Tag Archive | "gigabyte"

jkkmobile: Gigabyte Convertible Netbook T1000P at CeBIT 2010

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Hop over to JKK movile to see some pics of the new Gigabyte T1000P.

Basically we’re looking at an updated version of the T1028X with Pinetrail and a Multitouch screen. This will go head to head with the Viliv S10, Asus T101H, Lenovo S10-3T.

It’s a shame they didnt take the chance to update the design but at least all the upgrade ports and 3G antenna will still be there. This is a big advantage for people wanting to upgrade with 3G modem, SSD and 2GB RAM.

jkkmobile: Gigabyte convertible netbook T1000p at CaBIT 2010.

NetbookNews.com netbook stolen at IFA.

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If you’re at IFA for the last day of the event today, please keep your eyes out for a brown Gigabyte T1028G. It was stolen from the Netbooknews team as they waited around in a press area yesterday. More important than the hardware is the valuable video and image content on it. Many hours of work have been lost.

Sascha shares the details in a German-language post at netbooknews.de but the important thing is that if you see a Touchnote (they are easy to spot as they are brown and there aren’t many of them around) at or around IFA in Berlin, give @sascha_p a ping on twitter and let him know the details.

 

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Gigabyte Touchnote Long Term Testing.

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I’ve had a Gigabyte Touchnote for four months and so, as it’s now making it’s way over the the US, now is the right time to give you some thoughts on the device having used it and played with it as my only netbook/notebook since I bought it.

T1028M 021

Read the full story

Touchnote T1028X now with Bloggers.

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t1028m-1Liliputing and Netbooknews.com both have Gigabyte Touchnote T1028X’s in their hands and videos and first thoughts are starting to appear.

Certainly the price is the main point of note with the T1028X. It looks like a netbook but has a low-end notebook price. In reality, it isn’t really a netbook. With the touch-capable high-res screen, convertible form factor, upgradeability, smart manager and gesture software, multi-touch mousepad, fast SATA drive, N280 CPU and pre-wired 3G antenna you’re getting way more than with the average netbook. Gigabyte would have done well to at least make the device look a bit more stylish though. There are more stylish options out there and if you’re going to spend money like that, you want something to show off right?

Here is the initial hands-on from Liliputing.

Expect a Touchnote T1028X video from Netbooknews.com in the next few days. I’ve spoken to Sascha already and he seems to really like it so far.

More information on the Gigabyte Touchnote including my reviews and tests. I’m writing up some long term testing notes today too.

Still waiting for the T101H? Touchnote T1028X Now Available.

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‘The T1028X is available and nobody seems to notice it’ says Hellion151 in a recent forum entry.

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He’s right. The Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M appears to have been superseded (my netbook is officially ‘old’ now) by the newer version of the Touchnote. The T1028X. Key features of the new model are:

  • Increased resolution to 1366×768 which reduces finger usability but increases screen real-estate.
  • N280 processor. Slightly faster at 1.66Ghz (faster FSB too.) There aren’t many netbooks out there with this processor option.
  • 6-cell (54wh) battery as standard.
  • Increased Price. Mobilx have it for 497 Euros before tax (that’s 622 Euros for anyone buying it for private use in the EU.) Mini-Laptops.nl have it too [thanks Dave]

You still get the ExpressCard/34 slot, the fast 160GB SATA drive, the battery meter (check battery levels when turned off) and the built-in 3G antenna and easy access to RAM but there’s one other feature too. Increased screen contrast. The T1028M has a slightly milky finish to the screen when you’re in bright ambient light so if the increased contrast is significant then it will work well for video fans and outdoor fans. I’ve seen the T1028X in flesh but it was on a stand at Computex. I didn’t notice any difference but I didn’t really take the time to compare with the T1028M. I have a few pics here.

At 622 Euros, its not a cheap netbook but to be honest, it’s not really a netbook. With the upgrade capability (I have 3G with excellent reception and a Runcore SATA drive in my T1028M) and the touchscreen features you really get far more than any other netbook out there.

