Giga-byte to launch M912 netbook by end of July

Giga-byte plans to launch its new M912 netbook in Taiwan by the end of July for around US$654.

Gigabyte Technology plans to launch its M912 mini-laptop by the end of July in Taiwan for NT$19,900 ($AUD685), a company representative said Monday.

The device differs from rival netbooks in a key area: its 8.9-inch display is touch sensitive and can swivel around 180 degrees to show other people what's on the screen or to fold down and make the laptop into a tablet PC. The screen has a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, and an LED (light emitting diode) backlight to save on battery power.

The company hopes to have the mini-laptop on the market in Japan and Europe within a month or two of its launch in Taiwan. Pricing will vary depending on the market and component choices.

Gigabyte's M912, like rivals such as the Eee PC, has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessor and will initially be available with Microsoft Windows XP or a Linux OS. The company also plans to market the M912 with the Windows Vista Home Basic OS at a later date.

The M912 will come with 1G byte of DRAM, a 160G-byte hard disc drive, Bluetooth 2.0 wireless data transfer and the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly using Wi-Fi 802.11b/g. The device also has a 1.3-megapixel Web cam, an Express Card slot, a wide array of ports and a 4-cell battery able to provide up to 4 hours of power.

Initially the M912 will come in two colors, black and Mondrian, a multicoloured pattern inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian.

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Dan Nystedt

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