Gigabyte’s UMPC, the M704, may not have exactly wowed reviewers, but the company is sending in touchscreen reinforcements in the shape of the M912. While at first glance it might look like a full-sized convertible tablet, a glance at the spec list reveals that it actually has an 8.9-inch WXGA display, putting it firmly among the UMPC/budget ultraportables and a direct rival to Fujitsu-Siemens’ P1610. Under the hood is a 1.6GHz Intel CPU, and the fact that it uses the 945GSE chipset suggests this is based on Intel’s Diamondville platform; Gigabyte are quoting “Windows XP compliance and support Linux” which doesn’t exactly make clear which OS will be preloaded.
Other specs include a maximum of 1GB of RAM, a choice of 120, 160 or 250GB hard-drives, 1.3-megapixel webcam, WiFi b/g and Bluetooth 2.0. The keyboard is likely to be compact, though no more than that of the P1610 or any of the 8.9-inch Eee models, and uses a proper trackpad rather than a pointer-nub. Of course, you’re really meant to do your navigating via the 1280 x 768 LED-backlit touchscreen, which can rotate fully and fold down onto the keyboard to turn the M912 into a slate.
The M912 measures 235 x 180 x 28~42mm and tips the scales at 1.2kg; there’s no optical drive, but there are three USB ports, audio, D-SUB video and an SD card slot. Gigabyte have even squeezed in two tiny 1.5W speakers. Maximum battery life is quoted at 4hrs from the 4400mAh Li-ion pack.
No word on availability, but according to Crave Taiwan it’ll work out at around $660. Expensive when compared to, say, the Eee, but a bargain if you’re considering the Fujitsu machine.