Gigabyte's X11 notebook weighs less than a kilogram


— 11:15 AM on May 31, 2012

As promised last week, Gigabyte has taken the wraps of what it claims is the world's lightest notebook. Say hello to the X11, which tips the scales at a measly 2.1 lbs—less than a kilogram. Much of the weight loss likely comes from the carbon fiber chassis, which employs a wedge-shaped design that's 3- to 16.5-mm thick. The X11 is the only "full carbon fiber notebook on earth," according to Gigabyte, although the company concedes that the chassis does feature a few aluminum pieces, such as the hinge holding the display.

Carbon fiber has a great strength-to-weight ratio, and the resulting weave gives the X11 unique aesthetic flair. A clear lacquer coating preserves the weave for one version of the system, while a black variant offers a more subdued look. Both finishes appear to be polished by hand to ensure the "perfect chassis shape."

Unfortunately, the X11's screen falls a little short of perfection. The 11.6" panel containes 1366x768 pixels, which is reasonable for the size but hardly impressive. There's no mention of the display technology, so it's probably a TN panel.

Under the hood, the X11 features Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs, though no model numbers are provided in the official press release. We do know the system comes with 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and both Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11n wireless connectivity. It also has a relatively small 35Wh battery, which surely saves some weight. Expect this puppy to arrive in July, with prices ranging from $999-1299.

Gigabyte has added a couple of other notebooks to its stable alongside the X11. The U2442 and U2440 are somewhat less exciting, with 14" chassis and no carbon fiber goodness. However, they feature discrete graphics chips and hybrid storage configurations to complement their Ivy Bridge CPUs.

The U2442's 14" panel has a 1600x900 display resolution, which is a nice touch. Users will have their choice of GeForce GT 640M or 650M graphics chips. They'll also be able to pair the system's 128GB mSATA SSD with secondary mechanical storage. The U2442's chassis is still relatively thin, measuring 21 mm at its thickest point, and it's relatively light at 3.5-3.7 lbs. The keyboard has a backlight that adjusts its brightness based on the ambient light conditions, too.

If you need an optical drive, the U2440 serves one up in a slightly thicker (21.5 mm) and heavier (4.2 lbs) enclosure. This lower-end config has a GeForce GT 630M GPU and a terabyte of mechanical storage. Users do have the option of adding a 32GB mSATA SSD, though. Unfortunately, there's no way to upgrade the screen from its 1366x768 resolution. The U2440 is set to cost just $699 when it becomes available at the end of June. The U2442 will come out a little earlier and be priced from $999-1299.

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