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.126.96.36.199 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.
As you may or may not have heard, CES is coming up, and there will be plenty of big name vendors there. That includes MSI, who has recently announced their full 2009 lineup, which is chock-full of new goodies!
First up, their netbook announcements! Thanks to the success of the Wind U100, MSI is planning to release a U115 and U120 to compliment the previous model. The U115 sports the option of being the first netbook capable of simultaneously running an SSD and an HDD. The U120 will be the power user’s option, designed for being portable without sacrificing performance.
They’ll also be offering 16”, 19” and 22” versions of their new All-In-One Wind at CES. It’ll feature an Intel Atom processor, which will allow it to consume a fraction of the power that a 250W PC does. The All-In-One will also feature a nice 16:9 display.
Finally, the gaming notebooks will be expanded to include the (deep breath) GT725, GT727, GT627 and the GX420. Reportedly, the GT725 and GT727 are capable of breaking 10,000 3D Marks.
While unfortunately most of this information is pretty broad (thank you, press releases!) CES will provide us a great opportunity to check out these new toys and find out more about them. Who knows, with any luck we’ll be able to figure out exactly what’s under the hood and how much they’ll cost!
MSI has launched it's U1115 Hybrid netbook, which the company bills as the first notebook computer in the world capable of running both SSD and HDD drives at the same time. Combined with its 'ECO on' mode, MSI claims "the battery life of U115 Hybrid is super long." Sounds super duper.
The new netbook operates primarily with the SSD to run Windows, with the HDD being used for storage duties. With ECO on mode, the U115 Hybrid temporarily disconnects the HDD to help extend battery life, presumably offering the best of both worlds. Storage options come in 8GB/120GB (SSD/HDD) and 16GB/160GB configurations.
Outside of the hybrid drive configuation, MSI sticks closely to the standard netbook formula. Underneath the 10-inch hood sits a 1.6GHz Z530 Intel Atom processor, 1GB of DDR2-533 memory, 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, a webcam, media card reader, and Windows XP Home.
It’s pretty clear MSI is serious about Netbooks and updates to the platform have been coming in pretty steadily since its introduction back in July, but they aren’t done yet. According to Liliputing MSI is adding two new models to its fleet, the U110 and U115. While the U110 is more of a traditional design, the U115 promises to change things up a bit. Instead of asking customers to choose between the speed & reliability of an SSD, and the large storage capacities offered by traditional hard drives, the U115 will feature a new “hybrid storage” system. This feature will allow MSI to store the operating system on an SSD, and will augment the storage a built in hard drive.
With this approach they are hoping to appeal to a broader audience who are looking for a dependable and responsive experience on the OS side, while still satisfying the digital packrats who need a bit of extra mobile storage. The SSD’s will come in 8,16, and 32 GB capacities. And the hard drives will range from 80 to a maximum of 160 GB, currently the maximum for Windows XP on netbooks. Both new models will feature the familiar 10 inch, 1024x600 pixel display, 802.11b/g/draft-n WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 4 in 1 card reader.