Have you bought a T1028X? What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear them. Were you waiting for the ASUS T101H?!

Footnote: Despite having written a lot about the T1028M, I have never written a full review. Would people be interested in a full review of the T1028M based on long-term usage or would you prefer that I get hold of a T1028X and do a quick review and live session?

Specifications and article links for the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M.

Gigabyte Touchnote T1028 (and 912M) Extended Battery Test.

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T1028M 046 The Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M [details] is a great convertible netbook. I’ve been using one as my main laptop for nearly 4 months now and I’m very very happy with it. Of course I’ve retro-fitted one of the new Runcore Pro IV SSD drives and added a 3G modem which connects to the pre-wired antenna turning it into more than your average netbook but even without the SSD and 3G it’s a great convertible netbook. The only niggle I have is with the 3hr battery life. My Ultimate Netbook U20 battery pack does a good job of back-up power duties but to make things a little more compact I bought the 6-cell battery pack option.

At 68 Euros plus tax, I wasn’t too exited about the price but it turns out that its more than just another 2 cells. The 6 cell pack has 170% the capacity of the standard battery and is returning 5.5 to 6hrs on-net working time. As I write this I have over 2hrs left with 36% battery remaining with the Wifi on and the backlight at 70%. With the standard battery as a spare, I have a full day’s computing available without having to worry about mains power.

The sizing is good too with no noticeable increase in height and only a small section jutting out from the rear.

T1028 with extended batt T1028 with 6 cell

Touchnote 4 and 6 cell Gigabyte 6 cell

Unfortunately the 6-cell sticks out too far for it to fit into the supplied case but if you attach the standard cell and put the 6-cell in the case pocket you’ve got up to 9 hours of netbooking!  Total weight of the T1028M with the 6-cell attached is 1450gm. (3lb 3oz)

If you’ve got the M912 or T1028M and need enough battery power for a full days work, the extended battery is the answer.

With the addition of the extended battery on the Touchnote I’ve run out of ideas for improvement. I honestly can’t think of anything that I don’t like about the device now. Agreed, it’s cost me way way more than any netbook available but there’s nothing out there that comes close. The T101H would be the only competitor but there’s still no word of a release date for that. If you’re waiting for the T101H, you might want to take a closer look at the T1028. (Note: The high-end version, T1028X, with the N280 and 1366×768 screen is available in the U.S. from the 2nd August)

T1028 M Product page.

I bought the extended battery at Mobilx.eu.

Gigabyte TouchNote T1028M comes to the US

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T1028M 022 Many sites are talking about how the Eee T91 [Portal page] is the one first tablet netbooks to be released, but the reality is that there have been several before it, and it is really only a first for Asus. Case in point, the Gigabyte TouchNote T1028M [Portal page], which Chippy has spent a good amount of time with, has been around for a while, though it is just now heading for the US.

One of the reasons that some sites covered the T91 as one of the first tablet netbooks is because Gigabyte doesn’t quite market their T1028M as a netbook (which is one of several similar devices that have come before the T91); instead referring to it as a TouchNote. Though just because they don’t market it with the netbook term doesn’t mean it isn’t priced and built to compete. In fact the TouchNote has a faster CPU, and an optional 1366×768 screen resolution (among other things) making it a worthy contender, and it looks like you can start to buy them for $599 in the US.

While the Gigabyte T1028M more directly competes with the upcoming Asus Eee T101H [Portal page] with its 10.1 inch screen, you can always look toward the Gigabyte M912X [Portal page] if you really want an 8.9 inch screen and Dynamism can hook you up here in the US.

[Liliputing]

3G Performance Test: Mifi vs Touchnote vs X70 vs S5

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I spent some time last night testing four 3G-capable devices for both speed and reception on three different provider networks from my desk in my office here in Bonn, Germany just a few kilometres from the global head-office of T-Mobile. The results are very interesting with the Mifi being a great all-rounder and the X70 surprising with some very high-end speeds. The Viliv S5 was disappointing. I was even surprised with the results from the different providers.

