MSI has officially introduced the new U115 “Hybrid Storage” netbook, a unique netbook which was first unveiled in Europe earlier this month. The company claims this will be the first notebook capable of using both an SSD and HDD simultaneously. While that claim is technically not true (any dual-bay notebook can run 2.5″ SATA SSD and HDD drives in combination), MSI puts an interesting new spin on things.
The U115 can operate in “Eco Mode,” which disables power to the HDD and provides longer battery life. It’s an interesting option, and perhaps just as important as a few more minutes of runtime is a little added protection. With power to your HDD data drive off and the U115 running on the SSD only, there’s substantially less risk of losing important files if the machine gets a nasty bump or takes a fall.
There will be two configurations available at launch (SSD/HDD): 8gb/120gb and 16gb/160gb. Both will have a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 4-in-1 card reader, 802.11 b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth, and a 10″ LED backlit display with integrated webcam.
Lee Mathews is a computer technician in Manitoba, Canada. He’s a regular contributor to Download Squad, and the proud owner of an MSI Wind U100 netbook.
I’d love to see the cost comparison between one medium sized SSD and having on SSD and one HDD? I mean, why not put the cost of shoving a HDD in the chasse towards a bigger SSD in the 60 to 80 GB range, yes you have to take the HDDs part cost and add another “US Grant” on top of it to come close to the cost of a bigger SSD…but of you did have that bigger SSD you have none of the down side of a HDD in there at all.
Having that HDD in there adds weight. Not a little weight either, and HDD adds nearly 12-14 oz more weight. It adds battery drain while it in operation. It adds complexity to how things are saved. And as I said above that HDD comes with a price tag which might be better put towards having a bigger SSD. Also now the computer case needs to be bigger to hold two drives.
Also, this seems like an option destine to have a six month lifespan. In six to eight months from now you might see SSD price dip enough to make having this duel style set up tip towards unnecessary.
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