Its not often I’m floored by a keyboard, but this one has an absolutely massive one, I’m sure upon closer inspection it might even be an over sized keyboard. The Gigabyte Q1105 is running on an Intel Core 2 Duo ULV SU4100 processor, 2GB DDr3 RAM, 3 USB 2.0, HDMI, audio jacks, and a 4 in 1 card reader. The hard drive comes in a few different sizes 250/320/500GB 2.5″
At 11.6 inches the case is sleek with a little curve at the hinge, the finish is where I think this model has really shines, or rather doesn’t. Its lid does not leave finger prints or grease marks. The texture of the lid does feel a little like plastic but not as cheap as some computers that I’ve had my hands on. The finish extends all the way around onto the palm rest, one thing that can only be uncovered after long term use is how the finish on the palm rest will wear. I get the feeling that we’ll see some discolouration within the year. But this is only a feeling, I can’t back it up since I’d have to use the unit for a while to figure it out.
The keyboard is why I really like this unit, they shift key’s are the biggest I’ve pretty much ever seen and the keyboard feels about 5% bigger then industry standard. Some could argue that larger keys would make it harder to type, but I didn’t find this to be the case. As amazing as this keyboard is the trackpad is equally as tragic, I found it nearly impossible to navigate the windows desktop let alone trying to do any cutting and pasting.
It is sluggish and unresponsive, the double mouse buttons that are integrated into the track don’t seem to work half the time. I found myself looking down to see if I was in fact pressing down in the right region. The only way that I could recommend this unit is if you had to have an external mouse and you always carried one around. Even a short surfing session is painful with this track pad.
The display on this unit has good colour saturation and is glossy with a 1366 x 768 resolution. The bezel is matte like the finish on the rest of the unit except it is black, I enjoy this touch as many Taiwanese companies have gotten into the habit of making the bezel glossy as well. The viewing angle are very decent at around 45 degrees. The case around the display however is very cheap, even the lightest press on the back of the unit causes a cascade of distortion and discolouration.
If you want to use your thin to watch movies or listen to music it produces a decent sound for something of this size. You won’t need to plug in external speakers to fill your home office with sound. When listening to music it sounded a little tinny, but when watching movies the dialogue and music sounded a little richer.
The 3DMark06 tests out performed the average netbook which usually scores around 140, the Q1105 clocked in at 581. To give you an idea the ACER D255 scored only 151 which is about on par with the Samsung Plus (156) and the Toshiba NB 305 (151). The high score is desifnatly attributed to the fact its not running and atom cpu and is in the ultra light category featuring the 1.3-GHz Intel Pentium SU4100 CPU.
The Gigabyte’s six-cell battery lasted a whopping 4 hours and 28 minutes using LAPTOP Magazines Battery Test. What can we say Avrim has made a great test that opens and closes various browsers and programs so it really mimics actual usage scenarios. If your wondering how long it takes to charge, you’re looking at about 1 hours and 40 minutes to 80% and 2 hours and 50 minutes for 100%.
If you are looking to pick up something with an excellent keyboard and have no use for a trackpad because you always use a mouse the Q1105 is a great choice. Originally when this first hit the market it was selling here in Taiwan for $650, at which time I would say move on. However, I have since found it on for sale around APAC for $450. If you’re looking for a productivity tool this is a great machine for the price!