MSI, which is looking to expand into new markets, including the United States, has rolled out its Wind U160 netbook, which offers up to 15 hours of battery life for less than $400.
The Wind U160 is MSI's second netbook to feature the Intel Pine Trail platform - the first was the Wind U135, introduced in January - and combined with MSI's ECO mode, the newest Wind is able to achieve 15 hours of battery life.
MSI officially announced the Wind U160, which runs Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, on March 8.
The 3.1-pound netbook measures 10.4 by 6.5 by 0.94 inches and features a 10-inch LED backlit WSVGA display with a resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels. The operating system is Windows 7 Starter, and inside are 1GB of DDR2 (double-rate data 2) memory and a 160GB SATA (serial ATA) hard drive. Connectivity options include 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth.
The Intel processing platform consists of a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, an Intel NM 10 Express chipset and Intel GMA3150 graphics.
There's a 2-in-1 card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone slots and a 6-cell battery. Less expected, but also included, is MSI's EasyFace facial recognition software, for data protection but quick log-in.
Ready to step out on the town, the Wind U160 comes in sparkling gold or formal black, with what MSI describes as a "Color Film Print finish" and now retails for $379.99 at Fry's stores, Newegg.com and Buy.com.
In February, MSI additionally introduced three CR620 notebook models, which run Intel processors and Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium and promise an "ultimate" viewing experience.
It's the new Wind netbook, however, that's debuting to a market already packed with rivals, both from the expected companies, such as Acer, Asus and Dell, and lesser-knowns such as Coby, Sapphire and BYD. Each company displayed new netbooks at the CeBIT tech show in Germany, during the first days of March.