What is it the ASUS Eee, MSI Wind and Acer Aspire One all have in common? Well, quite a few things, actually. They all tend to look very similar, they all offer similar-size screens with the usual 1,024 x 600 resolution, and they all tend to offer Windows XP or Linux operating systems.
GIGABYTE, who's no stranger to taking on ASUS, clearly hasn't been following the trend and is doing things a little differently with its own Eee-beater, the M912.
The GIGABYTE device, pictured above, will become one of the first Atom-powered netbooks to land in the UK with a swivelling touch-screen, making the device part netbook, part tablet. Similar, then, to the Japan-only SC series from Kohjinsha.
It'll feature the usual 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GiB of RAM and a generous 160GiB HDD. The 8.9in touch-screen may be a tad smaller than other devices, but, it makes amends with a higher resolution of 1280 x 768. That'll be a big selling point.
The impressive screen isn't the only improvement, either. The M912 will be available with Windows XP, Linux, or Windows Vista Home Basic. Many users might deem Vista to be excessive on such a device, but we feel consumers should at least have the choice.
It isn't all good news, however. GIGABYTE's M912 might be packing a few party pieces, but it'll have to make a few sacrifices, too. Firstly, the M912 will be thicker than most netbooks, measuring 42mm at its thickest point - that'll make it a fraction over 10mm thicker than MSI's Wind. Secondly, it won't be as cheap. Though GIGABYTE is yet to confirm pricing, the M912 is likely to be priced higher than its touch-less competition. Should the device reach the netbook-forbidden £400 mark, even its tablet functionality will make it a hard sell.
Pricing aside, we're liking the idea and we'll be looking forward to its arrival sometime next month. A touch-screen on a netbook device just seems to make good sense. All the M912 needs now is a catchy name, and we're secretly hoping they'll call it the GEE PC.
Related reading: MSI Wind notebook: is it the Eee-beater we've been waiting for?
Official product page: GIGABYTE.com.tw