Docking stations for laptops aren't new, but offering one for a netbook is. That's what Gigabyte have brought along to CeBIT this year, in the shape of the Gigabyte Booktop M1022, a 10.1-inch WXGA netbook running Intel's Atom N270 1.6GHz processor that has a special upright dock offering connectivity to a standalone monitor and peripherals.
If you're going to call your netbook "Thin Note" then it has to be pretty blinkin' thin, and happily Gigabyte seem to have managed to shave a reasonable amount of bulk off of their Thin Note M1024. The 10.1-inch netbook has an LED-backlit display and Intel's N270 1.6GHz Atom CPU, paired with 1GB of DDR2 memory.
Gigabyte have released a range of new, not exactly attractive peripherals at CeBIT 2009 this week, including the bizarrely crystal-encrusted GM-M7800S wireless mouse seen here. Obviously the one thing better than a 1,600dpi leather-clad mouse is one studded with a few Swarovski crystals that you won't even see when using it.
Anybody who has been following the tech world for the past six months will know that netbooks have swarmed the market; as soon as I see the word, my fingers automatically start typing "Intel Atom N270". Now it looks as though that will have to change: reports from notebook manufacturers suggest that the next-gen single-core Intel mobile processor, the Atom N280, will begin to appear in devices between Q2 and Q3 of this year.
Gigabyte's M528 MID has been flitting around the pages of SlashGear for so long now, it was hard to believe we'd never seen an unboxing for the touchscreen handheld. Thankfully the guys at UMPCFever have sorted that, showing the mobile internet device taken from box, to SIM and battery slotting in, to boot and then even flirting with its aigo counterpart.
All my video cards have had after market GPU coolers for better air flow with quieter operation, so does my latest Nvidia with Zalman VF900-cu. The Zalman VF900 is a hybrid VGA cooling combines uniquely heatpipes design with a 90mm fan on its pure copper heatsink. Apparently Gigabyte likes the design; they have teamed up with Zalman, packed its latest ATI Radeon HD 4870 GV-R487D5-1GG with VF-900 looks alike GPU cooler.
Benchmarks schmenchmarks - what we want to see is Windows 7 running on more and more devices! Today it's the turn of a couple of touchscreen ultraportables, one old and one new, to take the Microsoft pre-beta OS for a spin. The venerable Gigabyte U60 - rocking a VIA 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM - takes first punt, closely followed by the Fujitsu U2010 (aka U820).
The Windows 7 testing continues, with Gigabyte's M912 convertible touchscreen netbook the latest to have some playtime with Microsoft's new pre-beta OS. Actual test results are pretty sparse right now, but UMPC Fever have been recording start-up and shut-down times which give a good indication of how usable the OS might be on the tablet. Booting into Windows 7 on the M912 takes roughly 1 minute 11 seconds, while shutdown is around 32 seconds.
Video demos after the cut
Netbooks running Apple's OS X have been done before, so this software install hack takes it one stage further by putting Leopard on a touchscreen Gigabyte M912X. Since Leopard has inking facilities built-in - including an on-screen keyboard and handwriting recognition courtesy of InkWell - it looks to be a very successful transplant.
Check out the video demo of the Gigabyte touchscreen MacBook after the cut
Biggest news this week has been in gaming, with Nintendo announcing the latest iteration of their DS handheld. The DSi introduces new multimedia features - for instance a 3-megapixel camera - and an even thinner body, at the expense of battery life. Don't get too excited, though; the US won't see the DSi until "well into" 2009.
In netbooks, ASUS slipped in a few new models at both the low and high-end of the market, with the Eee PC 900HA and 904HA offering bargain 160GB storage while the S101 corners the more-fashionable (and expensive) end. That's a niche the ASUS N10 already occupies; that netbook ran the review gauntlet this week, proving "technologically clever" but simply too expensive. ASUS - and MSI, whose Wind U90 was panned too - must be looking enviably at Gigabyte's M912M convertible touchscreen netbook, which was good enough to pull a credit card from the wallet of one reviewer.