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GIGABYTE U60 UMPC - Exclusive Look!

By: John Freeman | Tablets in Mobile Devices | Posted: Oct 15, 2007 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 89%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Usage of the GIGABYTE U60 UMPC



The GIGABYTE U60 is the equivalent of your desktop PC five years ago. That's in terms of raw computational power; In terms of size it has a very tiny footprint. The expression "Dynamite comes in small packages" comes to mind, and while not quite dynamite it certainly packs a lot of punch for the W.19cm x L.12cm (W.7.4" x L.4.75") unit. When the keyboard is extended, the Length changes to 18cm (7.25"). The actual screen size is 16.5cm (6.5") measured along the diagonal. There are lock buttons for the battery, an SD card reader, 2x USB ports, a stylus receptacle, reset buttons, an on/off sliding switch, microphone & earphone jacks with volume control, power cable port, VGA port and a docking station receptacle.


In the center of the keyboard there are buttons for turning on and off your Wi-Fi hardware as well as Bluetooth. In addition, the webcam button is positioned here. The keyboard is small and if you have big fingers it will not be easy to type on it. You can however use the stylus and write the words directly onto the touch screen monitor. There is a mouse pad on the right hand side of the screen, and correspondingly on the left hand side are the "mouse button 1" & "mouse button 2". This configuration makes it ideal to carry the unit around and be able to do something on it with ease.


There are also many advanced features that only a modern PC of today's world could use. Those features include USB, networking IEEE 802.11 b/g wireless and Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) which works at an EDR of 3.0 Mbit/s. This makes it three times faster than normal Bluetooth transmission speeds, and up to ten times in certain more perfect scenarios. In addition, it has lower power consumption through a reduced duty cycle and simplifies multi-link scenarios due to more available bandwidth. The actual data transfer rate is 2.1 megabits per second and the basic signaling rate is about 3 megabits per second.


Additional capabilities that make this device portable and extremely useful, especially if you use your PC as an entertainment centre are the two add-on modules. You are conveniently able to do anything from watching TV (hopefully you have interesting channels to tune into), or using the GPS device as a map guide to get you places. Back at the lab, I took some pictures of the add-on accessory called the Co-Star TV-Tuner module.



The device fits snugly into the back of the UMPC and takes the place of the sliding plastic back-stand. The GPS module is almost identical, just with a different sticker.



The docking bay is definitely something worth getting as it adds a number of features that make it unique. Besides being an attractive add-on, it also has an integrated LAN card & port (RJ-45 connection), an additional VGA connection (since the one on the UMPC is covered over by the docking station when the UMPC connects to the dock), and three USB ports (The UMPC only has two USB ports without the Docking station). Also interesting to note is the IEEE 1394 connector, the earphone jack and the stylus pen ejector tray. Almost everything about the UMPC seems to be well thought out and executed in style. It has a premium feeling about it, and when you consider the RRP (Under $1000US) then it should sell very well indeed.



To download music or video over the net is also a cinch as connectivity is virtually guaranteed no matter what medium you use. I was able to walk around Taipei which has free Wi-Fi around the main centers of the city and I could logon while walking. I would stop every now and then to chat on MSN, I then selected a coffee shop and while sipping a Latte was watching news from yahoo's news service. I even tried tuning into the local broadcasted television, but had to move the portable aerial that ships with the Co-Star TV module a bit to get a clear picture.


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