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Aug 12, 2012

Gigabyte Q1700 is a 17.3” Notebook Powered by AMD Zacate




Gigabyte is one of the world’s largest motherboard manufacturers and we were quite surprised to see the company venture in the UltraBook market some time ago. Sure Gigabyte made notebooks, netbooks and even mobile phones besides motherboards, but getting so serious to build one of the world’s lightest and thinnest UltraBooks was really surprising.

The impression the Taiwanese company has left us was that it was getting more serious about the mobile products just like its main competitor, ASUS. We find out today that this is definitely not the case. Gigabyte seems to be dead set on releasing mediocre products that have nothing to differentiate themselves, but absurd specifications, uninteresting features and an absurd price to go with it all. We’re talking of course about the new Q1700 17” notebook from the company. Everyone is glad Gigabyte has decided to build a decent office notebook powered by AMD’s Zacate Processors, but it seems the company has done everything possible to make it completely unattractive for the buyer.

Having an AMD Zacate processor is very suited for an office mobile computer and fitting it with a decent 17” that sports a higher than average resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels are both very good choices. Sure, building a notebook and slapping a decent display on it is not going to make a successful product so we went and search for those special features that will differentiate the Q1700 from the other products on the market and convince us to buy it. Sticking a modest AMD Brazos platform inside a rather roomy 17” office mobile computer will allow the manufacturer to add interesting features, options and specifications. Brazos is build for netbooks and even tablets, sticking it in a 17” mobile enclosure leaves room for a larger than average battery that, coupled with Brazos’ characteristic low power usage, would leag to am impressive 8 or 9-hour battery life.

Such a long battery like would be really useful and impressive for a 17” office notebook and quite hard to implement in a small netbook or tablet. Another useful feature would have been an extra or even two extra HDD bays to allow the user to have RAID performance and various backup options. It really doesn’t cost too much to put in one or two empty extra HDD bays, but it’s doable when you integrate such a small platform inside such a big notebook. The base version with a single HDD would still maintain a Brazos-like price and versions with multiple storage units would present Gigabyte with various profit opportunities. There are many things you can do with very little money to make the Q1700 more appealing for the potential buyer, but Gigabyte did absolutely the opposite.

The Q1700 has a mediocre 4400 mAh battery and a single HDD bay although it’s clear from the pictures that half of the enclosure volume is wasted. The price is baffling as the notebook is reported to cost $627 (510 EUR) and that’s amazingly expensive for a Brazos notebook that even doesn’t have USB 3.0. What’s even more unexpected is the weight as we’ve seen so many rather large 17.3” Acer notebooks that came with AMD triple-core Phenom II processors and discrete AMD Radeon HD 5650 1GB video cards that weigh 2.85 Kg that we’re amazed that Q1700 is 2.9 Kg heavy. There are multiple configurations integrating an E-350, E-450 or E2-1800 Zacate processors and various capacities HDDs just like any product comes with somewhat diverse components depending on what the buyer need or can afford.

We’re glad Gigabyte went for the interesting combination of AMD’s Brazos and a 17” mobile office computer, but we simply can’t explain the heavy weight, the high price, the small battery and the complete and absurd lack of any useful and interesting features.



Gigabyte Q1700 17" Brazos NoteBook
Images credits to ixbt

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