Can MSI Blow Away the Atom Competition with the Wind Notebook?

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

With the release of the Atom processor, Intel has helped manufacturers create a new notebook computer market segment called “netbooks.” MSI has jumped on the netbook bandwagon with the Wind Notebook U100 and aims to blow ahead of the competition.

Mini notebook computers have been on the market for some time, but most users have found those diminutive systems a collection of compromises. For example, when portability reigns supreme, users would expect to give up battery life, comfortable keyboards, big screens and so on. Manufacturers had created what amounted to a Catch-22 situation with their mini-note offerings; portability came at the expense of usability!

MSI aims to undo that compromise with their Wind Notebook computer, an Intel Atom-powered system that tips the scales at just 2.3 pounds and is light on the pocket book at just $499. While one would think that lightweight and low cost would add up to disappointing performance and features, MSI is able to pull off what was once considered impossible, a sub-notebook computer that is end-user friendly.

MSI was able to accomplish that feat with the help of Intel’s Atom processor. The Atom was designed to sip power, while providing enough performance to run basic applications, Web browsers and hosted (SAAS) applications.

The MSI Wind NB U100 comes well equipped and can perform most business tasks. Purchasers will find a 1.6Ghz Atom Processor, 1Gbyte of DDR2 Ram, 10" TFT (1024 x 600) display, near full size keyboard, 80 Gbyte Sata hard disk drive, 1.3 megapixel web cam and several ports. The system uses an Intel 945 GMS Chipset, offers integrated Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 and a 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet port. The Wind comes with Windows XP Home edition preinstalled, along with a few productivity applications.







Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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