This is the first ever review for the Gigbyte Q1580l Notebook. How do I know? Well, before I buy something I research the living shits out of it, but I swear, I couldn't find a single review for this thing. I guess I took a gamble buying it, but at R2999 it was pretty cheap, and hey, I'm a gambling man...
The specs are as follows: GIGABYTE® Q1580L Notebook: Intel® Celeron® Dual Core T3100 1.9GHz Processor, 1GB DDR2 800MHz Memory (1x 1GB - 2 Slots), 250GB 5400RPM 2.5" SATA HDD, 8x DVD Super Multi Writer, 15.4" Glare Type 1280x800 Gloss Widescreen, 0.3 Megapixel Webcam, Intel® GL40 Express Mobile Chipset, Intel GMA X4500M Graphics, Integrated Gigabit LAN, Wireless LAN 802.11 b/g/n @ 300Mbps, FreeDOS Operating System, 2 Year Global Warranty With Fetch And Repair, 3x USB 2.0 (1x USB/eSATA Combo), 1x Headphone Jack, 1x Microphone Jack, 1x D-Sub VGA, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet, 3-In-1 Reader
First impressions are good, as it's a sexy looking little beast. It's not exactly businessman boring, but also not student cool, so design is somewhere inbetween. Nobody gives a damn about how laptops look (unless you like Alienware), so onto where it counts, the performance. Celeron processors get a lot of crap, but this being a dual core, the performance is pretty decent. It came along with 1G of RAM, which is also doing fine, but I'm going to upgrade it to 3G when pay day rolls around again. Its running Windows 7 Professional (which wasn't included, the cheap bastards) like a gem, with all the bells and whistles activated, and no slowdown at all. The most intense thing I'm running at the moment is Corel Painter X. It manages to open even the large images almost instantly, and again, runs smoothly. Well, until I turn the brush sizes up to huge, then some lag occurs, but will post update to that situation once my extra RAM gets installed. I'll be getting hold of some games on the weekend to install and test out, so will also update the performance review then. The mouse pad is very responsive, and also silver. I like silver.
Screen quality is good,with a bright glossy display. It supports HDMI though, so I was expecting more than just good. Then I remebered what I payed for it, and was lucky it didn't look like Silent Hill through beer-goggles, so I'm satisfied with that. It has a nifty built in card reader, the aforementioned HDMI slot, 2 standard USB ports, and one USB/eSata combo port. I'd have like more USB ports, but I would be whinging.
Hold on, I like whinging. I also don't like reviews that pussy foot like they got paid off to sound nice. So to add to my whinges are the following:
- It's pretty soft from an audio perspective, disappointing for a music junky like me
-The webcam is shit. Low res, grainy, not cool. Probably will hardly use it, but still worth pointing out.
-Tell people you bought a Gigabyte, and they respond, Giga who? Aint no street cred with this baby sadly.
Of course I didn't buy this for street cred, or a web cam, or as my main source of music. I bought it because I needed the basic functions of my PC on the go, for Photoshop and Corel Painter, and just to do some typing and the odd bit of movie watching. All that in mind, this laptop is a great bargain. If you expect a gargantuan powerhorse that can run every programme on your pc at once, play the most graphically intense game flawlessly, all while ravishing you girlfriend for you while you're away, then this aint the laptop for you. But if you want the basics (and if you're willing to spend a bit more on extra RAM, a bit more than the basics), then this laptop is fine. More than fine actually. The similar spec Samsung, Acer Emachines, etc all cost a bit more, but I cant imagine them doing anything vastly improved to justify that. Dont be a brand snob, give this a try.
And no, Gigabyte didnt pay me to say that.
PS. In the hopefully not too distant future I'm investing in a Wacom Intuos4 small, so I can doodle away on the move too. For me, that will be the real test of this laptop, so again, will update. While I'm at it, anyone know where the hell sells Wacom tablets in S.A.?