Thanks to Expansys last week, the UK prices and specs for the MSI Wind were revealed but the only US prices we had until now were import prices. Today, LAPTOP magazine has revealed the US-local specs and pricing and rather than charging similar prices for both the Linux and Windows versions of the Wind as in the UK, the MSI US marketing team are choosing to offer an Eee PC 900 12G (Linux) competitor at $399 with the 80GB drive, 512MB and Novell SUSE Linux. If you want XP you’ll be paying $150 more and getting an additional 512MB into the build. It doesn’t seem to be worth $150 but there could be additional specifications that haven’t been revealed through the LAPTOP magazine article. I’ve been using Suse Linux for about 8 years and have always been very happy with the desktop interface and the ‘YAST’ system management tools. I even ran it on my work-supplied Pentium 1Ghz notebook with 512MB RAM for 2 years and only went back to Windows when I started getting into UMPCs. [more after the break]
The launch availability date of June 3rd is surprisingly early. It points towards a Day-1 Computex launch with immediate availability which could indicate a mix-up between launch and availability dates. If it really is available in early June it will be great because it will give us an earlier-than-expected indicator as to what improvements we could expect on other Atom-based netbooks. Battery life is the important benchmark to focus on here and in the article, MSI are saying that XP will return 6 hours on the 6-cell battery with Linux returning an even better figure. For a 6-cell battery with an estimated 60whr capacity, that’s not bad compared to the average notebook PC but its not much better than devices based on the original Origami 2006 ultra mobile PC specifications. As we explained before, devices built on the Diamondville variant of Atom won’t make any major advances in battery life.
Laptop magazine got the information through an interesting interview with MSI so be sure to hop over and read the article.