A new wind for MSI's netbooks: 2GB, WiFi-n, less power consumption

MSI is to offer new netbooks: the Wind U110, U115 and U120. The U120 is much the same as the original U100, but with 3G built-in. It's the other two that do clever things with the standard netbook loadout, though all remain stuck with a 600-line display. Here's a bullet list: • Options for 2GB of RAM. • The Z530, a more expensive version of Intel's Atom CPU, which uses 20% less power. • A new chipset that uses less power. • 6-cell battery as standard. • Hybrid flash/spinning storage, also said to use less power. The holy grail is to get a full day of work off a single charge. It's driven netbook makers to offer long-life batteries, and Acer's Aspire One rules at Amazon thanks to the inclusion, at no extra cost, of the 6-cell upgrade. In the case of Samsung's NC10, almost 7 hours can be squeezed by keeping the display dim. even with WiFi on. MSI's response line-items every part to stay ahead of the game, and UMPC Portal outlines where the compromise might be: New MSI Netbooks; Not Your Standard Cookie-Cutter Specs. Update: I just double-checked the sales ranks, and it turns out Asus' Eee 900HA has dethroned the Aspire One. It's understandable – the 900HA has gotten excellent word of mouth. But look who's storming up the chart, despite its relatively high price.

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  
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6 Responses to A new wind for MSI's netbooks: 2GB, WiFi-n, less power consumption

  1. geekpdx says:

    Damn – I just bought an MSI wind for my son’s Christmas present.

    Of course, the $300 deal at newegg wouldn’t have applied to a brand new model anyways.

    Once the new wears off his, I’ll have to borrow it for a day and see if I can comfortably type on it for any extended period of time. If I can, then I’ll likely wind up with one of the newer models.

  2. Rob Beschizza says:

    He’ll he delighted with the Wind as-is — it’s still a great machine, and these new Winds will not be $300! Chippy reckons they could be as much as $700.

  3. zuzu says:

    The only salient question is whether the new MSI Wind U120 runs a hackintosh OSx86 as well or better than the previous Wind model did — particularly if the modem menuicon works with the built-in 3G data. (Not to mention working audio out on the 3.5mm port.)

  4. geekpdx says:

    Yes, I’m sure he will be delighted – almost as delighted as I’ll be to have the opportunity to remind him frequently to take care not to break [his] wind.

    And if the new ones are going to be $700, you can count me out. For that money I could buy a $300 netbook and a PS3.

  5. DavidPFarrell says:

    I just went netbook shopping this weekend, and found this to be the best priced:

    Acer Aspire One AOA110-1112 White Intel Atom N270(1.60GHz) 8.9″ 512MB Memory 8GB SSD Netbook – Retail

    Thats $249 at NewEgg which is a great price. I can’t get free/cheap shipping cuz I’m in HI so my total cost would be $275

    BUT I ended buying this one:
    ASUS Eee PC 901 8.9-Inch Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 12 GB Solid State Drive, XP Home, 6 Cell Battery) Pearl White

    It was $349 before shipping, $375 after

    It was a real tough choice for me, but I chose the 901 because that extra $100 bought me:

    * 512mb Ram increase (512 to 1g)
    * 4gb SSD increase (8gb to 12gb)
    * 3 Cell Battery increase (3cell to 6cell)
    * Windows XP

    That felt like a lot of extras for the $$$

    I’m sporting an OLPC right now and want to see how much better, if any, the 901 is (I suspect it will be) – Although I am dual-booting sugar/ubuntu on it and have it overclocked.

    I see the EEE 900HA is a lot cheaper than my 901 (especially with free Amazon shipping)

    Did I make a bad choice?

    I really wanted a SSD and don’t need more than 8gb, but it looks like I could have saved a lot by going with the larger HDD on the 900HA

    Other than HD is there another reason to choose the 901 over the 900HA or vice-versa?

  6. Rob Beschizza says:

    Some report that the 901’s SSD isn’t the fastest, but if isn’t noticeable (as it is with the 900A at Best Buy) it’s not a problem.

    The reason I haven’t gotten a 900HA myself if the lack of 6-cell batteries for that model. No-one is making them yet. So I’m likely to get a 901 myself — just like yours — if nothing else appears before Christmas. I’m fond of the Eees slightly smaller form, compared to the rest of the “good” netbooks.

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