April 16, 2009 Gigabyte’s T1028 manages to straddle a few categories with its netbook size and specs, touchscreen capabilities and rotating screen, which gives the netbook a tablet look and feel. The new model sports a 10.1-inch WSVA 1024 x 600 display, while under the hood beats an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, Intel 945GSE graphics chipset, 1GB RAM (expandable to 2GB) and 160GB SATA HDD.

The T1028 comes in M and G varieties, with both including three USB ports, 1.3 megapixel webcam, Bluetooth 2.1, ExpressCard slot, 4-in-1 card reader and a D-Sub connection. Wireless specs include 802.11 b/g/n support as well as WiMAX support available as an option while the T1028G also boasts embedded HSDPA support. While the tablet form is perfect for applications that only require simple commands, it stilll has close to a full-sized keyboard for those who spend a lot of their time typing, like journalists.

Gigabyte offers a choice of a four-cell or six-cell battery. The choice of battery has a slight impact on the weight of the unit - 1.3kg for the 4-cell and 1.48kg for the 6-cell – as well as the dimensions - 265(W) x 195(D) x 38.5(H)mm for the 4-cell compared to 265(W) x 214(D) x 41.4(H)mm for the 6-cell.

What's appealing about tablet PCs like this is their flexibility. If you're looking to, or forced to, use your computer away from a desk, and often need to cradle the device while working from it, the tablet PC can do that. If you are at your desk and need the keyboard, it handles that too. The fact that Gigabyte has managed put together a convertible tablet netbook that is comparable in size to standard netbooks such as the Asus Eee PC 1000HE is no mean feat, although the extra flexibility attracts a higher price tag and comes at the cost of battery life.

The Gigabyte T1028 comes with Windows XP Home and should be available for about €480 (USD$635).

Darren Quick