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Gigabyte Booktop M1305C review

Alan Lu
12 May 2010
Gigabyte Booktop M1305C
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
869
inc VAT

The docking station and integrated optical drive make this a decent desktop replacement you can take everywhere, but it's relatively expensive and has only 2GB of RAM

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Specifications

13.3 in 1,366x768 display, 1.8kg, 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7300, 2.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

The Booktop M1305C is one of the first laptops we’ve seen from Gigabyte. It’s an eye-catching laptop thanks to its attractive black, white and chrome design. It's also a little different to the other laptops we've seen.

Unusually, it comes with a docking station. When connected, the docking station replicates all of the Booktop’s onboard connectors and also provides six additional USB ports as well as a DVI socket for connecting an external monitor (including the laptop's screen, you can use three displays).

In addition to providing these extra ports, the docking station makes it easy to quickly disconnect any external peripherals when you need to dash – simply pull the latch to detach the Booktop. Two interchangeable power supplies are included, one for the docking station and another for the Booktop, plus a slip case to protect the laptop.

The docking station also has an Nvidia GeForce GT220 with 1GB of dedicated memory, which the laptop uses when docked and you've got an external display connected. The GT220 managed 18.4fps in our Call of Duty 4 test, rising to 24.4fps when run at 1,280x720 on high detail settings, so games are just about playable. This compares favourably to the measly 4.1fps achieved by the integrated Intel GMA 4500M HD chip. Applications performance was good for a CULV ultra-portable laptop. The Core 2 Duo U7300 processor and. slightly stingy at this price, 2GB of RAM managed a respectable score of 40 in our benchmarks. You can upgrade the laptop to a maximum of 8GB of memory.

Although the keyboard is large, the keys are a little springy, although they don't take too long to get used to. The touchpad is reasonably large with a slightly rough but pleasing texture and is accurate. The pad’s buttons, unlike the keyboard, give just the right amount of feedback when pressed. When the Booktop is turned off, clicking the right button causes the various status lights below the keyboard, which usually indicate activity such as hard disk or network access, to illuminate giving an approximate indication of remaining battery life.

The battery lasted five hours and 15 minutes, which is a decent amount of time, but you can get ultra-portables that last twice as long. Impressively, the Booktop's weight of 1.8kg includes the built-in DVD writer – a rarity on CULV ultra-portables. The DVD writer can be easily removed and replaced with a second battery for even better battery life, if you prefer.

We were impressed by the brightness of the 13.3in screen. Image quality isn’t perfect and the glossy finish makes images look vivid, but also gives the screen a slight grainy sheen. White areas look greyish and viewing angles are tight, so you need to sit straight on to get the best picture.

There’s plenty of storage thanks to the 500GB hard disk. There are only two USB2 ports for adding external peripherals, but the eSATA port for connecting fast external storage partially makes up for this.

It may be quite expensive, but the Booktop M1305C has a lot going for it, including a built-in optical drive and a docking station. If you're looking for a laptop that you can use as your home computer easily, it's a fantastic computer, but if this isn't important, the Sony Vaio Y11M1E/S with its incredible battery life is a better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo U7300
Processor clock speed1.3GHz
Memory2.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size27x328x232mm
Weight1.8kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size13.3 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelLiteOn DU8A2S
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports2
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includednone
Optional extrasspare battery

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB
Price£869
Detailswww.gigabyte.com.tw
Supplierhttp://www.cclonline.com