The prolific MSI announced the availability of the Wind12 U230-033 and U230-040 netbooks on March 9, just a day after rolling out the Wind U160, a 10-inch netbook running the Intel “Pine Trail” Atom platform.
The two new 3.3-pound models replace the Wind12 U210, with updates that make them the first Wind devices to feature dual-core processors and Bluetooth connectivity.
The U230-033 runs an Athlon Neo MV-40 processor from Advanced Micro Devices and comes with 250GB of SATA memory, while the U230-04 runs an Athlon X2 L335 and offers 320GB of SATA memory.
Both models, like the unit they replace, feature a 12.1-inch display, specifically a high-definition display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels. These are paired with ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics chips, which MSI officials said combine to deliver “a bright widescreen visual experience with exceptional color saturation and crisp imagery.”
Both models additionally run Windows 7 Home Premium, include 1.3-megapixel Webcams, 4-in-1 card readers and 6-cell batteries. There are three USB ports, an Ethernet and HDMI-out ports, and headphone and microphone ports.
MSI officials said the keyboard is particularly ergonomic, reducing stress on fingers and wrists with keys that are “51 percent larger than those on a standard keyboard.”
Both models come with a one-year warranty and are available at Newegg.com, where the U230-033 is priced at $429.99 and the U230-040 at $479.99.
In February, MSI additionally introduced four HD notebooks running Intel dual-core processors, and in January, it introduced the $310, 2.4-pound Wind U135 netbook.
Analysts expect netbook sales to continue rising in 2010, albeit at slower rates than 2008 and 2009 levels. Regardless, the netbooks space is said to have changed consumer perception of PC pricing. A 2010 survey by retailer PriceGrabber.com found the average selling prices of laptops to be falling year to year, and still, 65 percent of the consumers surveyed said they wanted to spend less than $750 on their next PC purchase, while 52 percent said they’d spent more than $750 on their last purchase.