I’m a big fan of netbooks. They’re small, light, and incredibly easy to work with. I’m usually typing my columns on my desktop with the most comfortable keyboard I’ve used, the Logitech G11; or I’m on a laptop, usually a 15.6” model and lets be honest – they’re not exactly light. I usually have to sit up to use the damn things on a bed. I can’t use one away from the wall for more than three hours without worrying about charging it.
And the problem now is that “industry analysts” across the waters on a strange land in America predict that tablets will eat up the netbook market this and next year, causing manufacturers to second-guess their target market and look at their portfolio a little harder. If you hobble over to the Prophecy site and check out their netbook section, many of the models are out of stock – now I’m not saying that’s indicative of the current market right now, but it’s a pretty sad sign if there’s any truth to it.
Regardless, MSI have released details of their latest revamp of the Wind 180, their netbook based off Intel’s new Cedar Trail line. Sporting either the Atom N2800 (1.86Ghz) or the N2600 (1.6Ghz), both dual-cores with Hyperthreading. It’s still stuck with the GMA3650 graphics core, but that’s okay considering the workload its designed to sift through. Also included is 1 to 2GB DDR3 RAM, 250 to 320GB storage space, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and HDMI-out. The sore spot (my only bone of contention) is the pitiful 0.3MP camera. I would have at least expected something stronger because video calling is a big thing these days, and Skype users are the biggest market out there – pissing them off is not something done lightly.
With a 6-cell battery MSI has promised up to 8 hours combined while working with the netbook – sounds bloody good to me! Pricing or availability hasn’t been detailed, but it should be around R4000 with Windows 7 Starter 32-bit.