The Mobile World Congress 2009 ended recently. The majority of the new tech announcements were related to phones, though we did get to see the new LG X120 netbook. However, that wasn’t the only new netbook release.
Also notable was a new tablet PC by Gigabyte. The new TouchNote M1028 is a 10-inch netbook with tablet functionality on its swiveling touchscreen. Its specs are pretty standard – an Atom N270 at 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, and a 160 GB HDD. It runs Windows XP.
Gigabyte’s involvement in the netbook market has been limited, with most of its new announcements planned for 2Q09. However, its new tablet netbook has caused some to posit that tablet functionality will put the spice back into the netbook industry. Truc Bui of GottaBeMobile thinks that a market reduced to offering its products in designer makeup is showing clear signs of its novelty wearing off.
I personally see gimmicks like the Vivienne Tam netbook as a sign of the industry’s flourishing, rather than its dying. After all, who takes chances on a flashy netbook that’s $245 too expensive if they’re worried about getting their products out there in the first place? Producers like HP know people are buying whatever they make, so they’re willing to be a little risky.
Regardless, it’s entirely possible that tablet netbooks are the next big thing in the industry. Announcements like the Viliv S7 or the CrunchPad are exciting, so if the TouchNote M1028 heralds a new era of touch-sensitivity, I’m all for it.