MSI unveils new netbooks, unusual storage system
Netbook maker MSI is adding two new models to its lineup. The MSI Wind U100 is already one of the more popular netbooks on the market thanks to its 10 inch display and roomy keyboard. And it’s a favorite among hackintosh enthusiasts because it runs OS X reasonably well.
MSI had already announced plans to release an upgraded model called the MSI Wind U120, which will add a 3G HSUPA modem. But now the company is fleshing out its product line with a U110 model and a U115 netbook to boot.
The MSI WInd U115 is probably the most unusual of the bunch. It will have a new “hybrid storage” sytem comprised of both a solid state disk and a hard drive. The idea is that the operating system will be installed on the SSD, leaving plenty of room on the larger hard drive for programs and storage.
Solid state disks tend to be more durable since there are no moving parts, and in some cases they can have faster write read speeds than hard drives which helps load the operating system and launch programs more quickly. It’s not entirely clear what kind of SSD the MSI WInd U115 will use at the moment, so I can’t really comment on the speed. But this is the first time we’ve seen a netbook maker take this approach.
The U115 will be available with an 8GB SSD/80GB HDD, a 16GB SSD/120GB HDD, or a 32GB SSD/160GB HDD. The netbook will also use the Intel Atom Z530 processor, not the N270 chip used in the MSI Wind U100 and many other current generation mini-laptops. The Z530 uses less power than the N270, which should help prolong battery life.
The MSI Wind U110 basically has the same specs as the U115, except it does not come with any solid state storage. Instead, it will be available with a 120GB, 160GB, or 250GB hard drive and an Intel Atom Z530 CPU. Both machines pack a 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 802.11b/g/draft-n WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 4-in-1 card reader. The U110 will be available with 1GB of RAM, while the U115 will come with 1-2GB. No word on what the maximum RAM capacity of either netbook will be.