MSI Launches A Light Version Of The Wind U230

MSI [LON:MSI] seems to be heading for a new niche in the netbook category. They have launched a new light version of the Wind U230 netbook. It has more or less the same specs that the original U230 has but with some crucial differences. The main difference is the display, which at 11.6″ is smaller than the original 12.1″ display. This causes the entire package to shrink a bit, making it more compact and supposedly light.

The internals stay more or less the same. It is still an AMD MV-40 Neo powered machine with 1.6GHz of processing power. The whole AMD chipset contains an integrated ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics chip, enabling it to decode HD video and also afford an HDMI output. Given the better than average graphics performance, the battery life is going to take a hit.

The U230 Light, despite being smaller, is actually better equipped when it comes to the other options. Unlike the original U230 which comes with Windows 7 Starter Edition, it comes pre-installed with the more expensive Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. This model is available only in two colors — Black or Gray.

Since MSI has chosen to go with AMD, they get to install more RAM and hence this model comes with 2GB of RAM and a 250 HDD storage option. For connectivity it has a WiFi-n module to offer, which ensures a high-speed WiFi connection wherever it is available. Sadly though, there seems to be no option for Bluetooth.

As for ports, other than the HDMI mentioned earlier it has a card reader, 3 USB ports, 1 VGA out and the usual audio in and out ports. The 6-cell battery is good for only 4 hours, which is the trade off that you have to make for the better graphics performance. The US price is $400, keeping it above the average netbook pricing and clearly pointing at the fact that MSI is indeed gunning for a bridge market.

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MSI Releases Wind U135 Model To Celebrate Sales

U135_all-300x198MSI must be pretty chuffed with themselves for making the Wind line of netbooks. They are mostly known as a component manufacturer before they came out with the Wind to ride on the big netbook wave of the last two years. The Wind has been pretty successful and has sold millions. This has caused MSI to commemorate the success by releasing a new Wind model. It is called the Wind 135 and it has some real muscle for a change.

Okay, so when I say muscle, do remember that I mean it in a netbook way. That means that it has something extra as opposed to just a new look. The U135 is powered by a chip from Intel’s new Pine Trail series Atom processors. There is a choice between 160GB and 250GB HDDs when it comes to storage, which is pretty nice to have on a netbook. Also, the keys are supposed to be 20% bigger and that can really make a difference in how good it feels when you are using it on a regular basis. Netbook keyboards have always had small keys to conform to the form factor, so we will take anything that is bigger than the average. So this is actually a worthwhile feature to talk about.

The power consumption has also come down. It now consumes only 7 watts of power. With the optional 6-cell battery, you can really make your netbook last well beyond your entire working day.

Other than these features, everything else is pretty much what you expect them to be. There is 1GB of DDR2 memory, the screen is 10″ and you get Windows 7 Starter Edition. There’s a 1.3MP webcam, 3 USB 2.0 ports and 4in1 card reader slot. That last one is actually another really useful feature. You can get it for around $310-$330 on Amazon.