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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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