Just recently, MSI debuted their X-Slim netbook line over in China, and it’s because of that, we don’t know a whole heck of a lot about these puppies. But, what we do know is that they feature extremely thin form factors, don’t weigh much, come with 13.4 and 15.6 inch screens, and best of all, are low cost.
We’ve also recently found out that these will be packing some horsepower, putting a ULV Penryn chip under the hood, with GMA4500 graphics to boot. Pricing for the 13-inch version looks like it’ll be anywhere from $700 to $1000, but still no word on how much the 15-inch version will cost.
MSI plans to give HP a run in the touchscreen desktop market, as evidenced by a trio of Wind Top all-in-one PCs the company had on display during CeBIT. The models included the 19-inch AE1900, 20-inch AE2010, and 22-inch AE2200.
Specs remain pretty sparse, but it looks as though the AE2010 will come with an AMD 1.5GHz processor nestled into an AMD 780G chipset, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a DVD burner, and a 1600 x 900 touchscreen display. Engadget said it also spied an Intel logo on the AE1900 with Windows XP on its screen, which suggests at least one of the nettops will be powered by Intel's Atom processor.
No other details, including price points or projected release date, are yet known, but you can bet we'll let you know as soon as we find out more.
If you’re one of the many that’s looking to get your computer all bundled into one convenient package, MSI has got a treat for you.
The MSI NetOn AP1900 AIO PC, originally announced at CES 2009, is expected to go on sale later this month (though, no official word by MSI has been found). The NetOn is reported to feature an 18.5-inch WXGA LCG screen that will feature a native resolution of 1366x768. And, powering that screen will be a 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, Intel’s 945GSE chipset, integrated graphics, 1GB of DDR 2 RAM and a 160GB HDD.
It’s also rumored that this machine will come with Windows XP Home installed, but we have very good reason to doubt that.
MSI says it "wants to offer you the freedom to play," and it plans to do that by tacking on a couple of freebies to its Wind Netbook. Owners of MSI's U100 and U90 models are eligible to receive the company's Q-Face and Windy Zone game software applications for free, a $200 value according to MSI. What exactly is MSI's Q-Face, you ask?
"Using the MSI Q-Face v.184.108.40.206 software, you can easily transform your icon on instant messaging software, by putting a hat on your picture, changing into a cute puppy, or adding a frame of bubbles around the image," MSI writes. "Q-Face brings fun and excitement to the never-changing world of instant messaging!"
Try to hold back your 'Oh-face,' but there's more.The Windy Zone application includes 6 "classic games," including Star Mission, Chicken Shake, Chicken Invader, Island Wars, Loco, and Smileville.
MSI hopes its new GT627 notebook will satiate both gamers and overclockers alike. The GT627 is the first notebook in MSI's lineup to incorporate Nvidia's GeForce 9800M GS graphics processor with a 1GB frame buffer, and the company's Turbo Drive feature allows end users to overclock the CPU when on AC power.
"Whether viewing or editing photos, finding directions, playing a game, or watching a hi-def movie, the MSI GT627 with the NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GS GPU runs silky smooth, with amazing visuals," said Rene Haas, General Manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. "With the GeForce 9800M GS handling the graphics, video and physics acceleration, MSI customers will be ready for the visual computing movement."
The 15.4-inch notebook also ships with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor on a 1066MHz frontside bus, up to 4GB of DDR2 memory, a 320GB hard drive, optional Blu-ray drive, a 4-in-1 media card reader, optional 9-cell battery, 802.11a/g/n, HD audio, webcam, HDMI, eSATA, and a touch sensor.
Quanta has big plans to infiltrate the superslim notebook market, according to DigiTimes' un-named sources. The sources say Quanta has finished developing its new notebook, which the company claims is of a higher quality than MSI's ultra-slim X320 and cheaper than Apple's MacBook Air.
MSI's X320 was shown off at CES boasting a width of just 1.9 cm (just 6 mm at its edges), and weighing less than 2.9 pounds. By comparison, Quanta's super-slim notebook reportedly measures 1-2 cm thick. You won't find an optical drive on the X320, but you will find three USB ports, a memory card slot, and a 13.4-inch 16:9 display.
Quanta does not yet have a mass production schedule, so suffice to say, no word yet on pricing or availability.
MSI has been pretty active on the ultra portable PC front, and seems eager to pioneer in an otherwise uninspiring category of computers. After launching the first hybrid storage netbooks a few weeks back, they are now set to debut the first dual core Atom 330 enabled HTPC. The new MSI NetTop D130 will sport 2GB of DDR2 memory and comes standard with a built in DVD burner and 7.1 channel surround sound.
MSI is marketing this as an alternative to stand alone DVD players and are quick to emphasize how easy it is to hook up to modern LCD or Plasma displays. With a peek power consumption of around 35w, it’s defiantly an appealing package. We will have to hold out on passing a verdict however until we see a price and get to play with one in the lab. Currently it is expected to retail in the $200-$300 dollar range but unfortunately MSI has not finalized the pricing.
As the memory market can attest, it's become a tough proposition to try and sell computer components for a profit. But it's not just memory; motherboards and videocards have been on the decline since Q3 2008, and according to Henry Lu, VP of products at MSI, the market won't see any further expansion.
It gets even worse. Lu contends that a top four motherboard maker -- Asus, Gigabyte, ECS, or MSI -- will drop out of the market within the next few years due to the inability of the market to support the growth of all four. It may seem inconceivable that one of the industry's stalwarts should ultimately exit stage left, but one only need look back at Abit's recent fall from grace as a grim reminder of how quickly the game can change.
And speaking of Abit, it's because of them and other second-tier mobo makers exiting the market that the big four can scrape by for the next three years, Lu says, but then something has to give. If Lu's prediction comes true, the question is, who will be the one to leave? Ironically, it's MSI who seems poised to fall if looking strictly at motherboard shipments. In 2008, Asus shipped around 21 million mobos, the same amount as ECS. Gigabyte trailed slightly behind at 19 million, and MSI was the least active shipping around 16 million.
AMD, still in heavy competition with Nvidia, has been looking for ways to gain ground on the graphics giant for some time. Now, it looks like they’re taking the fight to the mobile front with the announcement of their Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series.
The Mobility Radeon HD 4000 series is based off of the RV770 architecture. It will feature up to 800 stream processors, support for GDDR5 and GDDR3 memory, a 256-bit memory interface and CrossFire support (with the choice of switching back and forth between discrete and integrated GPUs without restarting).
Notebooks from Asus and MSI will reportedly be offering the chipset as soon as March.
MSI has been moving into the notebook market in a big way over the past few years, with forays into business and gaming notebooks, and, this summer, netbooks, with the Wind U100. We have to say, we’re impressed.