Update: Some reports are coming in (see comments) that the 3G on the S5 brings in good results. It’s possible I have a faulty unit here. Maybe a poorly soldered antenna. If anyone else has an S5 and can do comparisons with other 3G devices, please let us know your results. Thanks.

Devices tested

Mifi 2352 3G hotspot from Novatel. HSPA capable.  [More information]

Viliv S5 with built-in Huawei EM770. HSPA capable [More information]

Viliv X70 EX with built-in Huawei EM770. HSPA capable [More information]

Gigabyte Touchnote with reseller-fitted Novatell Expedite EU870D. HSDPA only. [More information]

Reception Test

With an average of over 3 bars (from 5) reception, the MiFi reported the best reception of all devices. This result should be taken with a pinch of salt because of course the ‘meters’ aren’t calibrated between devices but the MiFi certainly felt strong. I’ve used the Gigabyte Touchnote many times in extreme 3G situations now and it too is strong and returned a consistent 3-bar reception level at my test desk. Its difficult to pick a winner between the two because as you move towards the edge of a cell, the Touchnote is likely to be the better performer with it’s bigger antenna. The X70 was reliable too showing strong 2-3 bar reception figures on the fastest technologies. The one disappointing result was the Viliv S5 which consistently failed to attach to 3G networks. Reception quality is clearly much lower on the S5 than all other devices.

Speed Test

The speed tests were done using Speedtest.net over a period of about 3 hours. Remember that results very over time, weather conditions, cell load and position but by remaining at my desk for all tests I was able to get a feel for the speeds of the devices and, important for me, the quality of Internet service from the three providers I tested. The Mifi was used in hotspot mode.

Download Test results:

mifi_download_speeds x70_download_speeds touchnote_download_speeds

Upload Speed results:

mifi_upload_speedsx70_upload_speeds touchnote_upload_speeds

Conclusion

Speedtest.net over Fonic 3g network.The Mifi appears to be limited in it’s ability to download when used in hotspot mode (not tested in USB modem mode) although the 1mbps figures are quite acceptable and the reception appears to be excellent. There could be an issue with the early firmware too so we’re getting this checked out through Mobilx.eu, the reseller. Overall though, the MiFi looks like the best all-round 3G device out of the test with stable figures across the board. The X70, with it’s HSPA modem showed the highest download scores and in one case, Speedtest recorded 4mbps download over the Fonic / 02 network. It couldn’t quite reach the high speeds on the Vodafone network. This could have been due to the load on the Vodafone network or the slightly less sensitive antenna. The Touchnote download speeds were also very good but highlight the limits of its  HSDPA modem which can only support 384kbps upload speeds. For general use though, the Touchnote is very good and I’d rather have high quality reception than extreme upload speeds. Unfortunately, the Viliv S5 I have here just wasn’t capable of getting consistent 3G results. Standing near a window helped but that’s not the point of the test. In the given scenario the Viliv S5 wasn’t able to complete any of the Speedtest results within a reasonable time and the built-in antenna made no difference to reception quality.

As for providers, clearly Fonic, who use the 02 network, are the best in my office area but in general, I don’t use 3G in my office area! I have been testing these networks for a long time though and have been impressed with the 02 data network in Bonn and Cologne. As a result, I’m thinking of cancelling my low-end T-Mobile data contract (my Vodafone data contract has already been cancelled) and getting an Alice 19.95 Euro unlimited 7.2/1.4mbps pre-paid broadband card. Alice use the same network and as I’ve tested Skype with it, I’m pretty happy that it’s a nice open network. (although it does use a different APN to Fonic so there’s a risk there!) 20 Euro per month for 5GB (and then unlimited over GPRS) looks like the best deal in Germany for me at the moment. Given that I can use 5 devices with the Mifi and that the Mifi is proving to have great reception and acceptable throughput, I have to ask myself whether I really need 3G built-in to any of my devices now.

