It looks like MSI has created yet another version of their Wind netbook, this time with the slightly upgraded Wind U100 PLUS.
The U100 PLUS comes with a 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor, an 945GMS chipset, Intel’s GMA950 graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 1,204 x 600 10-inch LCD, 160GB HDD, 4-in-1 card reader, VGA output, three USB ports, a standard 3-cell battery with the option of upgrading to 6-cell, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam.
MSI has finally put a price tag on their extremely eco-friendly touchscreen Wind Top. That price? A very reasonable $529.
At the heart of the Wind Top will be an Intel Atom 230 processor, a 160GB SATA HDD, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a 4 in 1 card reader and an 18.5-inch widescreen. It’ll come standard with Windows XP Home, and will even pack a built-in webcam and microphone to let you video conference, right out of the box.
Much to the delight of Intel, whose Atom processors have become the de facto standard in all things netbook, the ultraportable PC has proven more popular among the mainstream crowd than Jonas Brothers tickets among tweenage girls. It would seem at this point that netbooks are much more than just a passing fad, but could sales be gearing up to level off?
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Taiwan-based netbook vendors say shipment volumes for Q1 are falling short of expectations. The un-cited sources claim that while Acer was estimated to ship two million of its popular Aspire One netbooks in Q1, channel sales didn't hit the mark. The same held true for Asus and its Eee PC sales, which were expected to hit one million units, but fell shy at 900,000. Meanwhile, MSI also reportedly saw lower than expected sales, shipping just 200,000 netbooks.
To make up for the shortfall, channel vendors say both MSI and Acer have started focusing on ultra-thin notebooks.
Just this week MSI announced their latest laptop, the GX403 featuring a ‘turbo button,’ which juices up your CPU, giving you the most gaming power possible.
The GX403 will come with an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, Windows Vista Home, the Intel PM45 chipset, a 14.1-inch 1280x800 display, a maximum of 4GB DDR2, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 130M GPU. And, to help you out when you take this bad boy on the road, it’ll come with 802.11b/g/n wireless and the option of a six or nine-cell battery.
And, as for that fabled “turbo mode,” it’ll only work when you’ve got your laptop plugged in to a power source (sort of a no brainer), but there’s no solid information as to what exactly it does.
More and more custom cooling solutions are starting to appear for Nvidia's GeForce GTX 285 videocards, with one of the more intriguing options belonging to MSI. The company has taken traditional heatpipe designs, fattened them up, and slapped them on its N285GTX SuperPipe OC graphics card.
"Today, MSI is pleased to announce the N285GTX SuperPipe graphics card, which not only brings to bear the powerful NVIDIA GPU - GeForce GTX 285, but, via the revolutionary ‘SuperPipe’ and Twin Frozr thermal design, offers a high performance and thermal efficiency graphics card," MSI wrote in a press release.
The aptly named SuperPipes consiste of 8mm thick heatpipes, which are up to 60 percent thicker than traditional heatpipes. According to MSI, the wider design leads to 90 percent better cooling performance. The N285GTX has been outfitted with five heatpipes in all, two of which are SuperPipes, on an all-metal heatsink with dual fans.
MSI adds to its mobile gaming line with the release of its GX733 laptop, a 17-inch notebook that will hold particular appeal to the AMD faithful. That's because the GX733 has been built around AMD's Turion X2 Ultra dual-core mobile CPU.
For those of you still reading, other specs include up to 4GB of DDR2-667 or 800 RAM, ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 4670 graphics with a 512MB GDDR3 frame buffer, 4.1 audio, up to 500GB of hard drive storage, optional Blu-ray drive, 4-in-1 card reader, 2MP webcam, three USB 2.0 ports plus an eSATA+USB combo port, HDMI, and Windows Vista Home Premium.
To make things a little more interesting, the GX733 also comes equipped with MSI's Turbo Drive Engine Technology. When in AC mode, users can tap the turbo button above the keyboard to increase the speed of the CPU and "also the computer may run smoother and to the best of its abilities."
No word yet on price or availability, though judging by the specs, we're expecting 'affordable' and 'soon.'
It wasn’t long ago that MSI announced their X-Slim notebooks, but we’ve finally got some solid information as to what will be under the hood, along with some additional information on the latest generation of Wind netbooks.
The new generation of MSI Wind U123 netbooks will sport a 10.2-inch screen, a 1.66GHz Atom N280 CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 160GB HDD, a built-in TV tuner and the choice between a 6 and 9-cell battery.
As for the X-Slims, the X340 (which will start at about $1,000) will be one of the first machines to feature Intel’s new CULV platform (which is reported to only use one-sixth the power of a regular mobile CPU), and will come with a 13.4-inch 1366x768 screen, Intel GMA4500MHD graphics, up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB HDD and 802.11b/g/n.
As for the X320, it’ll come with a notably less powerful 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor, the same size screen, Intel GMA500 graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 250GB HDD and along with the 802.11b/g/n wireless, will have an optional 3G/WiMAX module.
No specifics yet on pricing for any of these machines, but given MSI’s past there’s a good chance that it’ll be reasonable.
An eclipse occurs when one celestial body obscures another. When MSI stuck its X58 motherboard with that moniker, we wondered just what it wanted to hide. Our guess is it’s the fact that the board supports ATI’s CrossFire X. Despite the Eclipse’s support for CrossFire X, MSI chose to change the name of the board at the last minute from simply Eclipse to Eclipse SLI. Regardless, the Eclipse SLI is jam-packed with features that would make any geek weep, including cross-platform GPU support, Core i7, six-slot DDR3, and onboard soft X-Fi audio.
Just this past week MSI announced that they would begin shipping their CS120 Wind Nettop to the US, and introduced another new laptop, the VR430.
The CS120 Nettop will come complete with a 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor, GMA950 graphics, up to 2GB of RAM, a 160GB HDD, WiFi, a slot-loading DVD burner and enough ports to plug in all your goodies. Best of all, it’s all available for $319.99.
MSI’s latest introduction comes in the form of their 14.1-inch VR430 laptop. Underneath the hood of this bad boy you’ll find an AMD Turion X2 dual-core CPU, ATI Mobility Radeon HD3200 graphics processing, up to 4GB of RAM and it’ll all come to you on a 1,280 x 800 resolution screen. No word yet on pricing for this one, but we don’t suspect it’ll break the bank.
MSI adds to its notebook lineup with the decidedly mid-range VX600, a 15.4-inch model the company touts as "the best choice for value and performance."
The 'value and performance' is represented by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 4GB of DDR2-533/667 RAM, ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 3410 graphics with 512MB of video RAM, 160/250/320GB hard drive, WiFi, a 4-in-1 media card reader, Super Multi DVD burner, 1.3MP webcam, four "well distributed" USB 2.0 ports, and Windows Vista Home Premium.
The new notebook series also comes equipped with MSI's ECO Engine Power Management, which lets users switch between 5 different modes -- gaming, movie, presentation, office, and turbo battery -- by tapping the touch sensor.