|by FiXT | September 16, 2008|
System at a Glance
The initial impression of the notebook gives one mixed reviews. The lid shines with a thin, gloss black top, textured with faint silver squares, and a rounded design: it gives the feel of modern elegance. Unfortunately the unique styling was not kept as a theme throughout the rest of the notebook and a dull silver and matte black make up the rest of the shell. The unit also has a noticeably larger footprint. Measuring 1.7in with lid closed and weighing roughly 3lbs, the added bulk is evident when comparing it to other netbooks. That said, it is still a very lightweight and compact system. The slight size increase does not prove to be a hindrance for travel or carrying - after all, it is still an ultra-mobile PC.
Ports and Accessories
The M912v comes with all the typical ports found on most netbooks. The left side houses a Kensington notebook lock, LAN port, 1 USB Port, 4 in 1 card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro) and ExpressCard slot. The ExpressCard expansion slot is a great addition to the unit and Gigabyte is one of few who had the foresight to include such a thing. This gives users the ability to add in extras such as wireless cards or additional I/O ports such as eSATA or Firewire.
To the right, Power switch, 2 USB Ports, Mic In, Audio Out, VGA and DC Power in.
Next we opened the screen up to reveal an 80 key keyboard and touchpad. Interestingly enough, even with the increased real-estate, Gigabyte opted to have thicker trim rather than increase the size of the keyboard. The keys provided reponsive tactile feedback, but with so little space between and such a low profile design (much like the original EEE PC), typing on this particular keyboard did require frequent backspacing - that is when we finally managed to hit backspace.
The touchpad had no problems. It was decently sized, responded well and had the mouse buttons positioned at the bottom of the pad, which were easy to differentiate for left and right clicking.
At the top of the screen sits a 1.3 megapixel camera, and while nothing extraordinary, it worked as intended. Paired with the microphone near the keyboard, it makes video conferencing simple, as long as callers don’t require high resolution images of faces or surroundings. The speakers under the keyboard also produced decent quality sound for such a small unit. Voices and treble frequencies were crisp and there was faint detection of some form of bass.
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