Giga-byte Plans Mini-laptops With 10-inch Screens, TV

Giga-byte Technology has already set its sights on a next-generation mini-laptop with a 10-inch screen, and another with digital wireless TV to follow the M912, which will launch soon in Taiwan.

The company is trying out four or five different prototypes as ideas for its next mini-laptops. A netbook with a 10-inch screen is already a sure thing, as are 6-cell batteries instead of the 4-cell batteries on its current netbook. Most of the new netbooks coming out carry 6-cell batteries, which can provide up to 8 hours of power.

Mini-laptops with larger 10-inch or 10.2-inch screens, including Asustek's Eee PC 1000 and 1000H and Micro-Star International's Wind, grabbed the spotlight at the Computex computer show in Taipei last month.

The larger screen is easier to see, yet the laptops remain small and easily carried around 1.5 kilograms.

Giga-byte is also working on a netbook with an 8.9-inch screen (like the M912's) able to receive digital TV over the air via the DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial) technology standard.

The company also plans to offer SSDs (solid-state disks) instead of HDDs (hard disk drives) as an option on its mini-laptops.

SSDs have made inroads in the mini-laptop market because they don't drain batteries as fast as HDDs, are shock-resistant and boot up and load software faster than HDDs. The major drawback with SSDs is price. An HDD with a few hundred gigabytes of storage capacity can be had for a lot lower price than an SSD with a small amount of storage.

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