When Intel developed the Ultrabook platform, one of the headline features was how lightweight they could be. Earlier today Gigabyte broke new ground in the weight department when it unveiled its X11 Ultrabook, which is touted as the world's lightest Ultrabook at a mere 975g thanks to its carbon fibre body. The question is whether weight, or lack of it, is enough to make the X11 stand out from an ever larger crowd.
Gigabyte had brought along an industrial grade scale to show off the low weight of the X11 at today's launch event in Taipei, Taiwan. As it turned out, the unit on the scale weighed a couple of grams less than the headline number, at 973g to be precise. Low weight alone doesn't make for a good notebook though and on the hardware side of things Gigabyte has kitted out the X11 with an unspecified Intel Ivy Bridge CPU and oddly enough the HM77 chipset rather than the Ultrabook-centric UM77 chipset.
If you're the kind of notebook user that likes to upgrade various components yourself, then the X11 isn't for you, as it comes with 4GB of DDR3 memory soldered onto the motherboard, with no way to augment the RAM. Storage comes in the shape of a 128GB mSATA SSD and as with the memory, there doesn't appear to be any easy way to access the drive.
We were slightly disappointed by the glossy 11.6in 1,366 x 768 display, especially as several competing products manage to offer 1,600 x 900 or even 1,920 x 1,080 displays. That said, the 11.6in MacBook Air sports exactly the same resolution, and it's clear that Apple's baby ultra-portable will be the main competitor for the X11.
Moving on, the X11 sports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi - it seems we'll be waiting a while yet for 802.11ac support in a mobile platform. There's also Bluetooth 4.0, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, a combined audio jack, a microSD card slot and a mini DisplayPort connector, as well as a 1.3-megapixel webcam.
The 35Wh, 4730mAh Li-Polymer battery pack is, as you'd expect, built into the X11 and not user replaceable. Gigabyte didn't provide any battery life figures, but Intel requires that Ultrabooks should last for at least five hours, although this is mostly at idle.
The X11 measures a mere 3mm at its thinnest point, although it goes all the way to 16.5mm at the thicker end. Note the air vents at the rear, which should at least prevent the hot air from the exhausts from warming up your hands, but it might potentially scorch your knees instead.
Price wise the X11 will retail at between US $999 and US $1,299 depending on the CPU and should be available at some point next month in either a carbon fibre or an all-black finish.