Clearly the MiFi reduces the need for built-in 3G so like me, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s worth it to look at 3G-capable UMPCs any more. The MiFi doesnt cost much more than a built-in option, is flexible, is easy to use, saves ultra mobile PC battery life (close-range Wifi takes less power than 3G in most cases) and it mobilises up to 5 WiFi devices on one 3G 502060211contract.

Update: Finally, after seeing that JKKMobile got over 2mbps download on his MiFi, I tested and tested further. I did, once, mange to get a 2.38mbps average download speed, again, on the Fonic/02 network. Note the fantastic ping times of 65ms. Clearly the MiFi is geared towards reliability, stability and reception quality rather than speed. In my opinion, it’s the right balance.

Gigabyte Touchnote Screen Gestures in Action. Useful and Fun!

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One element of the Gigabyte Touchnote that I’m starting to get used to now is the gesture support. It’s built into a special set of eGalax drivers that have been included on the device. Originally I wanted to turn them off as they were interfering with selecting text and Grab and Drag under Firefox but after tweaking them a little, removing a few that were clashing with other on-screen actions and getting used to new ones that I have set up, i’m really liking them. Here’s a video showing them in action on the standard XP build. The only thing missing is being able to register your own gestures. Graffiti recognition would be great.

As a side note, the Touchnote has been performing flawlessly. I’m currently restoring it to out-of-the box build using the built-in recovery partition and will copy that over to my Runcore SSD. With the 3G, Draft-N, BT and reasonable battery life (I plan to pick a 6-cell in Taiwan next week to bring it up to 5hrs) I can’t ask for any more. The Asus T101H is tempting me a little but I can’t imaging the 3G antenna being as good as it is on the Touchnote and I won’t compromise on that.

More details on the Touchnote including links to reviews and testing notes, are available in the product database.

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Windows 7 RC1 Testing on the Gigabyte Touchnote and Kohjinsha SC3 (Intel Netbook and UMPC)

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If you had dropped by the live page earlier you would have seen me having some fun with the new publicly available release of Windows 7 Release Candidate 1. I’ve been testing it on the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M and the Kohjinsha SC3 today and so far I’ve been impressed by how smoothly the install process has been. On both devices, almost everything is working and on the SC3, even the tablet features are available.

Gigabyte T1028M Touchnote.

I have a modified Touchnote netbook here with 3G, 2GB and SSD and it appears that most things are working out of the box apart from the 3G driver (fixed with standard drivers) the screen brightness and battery indicator. Smart Manager, the touch control panel, doesn’t install but Wifi, BT and WWAN can be enabled and disabled via the FN keys.  Installation was smooth and quick (expected with the SSD) and the touchscreen worked immediately.   The WiFi needed a Windows update but after that it was working perfectly. Standby, hibernation, SD reader, USB, WLAN, LAN, audio, multitouch pad, BT. Even H.264 and Divx videos work out of the box which is a real bonus. I haven’t tested the ExpressCard/34 slot but I’m not expecting a problem there.

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Kohjinsha SC3.

The SC3 is based on the Intel Menlow platform which includes the Z-series CPU and the US15W chipset (AKA Poulsbo – Exactly what you’ll find in a Sony Vaio P) It also contains a VIA wifi module, GPS hardware and, as with the Touchnote, an ExpressCard/34 slot. The SC3 required some drivers from Kohjinsha but after installing all missing hardware, only the redundant DMB module doesn’t work. As a bonus, after I installed the Pen-Mount touch drivers, the Tablet features of Windows 7 were enabled which means floating tip, handwriting recognition and a few other features are now available. With rotation working perfectly and a very usable OSK, the SC3 has suddenly turned into quite a usable little tablet device. Slower than with XP but faster than Vista and with all the additional features that were missing from XP. One thing I really love about Windows 7 is that it connects with the hardware decoding on the chipset and due to the built-in H.264 codec/filter, it can play 1080p out of the box. I tested a 12Mbps H.264 1080p video and it was working extremely well with only a bit of tearing to distract me. Unfortunately, the HDD on the SC3 is as slow as an old dog and there’s still the 2.5hr battery life to contend with. Windows 7 isn’t a magic wand!

