Gigabyte M912 Tablet Netbook Review

Gigabyte M912 Tablet Netbook Review




Gigabyte may be the only netbook player that has gone into the tablet form factor with the M912. In this review, we’ll look into how the Gigabyte m912 works as a tablet netbook.

For complete specs, price and unboxing pics check out this earlier entry about the Gigabyte M912. The netbook runs on Windows Vista Basic Home and one would think that the default 1GB RAM or the Atom processor might have a hard time running with it. Actually, it’s a surprise the laptop was responsive and runs fairly well — it’s not sluggish at all. That’s probably because there aren’t a lot of applications loaded in the system yet. Normal boot time is around 40 seconds.

Gigabyte m912

Here are some of the highlights of this tablet netbook:


 

  • Touch Screen interface. Those who fancy touch screen interface will like the m912. The screen display is very responsive to finger gestures (pretty accurate too) and it even comes with its own stylus. That said, the screen feels like it’s covered with a thin layer of plastic instead of tempered glass sometime you get the impression that it could easily break or something.
  • Higher screen resolution. The display is only 8.9″ inches in diagonal but can handle a resolution of up to 1280×768 at 32-bit — the highest I’ve seen so far for a netbook. Other supported resulutions are 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×600 and 1280×720.
  • Simple and elegant design. I’m not a great fan of silver but the outer glossy, black finish is very appealing. Of course, the glossy finish is a smudge-magnet.
  • 180-degree swivel. Rotate the screen at a complete 180 degrees around then fold it down and you’re in the tablet form. The hinge is made up of hard plastic but is sturdy enough not to get you worried it would break off easily.
  • Great on storage and expansion slots. The review unit I have has 160GB HDD but they say there’s an option for 250GB. Memory is also at 1GB but can be easily upgraded to 2GB. And unlike other netbooks which makes it hard to upgraded the system, Gigabyte places them very accessible at the back just like regular laptops. Imagine with the MSI, the technician had to pry open the keyboard apart just to add a RAM chip. With Gigabyte, the HDD and RAM slots are a few screws away. Expansion slots are complete as well – SD card reader, 3 USB ports and an Express Card slot.

Gigabyte m912 Gigabyte m912 Gigabyte m912

Of course, there were some hitches too:

  • A little on the heavy side. The Gigabyte m912 is strangely heavy for its size. At 1.3kg (2.87 lbs), this 9-incher is almost as heavy as a 13″ Macbook Air. I thought it was the battery at first but it’s only 4-cell which lasts about 3 hours. The additional weight would have been forgivable if the battery was rated at 6-cells.
  • Small keyboard. The size of the keys reminded me of my old Asus Eee PC 704. It’s bearable but I wish they used a few more centimeters of the real estate to dedicate to the keyboard.
  • Unbelievably hot. I’m still perplexed why this unit is hotter than normal. SpeedFan registers an average core temperature of around 58 – 62 degrees centigrade on regular use and 56 degrees on idle. The exhaust fan is a little noise too.

Gigabyte m912 Gigabyte m912 Gigabyte m912

Some unconventional ideas I’d like to throw in. Flip this netbook into the tablet position, strap it in your car’s sun visor and you have a portable DivX/MPEG4 player in your car. Or how about installing Google Maps and plugging in a GPS module via the Express Card slot for some nifty GPS-assisted road trip? *heh*

Gigabyte did a better than average job with the M912 tablet netbook. The heat issue needs some looking into though. It’s the only one out there in its class so we can’t make much of a comparison. Still, where else can you get a light and compact, sub-30k tablet?



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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23 Responses

  1. Obed says:

    Oh! Yan pala yung sinasabi ng father ko, its nice daw, talbog lahat ng netbook.

    Thanks to you abe I can see the negative side of this netbook, he’s planning to buy it this end of November, I’ll give him a copy of your review, he might think twice before buying one.

  2. 58 degrees? Wow, that’s quite hot. The 4-cell battery is a downer though.

  3. Calvin says:

    wish there’s another touch-screen netbook. Really would love to surf the net while on the go with a touch screen monitor.

  4. Calvin says:

    wish there’s another touch-screen netbook. Really would love to surf the net while on the go with a touch screen monitor.

    ako sunod :P

  5. Aldrin says:

    There’ll be Eee PC touchscreen coming soon… :)

  6. jun says:

    question… what cpu-processing-heavy application can it run (or other netbooks for that matter). I know it (and netbooks) was meant for basic stuff but would photoshop work in it, say with a 50MB file?

    I’d like to know the upper limit of this netbook (and others too).

  7. Calvin says:

    i found the stylus abe. nakainsert sya on the top left corner of the screen. so the other one is just an extra.

  8. myk says:

    hi!

    i am thinking about getting this model but i am quite concerned with the heat it’s putting out. would it be possible to make some modifications on the unit to address it? how much would that cost?

  9. Harry says:

    Which stores carry this? Any word on other brands launching a touch screen model? I saw a touch screen mod for eeePC’s being sold on ebay…

  10. maricor says:

    pls send me the price for gigabyte 115 netbook

  11. maricor says:

    pls. send me the price for gigabyte m912 netbook.tnx.

  12. ines says:

    is this a good buy? I’m just a student looking for a laptop that I can use for my school works. will this be good for my needs? i might also download songs and videos

  13. Vince says:

    hi…

    gusto ko malaman kung ok ba itong netbook na toh as a laptop substitute.

    can it run photoshop CS4 and light requiremented MMORPG’s

    i’m thinking of selling my Dell Latitude D400 for a tablet na mejo magaan and matagal ang battery life.

    so far nagiisip prin ako kung magpport na ako sa desktop na high hardware specs or should i stay using a laptop na low-end ang dating…

    mejo mahal kc ang piyesa pag luma na eh…

    thanks

  14. Cheers for the great info m8

  15. jeff says:

    helo..meron ba nakakalam ng service center ng gigabyte? papayos ko sana e

  16. aurelio says:

    kaya po ba ng m912 ang games like counter strike or dota?

    ilan po ba ung battery life nya?

  17. Vicente Datiles says:

    Saan po ba service center ng gegabyte? may ipapaayos sana ako…

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