desking and hot couching! I’m looking over at the Fujitsu U820 that is powering this post and thinking, hmm, upgrade time? A 10â€ screen next to my desktop screen would certainly be more useful on my desk than the 5.6â€-er I’ve got here. Let’s hope for 2GB and Windows Home Premium and the possibility to swap the HDD for an SSD.
Me and chippy mentioned on Twitter just the other day that more power was needed from netbook based systems and Gigabyte may have just come up with the goods in their T1000 series refresh.
The T1005M comes packing Intels newest Atom processor, the N550. Its a 1.5GHz dual-core chip with 512KB of L2 cache, DDR3 support and hyperthreading to get you multitaskers moving along nicely.
Other specifications from this convertible netbook include, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 320GB hard drive, WiFi 80211b/g/n, Bluetooth, 2x USB 2.0, Windows 7 Home Premium and a 10.1â€ capacitive multi-touch display running at 1366 x 768 pixels resolution. What is also notable is the inclusion of one USB 3.0 port and optional inbuilt HSDPA.
Based on these specifications I think we have found chippy a new convertible, assuming he’s willing to stump up the $798 USD premium.
The unit weighs 3.3 pounds, measures in at 10.4â€ x 8.4â€ x 1.6â€ and comes with a 6 cell, 41Whr, 7650mAh battery.
Gigabytes T1005M is already available in Australia, although curiously the retailer is showing the product as discontinued. When it will grace European and US shores is yet unknown but watch this space.
The Viliv S10, Lenovo S10-3T and Gigabyte T1000 sit in the 1.2-1.5KG bracket and are therefore just outside the range that we normally focus on here at UMPCPortal but given the multiple usage scenarios offered by the touch-capable convertible form-factor they are still worth looking at.
The four interesting models in the 10â€ screen size range right now are:
Viliv S10 â€“ 1GB RAM, Multitouch (1366×768) Z530 1.6Ghz Windows 7 Home PremiumÂ 32GB SSD. 779 Euro (expected)
Lenovo S10-3T â€“ 1GB RAM, Multitouch (1024Ã—600) N450 1.6Ghz Windows 7 Home Premium 449 Euro
Gigabyte Touchnote â€“ 2GB RAM, Single Touch N280 1.6Ghz (1366Ã—768) Windows 7 Starter, 569 Euro
ASUS T101 MT â€“ 2GB RAM, Multitouch (1024Ã—600), N450 1.6Ghz CPU, Win 7 Home Premium. 320GN HDD. 499 Euro
I’ve talked about the relative pricing of the four devices here but what about the features? Sascha got to play with the S10-3T, the T1000 and the S10 at CeBIT last week and here’s his hand-on video. [S10 appears later in the video here.] You can see how slim the S10 is compared to the other two devices.Viliv have done an excellent job with size, weight and styling. â€œThey are kinda bulkyâ€ says Sascha as he holds the Viliv S10 and points to the other two devices!