The netbook segment just got a little more interesting. It looks like the Intel Atom CPU is not the only one on the block. Sure VIA came out with the Nano, but it suffered low adoption from manufacturers.
MSI Wind U210
The MSI Wind U210 will be powered by the AMD NEO MV-40, operating at 1.6 GHz. This is a 12 inch model with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768. An AMD Radeon X1250 will be handling graphic duties. The higher end model will, unfortunately, come loaded with Vista. It’s still too early to know if this will qualify for the free Windows 7 upgrade. This might be a good competitor to all the Intel Atom powered netbooks out there.
In my opinion, it’s good to have come competition to the Atom because consumers will benefit. AMD is not so restrictive as Intel when it comes to netbooks. Most netbooks running the Atom N-series processor cannot exceed certain screen resolutions. That is why you see many of the bigger netbooks running the Atom Z processor to get around this rule.
The MSI Wind U210 is available at Amazon.com for $430. Click here to check it out.
The Netbook bandwagon has become the netbook big rig truck. It seems everyone has a netbook these days. They’re all about the same price and have almost the same specs. For about $350, you get a 10 inch, 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom, 1GB, 160GB hard drive, running Windows XP Home.
Asus Eee PC 1000HE
The problem is that all the manufacturers are making the same thing with no product differientiation. When it comes to netbooks, I think of 3 brands, Asus, MSI, and Acer. Since everything else is the same, the keyboard and battery life is a huge factor when it comes to picking out the right one. Unfortunately, there isn’t a place that lets you have any hands on time with the netbooks.
Acer Apsire One AOD 150
So my recommendations:
Asus: Asus Eee PC 1000HE $385
Acer: Acer Aspire One AOD150 10.1 Inch $330
MSI: MSI Wind U120 $330
If you’re looking for something a little bigger, I would wait for the Lenovo S12. It’s a 12 inch, Atom powered netbook with the Nvidia ION GPU. ION brings 1080P capabilities to a netbook. That also means it can handle games at a decent frame rate. Read about it here.
The MSI Wind is no where in sight. A lucky few already had their’s shipped. However, for the rest of us, we have to wait because it is not available at major retailers. But I think waiting may be the better option at this point. The current units are being shipped with a 3-cell battery. The new Intel Atom CPU consumes less power, but with the puny 3-cell battery, you’re looking at 3 hours of up time.
I would wait a month for the unit to ship with the 6-cell battery, good for at least 5 hours of up time.
- 10″ WSVGA LCD 1024×600 (LED Backlight)
- Intel Atom N270 CPU 1.6 GHz
- Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
- 1 GB DDR2 667 MHz memory
- 80GB Hard Drive 2.5″ SATA
- 10/100 LAN & Built in 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
- 4 in 1 Card Reader
- 1.3 MP Webcam
- 3 USB 2.0 Ports
- 1 VGA port
- 1 Mic in, 1 Headphone out
- 10.23″(L) x 7.08″(D) x 0.748″~1.24″(H)