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MSI readies netbooks with HDDs and SSDs

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MSI has turned to Intel's other Atom processor, the Z series, for its next netbooks.

Announced in France last week, the U110 and U115 are both based on the 1.6GHz Atom Z530 - the same CPU Dell's using in its 12in netbook the Inspiron Mini 12. The Z530 was designed for handheld internet tablets.

The U110 has 1GB of 533MHz DDR 2 memory, a 1024 x 600 10in display, Bluetooth 2+EDR, 802.11n Wi-Fi and all the ports and components you'd expect from a typical Small, Cheap Computer.

MSI will offer the machine with 120, 160 and 250GB of SATA hard drive capacity, and while some models will come with a 1.3-megapixel webcam, others will have a 2Mp job. The 1.1kg unit measures a 260 x 180 x 19-31.5mm, according to snaps of MSI presentation slides posted by French-language site Netbook 3G.

The U115 has the same basic spec, but adds a 2GB variant and offers a different storage scheme: an 8, 16 or 32GB SSD and an 80, 120 or 160GB HDD. The latter's presumably for bulk data storage, the SSD for the OS and key apps, the better to load them quickly and keep the power consumption down.

That said, both machines come with a six-cell battery good, MSI claimed, for 8-10 hours of untethered runtime, so it's hard to see MSI's "hybrid storage" facility as anything more than a gimmick for now.

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