updated 03:10 pm EST, Mon January 5, 2009
MSI Wind NetOn at CES
MSI today outlined its plans for CES and confirmed the presence of the company's first all-in-one nettop. The Wind NetOn (shown) competes against ASUS' Eee Top and also described as one of the fastest; in the US-specific AE1901 model, the 19-inch system will come with a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom that should significantly improve performance while keeping power use down to just 50W. IT and the other 16- and 22-inch systems have yet to receive full details but should come with 16:9 ratio, 1366x768 touchscreens (1920x1080 in the 22-inch version) that simplify their respective interfaces.
Both the 19- and 22-inch versions should use Windows Vista; the 22-inch model is also likely to carry Blu-ray, while all three have the option of Wi-Fi for short-range networking. The PC maker hasn't revealed availability but is believed to be shipping the 19-inch Wind NetOn this month for $499, while the 16-inch version sells for $399 in February and the 22-inch model in March for $799.
The company has also confirmed the launch of the previously unveiled Wind U115 netbook with hybrid hard drive and SSD storage as well as the U120, a more upscale Wind with either WiMAX or HSPA-based 3G for long-range networking. The latter has the same 1.6GHz single-core Atom, 1GB of memory and 10-inch display as most Wind models but uses rotating hard drives alone for storage. It's not known if MSI will use the 80GB, 120GB or 160GB hard drives outlined in a European leak.
Rounding out the announcements are word of multiple new notebooks. The gaming-centric G series gets its first 14-inch model, the 16:9 ratio, GX420, while the GT725 and GT727 will both be the company's first notebooks to crack 10,000 points in 3DMark by using an unnamed combination of newer processors and mobile graphics hardware; these are informally expected to use 17-inch displays while a mid-grade GT627 should use a 16-inch LCD.
Two mid-range media notebooks, the EX623 and EX625, should also share the 16-inch panel and are known to carry a 2.1-channel Dolby Surround II speaker setup and Mobility Radeon HD 4670 dedicated chipsets.
Pricing and availability for these other systems hasn't been set.
Left to right: Wind U120, Wind NetOn, G series notebooks, E series