Quick Peek at MSI’s U115 Hybrid, X-Slim 320

After a flight delay and hour long wait to check-in at my hotel, I finally made it the CES Unveiled show. There really wasn’t a ton “unveiled”, but I did want to get my hands on two MSI products. Here’s our brief first look at them.

MSI U115 Hybrid

The U115 is pretty similar to the Wind netbook I currently own, but of course it offers the hybrid storage. MSI claims that the 6-cell battery will run for 10.5 hours, but my gut says that’s a bit high. Then again, I’ve been wrong before with battery life estimates, so we’ll have to try and score a review unit to check the claim. I realize that the Hybrid model can shut off the SATA drive and run off SSD to save power, but the battery life savings we’ve seen from SSD devices hasn’t been as much as we had hoped.

All in all, this has the same general look and feel as the Wind netbooks on the market today. Interestingly, the product card calls this a notebook, not a netbook. Maybe they got a C&D?

Next up was that uber-thin device, the X-Slim 320 notebook. Pictures don’t do it justice in terms of the slim factor. I couldn’t get the MSI rep to turn the device on, which is a shame because I wanted to see the 1366×768 resolution on that display.

MSI X-Slim 320

The trackpad is fairly generous on this device; nearly as big as the new glass one on the aluminum MacBooks. For around $800, this notebook isn’t a bad deal, although all accounts so far indicate an 1.6GHz Intel Atom, which we couldn’t confirm. MSI says you can run this thin device for around 5 hours on the 4-cell battery or 10 hours on the optional 8-cell. Again, these seem a bit high to me, and I’m not sure I’d want to thicken this beauty with an extended battery anyway.