When we met with Mr. Nicholas Kanter at CES we were really surprised that Gigabyte was finally showing off their laptop and tablet offerings at a North American trade show. Gigabyte has been in the tablet and notebook business for quite some time but, for some reason Gigabyte hasn't really introduced themselves to the US market until now.
Now that Gigabyte is planning an expansion into the US market with their tablets and notebooks we are interested to see what kind of an approach they take and how successful they may become. Their plans remind us of another motherboard vendor which introduced their laptop products to the US and became hugely successful even against the likes of Dell, Acer and HP.Tablets
When it comes to Gigabyte's Tablets, we were really most impressed by the their 10.1" Booktop S1080/S1081 tablet. This tablet is considered by Gigabyte to be a business/productivity tablet. We like this tablet for a lot of reasons, one of them mainly being the sheer amount of flexibility and connectivity that it is capable of.
This tablet comes in two models, the S1080 and S1081 as we mentioned earlier. The S1080 model features Intel's Dual Core Atom N570 while the S1081 features Intel's Dual Core Atom N2800 with significantly improved graphics capability. They both can ship with Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional and 2GB of DDR3 in a single slot.
Another great thing about this tablet is that you can pick between hard drives or solid state drives. With hard drives, your options are either 320 or 500GB in a 7mm HDD. With Solid State Drives your options range from 64GB to 256GB, while we are unsure whether or not these are standard SATA or mSATA.
So, what else really makes this tablet better than the rest of the standard Windows 7 slates out there? The connectivity. This 10.1" tablet has USB 3.0, USB 2.0, D-Sub, RJ45, HDMI (S1081), Mic-in, Headphone-out and an SD card reader. The tablet also supports optional HSDPA (3.5G) as well as 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, wireless A/B/G/N and Bluetooth (3.0 on S1080 and 4.0 on S1081).
Normally, this tablet also features a 1.3 megapixel camera which enables video conferencing on the go, although we would have preferred a slightly better webcam in that sense.
This tablet also has a heft, and we mean hefty, battery. It comes with a Lithium Polymer 4000mAh or 29.6Wh battery enabling extremely long usage even under heavy loads. The tablet also comes with an optional docking I\O station which features a Super Multi DVD drive, USB 2.0 (3x), HDMI (on S1081 only), VGA, RJ45, Headphone-out, Mic-in, DC-in, Extended battery connection port and four speakers.Tablet PCs
The other device from Gigabyte that caught our attention was the T1132N which is a thee in one design tablet notebook design. This laptop features the latest Intel Core i5-2467M processor with a 11.6" capacitive multi-touch screen and 4GB of DDR3 RAM(upto 8GB). This laptop also has an NVIDIA GT520M 1GB GPU with Optimus technology built in for maximum battery life and graphical performance. It also comes in the same OS options as the Windows 7 S1080/S10801 tablet.
The interesting things about this laptop are that it is a laptop, a tablet, and a fully dockable PC. What that enables you to do is effectively keep one device for ALL purposes and modify the form factor to whatever fits your needs. We also noticed that Gigabyte opted for no built-in optical drives in this notebook, but rather integrated it into the optional docking station which allows you to use the T1132N as a desktop computer. Clearly, this device is intended for business purposes, but truthfully speaking this concept can work for anyone actually trying to get something done with their laptop.
Here is a demonstration of the T1132N's docking capability and built-in utility for easy configuration.
We really do wish, though, that Gigabyte tried to be a little bit more creative and consumer friendly with these names. Yes, to business people numbers and letters don't bother them much, but if they're easily identifiable then users will likely be more willing to spread the word of mouth. Its hard to tell someone what tablet or laptop you have if you can't even give its name correctly to someone who's interested.
There are currently no prices on either of these devices yet, but we will be sure to update you with them once we find them out. Hopefully, we'll get a chance to review both of these and give you our unbiased opinions.
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