Like Asus, Gigabyte makes solid hardware. Also like Asus, Gigabyte’s in-house software is a bit rough around the edges. Some of this roughness is caused by poor translations of software that was written first for a language other than English. Some issues are simply the result of poor user interface design. I ran into a rather quirky error message on the first boot of the Gigabyte U2442V. Though to be fair the message only popped up once.
A big thank-you to Gigabyte for not loading the system down with bloatware. Out of the box the U2442V had significantly fewer running processes than other Ultrabooks I’ve used. Aside from the aforementioned THX utility, there’s little in the way of bloatware except for a no-frills webcam capture program (which I prefer to similar but ‘feature’ laden utilities pre-installed on other systems) and a settings utility called SmartManager which puts a number of displaced settings all in one easy to access location.
Unfortunately SmartManager strikes one of my pet peeves wherein it fiddles confusingly with Windows’ own power management. The standard way to do it through Windows is to select your power plan then configure a ‘plugged in’ and ‘battery’ version of the plan and the rules are used accordingly. The power options in SmartManager still relies on Windows’ built-in power management but alters the behavior without telling you.
By default SmartManager automatically switches the power plan from ‘High Performance’ to ‘Battery Saver’ when you go from plugged-in to battery. So while you may have spent time configuring the ‘plugged-in’ and ‘battery’ behaviors for the High Performance plan, Gigabyte essentially ignores your rules and switches to an entirely different power plan. Yes, you can change this behavior back to the default system through SmartManager, but why the heck would they change it from what is standard in the first place?! It does nothing more than confuse the bulk of users who will wonder why the screen keeps shutting off after 5 minutes when they explicitly asked it not to do so (but unknowingly made that change in the wrong power plan!).
Everything else seems to work fairly well and it’s good to put all of these options in one place, though I disabled auto screen brightness because it seemed jumpy from time to time.