MSI's Pine Trail netbook: 'Do you think I'm sexy?'
WiMax certification too
CES 2010 As expected, MSI rolled out its Intel Pine Trail netbooks at a press event at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - but there were a couple of surprises at Tuesday's roll-out.
First, in addition to the MSI Wind U135 we reported last month, there's another 10-inch netbook in MSI's stable: the slim and arguably sexy - if a netbook can ever be said to have sex appeal - Wind U160.
Second, MSI spokesman Mark Olson told The Reg that the U135 is the first Pine Train netbook to be WiMAX-certified by Intel.
The U160, according to MSI, won an iF Product Design award for its trim, wedge-shaped form factor, which measures under one inch at its thickest point.
The golden Wind U160 weighs in at either 2.2 pounds or 0.997 kilograms - your call
Both netbooks are based on the Intel Pine Trail Platform and as such feature a single-core, dual-threaded Atom N450 coupled with Intel's new NM10 Express I/O controller chip.
MSI claims that the Pine Trail netbooks will have a battery life of 7.5 hours - slightly less than the 8 hours that Acer claims for its base-model Pine Trail netbook. But these are battery-life estimates, and as we've all learned through painful experience, such claims are always to be taken with a grain of salt.
Specs for the netbooks are no surprise: a 667MHz frontside bus talking to 1GB entry-level and 2GB maximum RAM, and the on-chip GMA3150 graphics core that's also found in the 5.5W N450's new siblings, the 13W dual-core D510 and 10W single-core D410, both designed for entry-level desktops.
The Wind U135 is available in blue, silver, red, and black
An external USB 2.0 optical drive with the somewhat clumsy name of the "Super-multi drive" will also be available when the new MSI netbooks ship later this month.
Prices are for the U135 and U160, both of which will ship with Windows 7 Starter Edition, are not yet set, but an MSI spokeswoman told us that the U135 would run between $300 and $400 depending upon configuration, and the U160 would be "around $400." The price for the optional Super-multi external optical drive has not yet been set. ®
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