Everyone and their mother seems to be producing aluminum-clad notebooks these days. We've heard rumors that high-tech fiberglass and plastic cases will be found in the next wave of ultrabooks, which should help to lower prices. Gigabyte's upcoming X11 notebook appears to be pursuing a different direction. An invitation for the X11's launch event states that Gigabyte has "discovered the 6th element." Carbon sits at number six on the periodic table, suggesting that the X11 will be wrapped in carbon fiber.
A carbon fiber shell would fit with the invitation's assertion that the X11 is the "lightest notebook on earth." Interestingly, the X11 isn't referred to as an ultrabook. Perhaps it's not thin enough to meet Intel's requirements—or maybe it has AMD hardware under the hood. We'll know for certain on May 31, which is when Gigabyte plans to unveil the X11 to the press.
The launch event is being held in the week before the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan. Evidently, Gigabyte doesn't want its new baby getting lost in the flurry of news that accompanies the show.
As a cycling enthusiast, I've developed a bit of a fetish for carbon fiber over the years. I'm quite excited by the prospect of seeing the material used in notebooks, although the X11 wouldn't be the first. The fact that Gigabyte touts the X11's lightness is a little worrying, though. I think we've long passed the point of diminishing returns on that front, and notebook makers seem all too eager to sacrifice battery life to shave a few grams.