MSI WInd U115

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.

via Netbook3G and Blogeee

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26 replies on “MSI unveils new netbooks, unusual storage system”

  1. “Solid state disks tend to be more durable since there are no moving parts, and in some cases they can have faster write speeds than hard drives which helps load the operating system and launch programs more quickly.”

    You mean that SSDs have faster read speeds? Because some of the cheaper SSDs have truly pathetic write times.

  2. Another good thing about the hybrid storage is you could save mission-critical files to the SSD in case the HDD is damaged, and still boot up and use the files. Of course, you’d need to have the right program also installed on the SSD, but then again you could always just use another computer.

  3. I thought the Poulsbo chipset was limited to 1GB Ram. How come the U115 can have up to 2GB installed ?

  4. I think the real news is that a netbook is using the Poulsbo chipset. I couldn’t care less about that gimmicky hybrid thing.

    The Poulsbo chipset should prolong battery life quite a bit, but it doesn’t have SATA capabilities. I am kind of mixed on this one. Ideally, I would buy a netbook, pull out the SATA HDD and put in a nice SATA SSD. Unfortunately it appears that the only model they are releasing with an SSD is using this “hybrid” thing. This doesn’t sound promising and I assume they will skimp out on the SSD.

    Why aren’t netbook manufacturers focusing on SSD? The EEE 701 was perfect, just needed a bit more storage space. Sure they tried to do that with later models, but they all had cheaper under-performing chips. Now that SSD is finally getting cheap enough to implement properly, for some reason everyone has ditched it and gone back to focusing on HDDs.

    The only way a netbook will make it using the Poulsbo chipset is to give a good quality 16GB or 32GB SSD as an option. The IDE only is too big of a drawback as far as upgrades go.

    I will be buying an NC10 and replacing the 2.5″ HDD with an SSD as it seems to be the best bet so far.

  5. That’s a good approach, I would like it more if the hdd can be powered off without restarting for saving some battery duration.

    Also, I consider netbooks the ones that focus on low prices and high battery duration, size doesn’t matter as I would classify them just as 9″, 10″, 12″, etc. (would be cool a 7″ case factor, but the keyboard would be kinda disturbing. And 5″ for handheld netbooks would be cool)

  6. It will be interesting to see how well this setup works. It could be a way for MSI to stand out from the crowd.

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