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Gigabyte Launches 2nd Gen UMPC

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While I remain of the opinion that the UMPC only exists because the smartphone still has a long way to evolve, that hasn't stopped all and sundry taking a stab at it.

Following its U60 debut, this time it is Gigabyte which is back for more with the 'M704'. A model which appears to have enough about it to cause current UMPC champ, the Samsung's Q1 Ultra a few sleepless nights.

Like a 'true' UMPC, the M704 is equipped with a 7in LCD and crams in a respectable 1024 x 600 native widescreen resolution along with a full sliding Qwerty keyboard and a curious total of 768MB of DDR2 RAM. Interestingly, Gigabyte eschews Intel instead opting for VIA's Esther Mobile Technology and a ULV C7-M (1.2GHz, 400/800Mhz, 128KB/128KB L2 cache) CPU and VX-700 UniChrome Pro II Graphics.

This combination is powerful enough to run Windows Vista Home Premium which comes pre-installed as standard while a choice of 40GB and 60GB HDDs are available - though no SSDs in sight. WiFi, 2x USB ports, Ethernet, VGA, an integrated 1.3MP webcam and a media card reader (SD/MMC) round off the more predictable elements of the specification.

Lastly mobility and at 190 x 120.8 x 30.3mm, 780g and with up to four hours of battery life in use the M704 will prove a worthy road companion.

Should you have been wooed sufficiently by now I have the unfortunate job of telling you both price and availability have yet to be disclosed. With a 'Coming Soon' sticker on the website however it shouldn't be a long wait and if we are far north of £800 I'll be very surprised indeed.

Smartphones, it's over to you.

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