(Pocket-lint) - The Gigabyte Padbook S11M is an odd mix of the predictable and the unusual: we like it and for some it is going to be exactly what they want. Pocket-lint got to play with tablet on the show floor at Computex 2014.
What we like about the S11M are the nifty touches such as the mouse built in to the sides of the tablet. Your right hand controls the optical finger navigation and your left the mouse buttons. This essentially means you can have the tablet experience without having to use touch.
Both the optical finger navigation and the clickers were responsive and easy to pick up. After around 30 seconds of playing with them it felt totally natural. The arrangement also means that you can hold the tablet comfortably and securely in both hands.
We also liked the built-in kickstand to the rear of the tablet. A simple flip out allows you to angle the device at a few different angles with minimum fuss. It is pretty much a part of the rear cover doubling up as a stand and it does away with the need for smart covers or other stand solutions and, of course, fits snugly back into the casing when not in use.
The detachable keypad is super light and magnetically docks and undocks easily. We were a little confused by the long ribbed rubber strip but decided in the end that it did allow a little extra flexibility in terms of distance between the keyboard and screen.
It might be a weak point in the long term, but if you hate the feeling of being cramped then it might be the right solution for you.
The reverse of the keypad is magnetised so that it settles reassuringly onto the screen to act as a protective cover. The finish is rubberised with a lovely feeling in the hand - however the model we were playing with was a nice autumnal brown and did seem to have picked up a few smears from apparently lotion-covered fingers along the way. It's nowhere near as prone to fingerprints as a glossy finish but still something to watch out for.
One thing we didn't like was that there didn't seem to be an obvious orientation to hold it when closed and not in use. On the longer edges you have the aforementioned ribbed rubber strip, on the opposite the camera is right in the centre where your hand would fall. The shorter edges are home to ports and buttons so they don't feel quite right either.
There's an 11.6-inch IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The viewing angles looked good. There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3MP on the front.
It's running Windows 8.1 on an Intel Core i5/Pentium processor depending on which model you choose. We were using the Core i5 and the operation was smooth. There are options for 64/128/256GB of storage and 2/4/8GB of RAM, plus a slot for up to 8GB of extra storage.
The S11M weighs around 1kg - plus 400g for the keyboard (which you'd probably carry with you as it is such a good screen protector). It's only 3.4mm thick. There's the usual collection of ports, including HDMI and VGA, microSD and SIM card slots, plus USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.
All in all it's quite a nifty little device, with a few extra touches to set it apart from the flurry of tablets with detachable keyboards on the market.
As yet there are no details on the release date or pricing.