Before the Intel Classmate 3 or the Asus Eee PC T91 touchscreen tablet-style netbooks, there was the Gigabyte M912. Gigabyte’s netbooks cost a bit more than your average low power, Intel Atom-based mini-laptop, and they aren’t available in the US. But they were the first netbooks I’m aware of that combined a keyboard with a touchscreen that could be folded over the keyboard for use in tablet mode for under $800.

On the other hand, the Gigabyte M912 line of netbooks all have 8.9 inch screen and fairly small keyboards, so if you favor 10 inch netbooks, you’ve been out of luck so far. But DigiTimes reports that the company plans to launch three new netbook models with 10 inch screens during the second quarter of 2009.

That’s the good news. The bad news is there’s no word on whether these new models will feature touchscreens, and given that DigiTimes says the goal is to give these notebooks a starting price of around $400, I’m thinking there’s a decent chance these will be standard clamshell style devices without touchscreens. Of course, it’s possible that Gigabyte has just figured out how to bring down the price of a convertible touchscreen tablet. After all, the CTL 2Go PC, based on Intel’s reference design will retail for about $499, which would imply that a $400 tablet may be within reach.

via Netbook

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