updated 11:40 am EDT, Wed July 30, 2008
MSI Wind Price Hikes
MSI today confirmed to LAPTOP that it would raise the official price of its Wind mini notebook by an average of $50. A base model with a three-cell battery pack now costs $499 while a longer-lasting six-cell version costs $549. The company has had "no choice" but to increase the price as the raw manufacturing costs for the battery and other notebook materials have increased significantly, according to an MSI official. Retailers such as Buy.com are being asked to cancel orders at the original prices to avoid facing sanctions from the PC builder.
The Wind was set to be one of the least expensive mini notebooks available and undercut multiple Eee PCs and similar models despite its 1.6GHz Atom processor, 80GB drive and 10-inch screen, which put it at the top end of the system category. These increases reduce the gap between the Wind and same-size opponents like the $649 Eee PC 1000H and are compounded further by unofficial increases by resellers hoping to expand their own profits. A six-cell Wind now sells for $599 at some retailers.
It's unknown whether the cost increase will spread to other mini notebook designers that may share similar parts.