The Gigabyte M912 is the first netbook-class device to feature a touchscreen display that can rotate 180 degrees for tablet-style use. What sets the M912 apart from your typical tablet PC computers is the fact that it sells for under $1000, weighs less than 4 pounds, and has an 8.9 inch display.

But it also runs Windows Vista Home Basic which isn’t really optimized to make use of a touchscreen. And according to a recent review from Laptop Magazine, Gigabyte hasn’t bothered to bundle any additional software with the M912 to address the situation. So if you want to get the most out of your touchscreen, you’re going to want to install some third party applications.

Laptop Magazine also points out two other problems with the device:

  1. The Gigabyte M912 runs a lot slower than other netbooks in its class (if you can honestly say any other netbooks are in its class), taking more than 90 seconds to boot and taking an excruciatingly long time to launch some applications.
  2. It gets rather hot under the keyboard when you use it in clamshell mode. It gets even hotter in tablet mode. Like 106 degrees Farenheit hot.

That’s not to say the machine is a complete failure. It’s still probably the cheapest tablet PC you’re going to find anytime soon — even if it doesn’t actually ship with a tablet PC operating system. And while programs are slow to load, the review does point out that the computer does a decent job of multitasking.

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