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Gigabyte N512 Centrino notebook
By Justin Ong
Category : Notebooks/Laptops
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 10th November, 2004
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

Conservatively Yours

Exterior look of the N512 has a no-nonsense and practical theme to it as you won't find any bold strokes of design on the housing. And instead of using the popular and lightweight magnesium alloy as seen in modern notebooks these days for that stylish and tough appearance, plastic is the preferred material for the N512's chassis. This is finished in a layer of champagne gold color coating, which isn't the native color of the plastic. This means that the sprayed-on colors would inevitably wear out, with areas of high frequency contact from the end user most likely to fade away first, thereby causing probable unsightly patches of irregular color tones.

The G-MAX line of notebooks will be a familiar name in this region soon.

Front view

Left Flank

Right Flank

Rear View

A very conventional hook latch is used to keep the top lid shut.

Four user-serviceable panels can be found at the chassis of the N512.

The top right corner is the cooler module for the Pentium-M processor.

802.11g running fine at a speed of 54Mbps.

A list of important components of the N512 at one glimpse.

Being tethered to a location for accessing the Internet or your local Intranet for file services is very contradicting to the mobility nature of a notebook. When wireless networking was first introduced, it didn't take long for developers to identify the benefits that the technology has to offer. After all, wireless is a keyword in close relation to portability and developers quickly reeled such capabilities into the notebook over a short period of time. From then on, this complimentary technology is no longer viewed as an optional capability but one that is compulsory in every notebook, even more for a Centrino flavor such as the N512. At the helm of all things WiFi in the N512 is an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG network connection that serves both 802.11b (11Mbps) and 801.11g (54Mbps) wireless specifications. In older 802.11b networks, you'll get a maximum theoretical throughput bandwidth of 1.375MB/s while newer and faster 802.11g networks can provide a peak throughput rate of up to 6.75MB/s, a significantly superior specification for wireless networking.

The Combo drive is sourced from Toshiba and has read support for DVD-RAM.

Apart from storing your work on the local hard disk drive, the N512 has an ultra slim combo drive integrated to provide you the convenience of archiving your work into CDs for long-term storage while freeing up precious storage space on the finite capacity of the native hard disk drive. The slim combo drive has the capacity to conduct CD-R and CD-RW writing sessions at 16x and 10x respectively. Read formats supported by the Toshiba SD-R9012 combo drive include the usual CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW and DVD-RAM as well. The addition of DVD-RAM read support means Gigabyte has one model that would cater to markets or countries with a large user base of DVD-RAM media (mainly European countries and Japan).

Apacer Tech 512MB PC2700 DDR RAM module.

Having a powerful processor is only beneficial to you if you have a hearty serving of memory to utilize as well. Occupying one of the two SO-DIMM slots in our review unit is an Apacer PC2700 memory module that serves up 512MB of temporary addressing space. This out of the box capacity is ideally suited to get you started and should offer you a very responsive experience with the N512.

Primary storage in the N512 is a blazingly fast Hitachi Travelstar spinning at 7,200RPM.

The N512 is not only a notebook that is well endowed with a powerful processor and a VPU (Visual Processing Unit), the hard disk drive is another performance component added to the component list of the notebook. Besides having a hearty 8MB buffer, the Hitachi drive is spinning at a furious speed of 7,200RPM. At this rotational speed, data transfer rate is a sizeable improvement over the more commonplace and slower 5,400RPM and 4,200RPM versions.

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