Print 72 comment(s) - last by nukunukoo.. on May 17 at 12:08 AM

MSI breaks Wind on ASUS Eee PC for $399

Yesterday, DailyTech reported that ASUS' new Eee PC 900 is available now from a few online retailers -- albeit at prices higher than the MSRP. In the case of ZipZoomFly, it was charging $50 more than MSRP yesterday for the Windows XP variant of the Eee PC 900.

These higher prices are in addition to the $549.99 price tag that many have balked at ever since ASUS announced pricing for the second generation Eee PC in mid-April. $549.99 is a far cry from the Eee PC 2G's $299 price tag or even the original Eee PC 4G's $399 price tag.

MSI has heard the concerns of potential customers that are disheartened by ASUS's decision to push the Eee PC into a higher-priced, dangerous territory. The company's new 10" Wind will be priced at $399 in base form when it launches on June 3.

Although MSI will produce the Wind in 8.9" and 10" variants, U.S. customers will only receive the larger 10" display with a 1024x600 resolution. The base configuration features an 80GB 2.5" HDD, 512MB of memory, 3-cell battery (2.5 hours), and runs Novel SUSE Linux. A variant featuring Windows XP, 80GB SATA HDD, 1GB of memory, Bluetooth, and 6-cell battery (6 hours) will set you back $549.99.

Both versions will come equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom (Diamondville) processor and both will come with two DIMM slots to aid in upgrading system memory -- ASUS' Eee PC comes with just a single DIMM slot for expansion.

Other features of the MSI Wind include three USB 2.0 ports, a SD/MMC reader, VGA-out, 10/100 NIC, and 802.11b/g wireless. The device is also just a tad bit heavier than ASUS' Eee PC 900 at 2.64 pounds. In addition, the MSI Wind will be available in black, white, silver, baby blue, and pink for those that want to add a bit of "personality" to their notebook purchase.

Hopefully, MSI's Wind will give ASUS a wakeup call in the U.S. market. ASUS brought the low-cost, ultraportable market to life with its original Eee PC 4G, but it looks like other manufacturers are here to show ASUS that it isn't the only game in town.

You can view additional images of the MSI Wind over at LAPTOP Magazine.

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RE: nice Pricepoint
By jvillaro on 5/13/2008 5:48:56 PM , Rating: 5
Even at $550 it's in my opinion better than the current ASUS EEEPC. I hope that will force either to cut the price or upgrade to atom faster and improve battery life.
And just around the corner should be the arrival the Dell and Acer models so this should just get better and better.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By othercents on 5/13/2008 6:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
I expect the Atom EeePC to be at Computex which is June 3-7. The only question is what is the price going to be and how much is battery life going to improve. Three differences right now is Processor, Memory, and Hard Drive.


RE: nice Pricepoint
By Brandon Hill on 5/13/2008 6:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how an Atom-based Eee PC could be any cheaper unless they reduced the storage capacity.

They look to have pinned themselves in with the $549 pricing.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By othercents on 5/13/2008 7:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they reprice because of competition or change the design slightly to accommodate a standard HD. Maybe they will redesign the whole thing to accommodate the 10" display that MSI has designed into theirs.


RE: nice Pricepoint
By Brandon Hill on 5/13/2008 7:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
A significant reprice after less than two months on the market. Who do they think they are, Apple? ;)

I don't know how much ASUS is getting its current 900MHz Celeron-M chips for, but I'd imagine that it can't be much more than what Intel is selling 1.6GHz Atom processors for.

That being said, $150 is a lot of money to strip out of machine that is competing with a device that has a larger screen, better upgradeability (storage and memory wise), and vastly greater storage space in a similar footprint.

That being said, decontenting the Eee PC 900 may prove to be unfruitful considering that there is a whole family of Eee PC 701s in the lower price bracket (4G, 4G Surf, 2G, 8G) to fill that niche.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By mondo1234 on 5/13/2008 7:23:25 PM , Rating: 1
By the time it is ready to ship, they wont be able to put XP on it with the new restrictions of 1 Ghz processor.
I will gladly go for the Linux version at that price with Open Office. Bring it on MSI. I will pre-order.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By Brandon Hill on 5/13/2008 8:03:23 PM , Rating: 5
MS put in a provision to allow Atom and C7-M processors over 1GHz.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By othercents on 5/13/2008 7:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much the larger footprint and heavier system is going to make and if Asus really has to compete against MSI on price? To me the extra memory slot on an ultra-portable is a waste and the larger hard drive doesn't matter to me for what I would use it for. If Asus was able to put the Atom in, reduce the weight some more (ie. less cooling needs), push another 10 gigs into the HD, and slim down the price to $499 then I would believe they are equally matched.

I guess we will have to wait and see.


RE: nice Pricepoint
By Samus on 5/13/2008 11:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
the keyboard is better than the Eee too (at least the layout, I'll hold reservations on the feel until I touch one...mmmmmm)

RE: nice Pricepoint
By WyldGoat on 5/14/2008 7:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what you see so great about the keyboard layout. From the images, the Enter key looks too far from the ';' and they should have put the left Control key in the large corner where the Fn key is.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By Samus on 5/15/2008 2:18:31 AM , Rating: 2
it aint no thinkpad keyboard, but its way better than the Eee's useless keyboard.

RE: nice Pricepoint
By spluurfg on 5/14/2008 7:08:26 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the 10" screen XP version with its 6 hour battery, plus larger keyboard, plus bluetooth is a good combination for road warriors who just want basic office functionality that can sync with their blackberry/smartphone email and throw it in their carry on bag. It's still better than a 12-13" for portability and the sacrifice in performance isn't too bad considering that it's probably going to do minimal spreadsheet work and mostly word processing. Bluetooth is the key here for business travelers.

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