Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gigabyte T1028M Touchnote (convertible Netbook) unboxed

Chippy from UMPC Portal unboxes the Gigabyte T1028 Touchnote.

The device currently comes with XP, but I wonder about Windows 7 since it has a multi-touch trackpad. The question is: Will Windows 7 provide a multi-touch experience via the trackpad? I doubt it, but I’m still wondering.

The screen has a single-touch resistive digitizer whcih is pretty responsive, but that’s not going to get you the smooth scrolling (which requires a multi-touch digitizer) in Windows 7.

In terms of size and weight, the t1028 is not bad, though I’d like even thinner and lighter. With a 4 cell battery (3+ hours) it comes in at just under three pounds at 2.9lbs. Thicknesswise, we’re talking about 1.5.” Again, not bad considering other devices, but we’re not into the NEC LitePad range either.

You can check out the full specs of the t1028 on the Gigabyte site by clicking here.

Here’s my take: If you’re looking for a touch capable, highly portable Netbook, this is worth checking out. However, in Tablet PC terms I’m not so convinced that it’s going to ignite the Tablet Netbook market like let’s say the ASUS EEE PC did in the Netbook space itself.

I’m looking for something that really stretches the envelope here. Maybe the Intel Moorestown processor (with its lower power requirements) to be released in the fall is the key. I don’t know. But it seems to me that we need to get lighter and thinner.

I’m also more of a fan of thin slate designs than thicker convertible ones. Give me a sub pound device that’s less than a 1/2″ thick in the sub $1000 category and I think you have a game changer on the business side. Push the price down by a factor of 1/3 to 1/2 and I think you also shake up the consumer space. This is what I’m looking for.

Until I see something like this, my eyes are looking at the eReader space. The difference is going to be between eReaders running a sub OS and devices like the Atom-based Netbooks that run a full OS (albeit XP for now). For reading and notetaking I’m predicting the eReaders are going to grow into this market opportunity. Netbooks or whatever they will be called down the road will always be more generic and powerful devices.

Now in the interim, I’m also leaning more in the direction of something like the TechCrunch Tablet. Yes, slate wins out for me when it comes to smaller devices. I still want a keyboard-based notebook and/or desktop for heavy work, but for reading at least a slate is the clear winner for me. Based on the posted enthusiasm for the TechCrunch Tablet or the mythical Apple Tablet (aka larger iPod Touch) I think there are a lot of people like myself.