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Summary:

MSI’s newest Wind netbook — the U160 — is now showing on Amazon’s pre-order page. What do you get for $379.99? Quite a bit, it turns out, although it would be nice to have seen a screen resolution upgrade to complement the other components.

Wind-U160-thumb

One of the newest netbooks from MSI, the Wind U160, is now appearing on an Amazon pre-order page. Hector Gomez, one of our eagle-eyed readers, spotted the page along with the $379.99 price tag. Amazon isn’t sharing the release date just yet, but I figure it should be within the next few weeks. After all, this device was spotted at the Consumer Electronics Show last month and uses what I’d consider common bits of hardware for netbooks of today.

The 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 powers Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition running on 1 GB of RAM. MSI says the U160 offers one memory slot — again, a common theme among netbooks — and supports a single 2 GB memory module. These days, that RAM stick shouldn’t cost much more than $40 or $50. MSI tucked in a 250 GB hard drive and support for 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi for better range and faster wireless transfers. A fairly standard 1.3 megapixel webcam, Bluetooth and memory card reader are also included and the 10″ display offers 1024 x 600 resolution. Pity that didn’t get bumped to 1366 x 768, but then again, the price would likely crest the $400 mark. The 15-hour battery life claim comes from the standard 6-cell battery, which sounds aggressive to me. A real-world usage scenario is likely to nab at least 11 or 12 hours, though, and that likely eliminates the need for a second battery or toting the AC adapter.

The U160 product page does show a few new nice changes over prior models like my old U100 netbook. The U160 goes with a chiclet keyboard and a seamless trackpad — I’m not a fan of the latter, but some might be. I also noticed a wireless on / off switch on the side of the device. Often, this function is relegated to a keyboard combination. I actually prefer the switch because you can instantly see if the radio is active. Anyone up for pre-ordering or is there another netbook that has your eye these days?

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

I Want a Netbook, Not a Little Notebook

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  1. i suspect that 15hr mark was just to top industry leading Asus 14hr mark, very unlikely that its just a coincidence.

    really nice design but that ugly protruding battery kills it for me, its sooo 2008. in this rare case if they can offer a flush 3-cell with 6-7hrs real world battery i might consider 1.

    1. O.O Protruding battery? It looks to me like its a part of the hinge design, but i can see why you might not like it.

      As for the 15 hour quoted battery life, it obviously wont reach that but I think that if this netbook could at least dish out 10-11 hours of work time it would be well worth the money.

      1. press shots dont show everything, theres a reason they leave the unflattering photos out. the battery protrudes a great down from the back (slanted downwards) much like the HP’s are notorious for.

      2. Oh, I see… Then yes, that is ugly indeed, and doesn’t make for a snug fit in a sleeve. Thanks for the clarification I completely forgot about the mini 1000 style battery.

  2. If this give you at least 10 hour of real world battery life, it would good. We are going to have to wait and see once it reaches the consumers and get to see what kind of battery life they will get.

  3. Also for those of you that want built-in 3G. The U160 will have option for 3G/WiMax as well and depend where you buy the U160. I usually just tether my BB to my devices, but some like to take advantage of the built-in 3G.

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