In terms of overall performance, Windows 7 has slowed both machines down slightly from their previous XP installations but with more going on in the background, that’s to be expected. On the other hand, its a much smoother and quicker experience than Vista and the trade-off could well be worth it, that is, if you have a fast disk of 32GB or more, 2GB of memory (to be safe) and the money for what will be quite an expensive OS. Clearly Windows 7 is a nicer working environment and I’m sure that after a while on the Touchnote I’ll find myself locked-in to those little extras that make all the difference but I can’t see myself using Windows 7 on a ultra mobile PC or MID simply because of the drive footprint, memory footprint and the number processes running. Which begs the question, what happens when XP is gone? I still don’t see a Microsoft option for UMPCs and MIDs beyond 2010.

I’ll be keeping W7 on the Touchnote, working through the Windows 7 features and trying to fix the important battery indicator and screen brightness. If I can fix that i’ll be using it as my daily notebook unless I find other problems. As for the SC3, its there, its working. I don’t use the SC3 because of the slow HDD and short battery life so that’s that for the time being.

Touchscreens Battle It Out in the Top 5.

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There’s an interesting line-up in the top 5 on the product portal today:

This is how the list of top 5 most-viewed devices looks on UMPCPortal today. Two UMPCs/MIDs and three low cost. lightweightm touchscreen notebooks.

The Viliv S5 has been #1 for a long time now and looks like it will stay there if recent reports are anything to go by. jkOnTheRun, Pocketables, JKKMobile, UMPCFever and yours truly have all filed positive reports based on testing experiences. Much the same is true of the UMID too. I’m guessing it would be #1 if you could actually buy one outside the Ebay channels because it seems to fit a more popular ‘microblogging’ niche than the Viliv S5. I could well be wrong on that one though so we’ll have to wait to see what the price is.

Positions 3-5 are interesting though. Over the last year, netbooks have totally dominated the UMPPortal charts with the Aspire One and MSI Wind taking the most viewings. These two both still appear in the top 10 but it’s these three new convertible touchscreen devices that are creating more buzz now.

Of the three, I personally think that the ASUS EeePC T91 is the most interesting for readers here. I was reading an advertising supplement from Stuff Magazine a few days ago and there was a lot of focus on the T91 as a Mobile Computer. They’re calling it the smallest, lightest TabletPC in the world which is actually incorrect but you can see where the marketing people are trying to push it. ‘Up to five hours’ battery life, 32GB SSD, fanless, multi-touch trackpad and GPS, 3G and DVB-T (options) in a very small sub-1kg package and an (expected entry-level) sub-500 Euros price has to be worth looking at.  The same goes for the EeePC T101H although it’s not going to be as portable. Bigger disk, screen, keyboard and CPU will increase the weight, size and price up out of the cheap netbook space. I suspect it might even come in at a higher price than the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M that I have myself. Both are excellent choices though and if the extra size, weight and price is not a consideration for you, they will be more productive than the T91.

Bubbling under in the mobile convertible space is, to my eyes, an even more interesting mobile produtivity solution though. The Viliv S7 would go head-to-head with the T91. It will weigh even less, come with a range of CPUs up to 1.8 or even 2.0Ghz and have a similar battery life and keyboard. 3G and GPS will also be options. I tested a working model at CeBIT and was impressed.

It’s fair to say that all of these devices are new, all are getting a lot of press and that their appearance on the top 5 may not be long-term but touch is moving into mainstream computing very quickly indeed and it’s good to see sub 1kg options appearing at great prices. I feel sure that these devices will be around in the top 10 for quite a while and that we’re going to see more and more devices taking touch and mobility cues from the ultra mobile PC and Tablet PC world.

A Week On The Road with the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M

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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 inch 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 inch 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.

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