Gigabyte U21MD Ultrabook is laptop, tablet and PC [CES2014]


Gigabyte’s onto something here with its U21MD Ultrabook, an actual 3-in-1 gadget that converts from desktop, to laptop and then tablet reports Liliputing. It’s a robust looking 11.6″ laptop, and when docked (and hooked up to an external display), it transforms into a slim desktop PC with an insanely small space footprint.

It’s not going to be the world’s fastest PC: with an HD display of 1366×768, a max of 256GB(SSD) and 1TB(HD) for storage, and an Intel Core or Pentium CPU, this is a device that’s meant for convenience, not professional gaming. But what Gigabyte is setting out to do is to take what we know about laptops and turn it on its head. At CES 2014, people are interested in “the internet of things“, loosely translated to “lets send text messages to our washing machines, hooray!“. Could Gigabyte have the first “laptop of things” on its hands?


The D12 docking port

The U21MD is incredibly light (1.39Kg) and thin (20mm), which is great because being thin and light is one of the hallmarks of an Ultrabook and kind of a requirement set by Intel. But an Ultrabook has never been a laptop, a PC and a tablet. Can it work, or is this a trio of failure waiting to happen? The full specifications reveals a laptop that’s as light on the specs as it is in weight. Again though, this is an Ultrabook with a twist, so it’ll most likely be exceptionally optimized and run like a dream.

  • 4th Gen. Intel Core i5-4200U Processor / Pentium 3558U Processor
  • 11.6″ Capacitive Multi-touch Panel 1366×768 LCD
  • Storage Capacity up to: 256GB mSATA SSD + 1TB HDD Massive Storage System
  • USB(3.0)*2, USB(2.0)*2, D-sub, HDMI, RJ45, Mic-in, Earphone-out, SD card reader, Docking Port
  • Dolby Home Theater® Sound Quality Optimization Technology
  • Backlit Keyboard (*optional)
  • Dimensions: 298(W) x 226.4(D) x 20(H) mm
  • Weight: ~1.39kg (w/ Battery and m-SSD) / ~1.49kg (w/ Battery, m-SSD, and HDD)

The D12, the docking port for the U21MD adds connections a-plenty:

  • I/O Port: USB(3.0)*3, USB(2.0)*2, HDMI1.4a, RJ45, Audio Jack*2 (Mic & Headphone out), Docking Connector
  • Dimensions: 144(W) x 102(D) x 65(H) mm
  • Weight: 265 g

We’ve seen this before with Dell’s XPS swivel laptop, and we’ve had a desktop that turns into a smartphone with Asus’ PadFone Mini, but until now, no 3-in-1 PCs. All we need now is a price and launch date to make our lives complete.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.