Gigabyte M912X. Live review. Gigabyte feedback. Linux version dropped.

Posted on 25 July 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

Amazing! Thanks to the 600+ people that came through the live session last night. It was a pleasure to see so many people involved and an honour to have JKK, Sascha and Joanna on the line from various parts of the world. Thanks! We’ll be doing it again soon although I can’t promise to do another 6-hour marathon!

The recorded sessions are available (if you have a few hours free!!) and the first, overview session (62mins), is embedded below. [Article continues below the video]

Gigabyte were watching the video and have already given us some feedback. Firstly, I made a mistake in the unboxing video when I mentioned the wrong resolution. Rather than 1280×800, its 1280×768 [Update: The M912M is 1024×600 LED-backlit. 1280×768 is CCFL.] Secondly, I need to highlight that the packaging was not final retail packaging. Finally, and this is an important one, there will only be two versions of the device. That means, no Linux version and no reseller barebones version. All you will be able to buy is an XP or Vista version with 160GB drive and Bluetooth included. The savings on the Linux version would have been minimal anyway so getting this with XP or Vista is a good choice. The 160GB drive makes sense too because this makes an impressive portable video player.

Did I just say Vista is a good choice? Yes! It works really well and even on only 1GB of RAM. Its becoming very clear now that Intel Atom at 1.6Ghz is good enough for Vista. Maybe it’s the fast S-ATA drive on the M912 (it’s really fast – 60MB/s read speed) or maybe the hyperthreading helps. Whatever it is I don’t care. it just works!

The lowlights.

There’s a whole lot of good stuff about the M912 so to save time, i’ll highlight the bad here.

  • Screen. Slightly washed out. Not as bright as other netbooks. Indoor use only. Suspected CCFL backlight.Takes a lot of power. [update: confirmed from Gigabyte. Its a CCFL backlight. That explains a lot.
  • Battery life. Could have been better. In full-on tests last night we were seeing 2.5hours. In lighter tests today it’s averaging 3hours. Max 4hrs (wifi off, typing), Min 1.5hrs (video, full brightness, Wifi.) [Update: the 912M will have 1024×600 LED backlit screen. Better battery life is almost guaranteed.]
  • Style. Once opened, its quite boring. The plastics look a bit cheap.
  • Keyboard. Slight flex. It won’t affect your typing but it just feels a bit cheap.
  • Weight. At 1340gm, its one of the heaviest netbooks and not a device I’d recommend for ultra mobile use.
  • Mouse buttons. Not easy to press. Problem slightly offset by the ability to tap and click and use the touchscreen. Mouse pad is good though.
  • When used hard in tablet mode there is a significant heat build-up. [Update: LED-backlit 1024×600 on M912M will be better]
The highlights.
  • The screen resolution is fantastic. [Update: M912M will have 1024×600 but it will be LED backlit. Make your choice!]
  • The disk speed is amazing
  • ExpressCard slot means easy 3G!
  • Easy access to disk and memory. (Takes 2GB – I tested it)
  • Quiet
  • Very cool (no heat) in laptop use
  • The price! Two years ago a similar device was 1600 Euros. Now its under 500.

I have never owned a laptop but this, with Vista, is something I’m considering because its going to be able to do everything I need it to around the home and on holidays. If this launches with a better screen, I’m buying one. My first ever notebook PC!

Full specifications and related news available on the M912 info page.

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