MSI launched the Wind U160 netbook along with a few other 10 inch models earlier this year.
At the time they were shipping with the same boring 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processors found in most other netbooks of the day, but Netbook News reports that MSI will soon introduce a new version of the U160 with a shiny new Intel Atom N550 dual core chip.
The overall design o the netbook hasn’t changed. It still has an island-style keyboard, a touchpad with a bumpy texture, and a 6 cell battery that sticks out from the back and bottom of the laptop.
HP launched an updated version of its Mini 210 netbook recently, and I got my first chance to check out the new kids in person the other night. While the biggest change is the option to configure the netbook with either a single core or dual core Atom processor, HP has also tweaked the design a bit.
The new netbooks are available in black, blue, red, pink, and purple, and each lid has a matte finish. The keyboard and touchpad haven’t changed all that much, but HP has redesigned the base of the laptop so that a 6 cell battery sits flush with the back and bottom. In fact, the new HP Mini 210 ships standard with a high capacity 6 cell battery. There’s no longer a 3 cell option.
The HP Mini 210 starts at $329.99, but that price will only get you a black netbook with 1GB of RAM, an Atom N455 processor and Windows 7 Starter. If you’re willing to pay extra, you can get a different color, a faster processor, more memory, a Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator, and even step up to Windows 7 Home Premium. You can also add a 1366 x 768 pixel HD display.
Overall, it looks like the HP Mini 210 may offer more configuration options than any other consumer-oriented netbook on the market today. On the other hand, you can easily get carried away with the options. A truly souped up version of this netbook could easily run you $500 or more.
NEC is the latest PC maker to get in on the dual core Atom action. The company has just introduced a new netbook in Japan with a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core CPU, 2GB of memory and a 320GB hard drive. The NEC LaVie Light BL550 netbook also has a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel HD display and runs Windows 7 Home Premium.
As you’d expect from a netbook with those specs, the LaVie Light BL550 comes with a premium price. It’s expected to sell for about 85,000 yen, or about $1010 US. Even when you consider the fact that notebooks typically cost more in Japan than the US, that’s still an awfully expensive netbook.
NEC is also luanching a new single core model called the LaVie Light BL350 which will have a 1.83GHz Intel Atom N475 CPU, 1GB of memory and a 250Gb hard drive. This model will run Windows 7 Starter Edition and run about 70,000 yen or about $832 US.
HP will start seling an updated version of the HP Mini 5103 business netbook on September 17th. The netbook is already available for $399 and up with a choice of an Intel Atom N455 or N475 processor, but starting on the 17th you’ll be able to snag one with a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core processor.
The company says the new chip offers a performance boost of about 25% while resulting in about 15 minutes lower battery life. That’s not a bad tradeoff, since HP’s current crop of business netbooks get a respectable 6 hours of run time.
Aside from the new processor option, there aren’t many differences between the new model and the older HP Mini 5102. The netbook will continue to come with a 7200RPM hard drive or a high speed solid state disk. The 10.1 inch display is available in 1024 x 600 and 1366 x 768 pixel resolutions, and there’s a capacitive touchscreen option as well.
The netbook case is made of metal, with an aluminum top and a magnesium alloy bottom. Other options include GPS or 3G mobile broadband. HP also plans to start offering a new quick-start feature that will show information from your Outlook calendar while your computer is booting. You can either pause to view the calendar in more detail, or wait a moment to let it boot the full Windows 7 operating system at that point.’
HP will offer the Mini 5103 with Windows 7 Starter, Pro, or Home Premium, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, or FreeDOS.
Acer owns the Gateway, Packard Bell, and eMachines brands. So it should come as no surprise that shortly after introducing new Acer netbook models, we tend to see similar machines arrive under one or more of these brand names. Latest case in point? The new Packard Bell Dot SE, which appears to be awfully similar to the recently launched Acer Aspire One D255.
Netbook News.de spotted a listing for the new Packard Bell Dot SE.CH/001 at Alltron. Like it’s Acer-branded sibling, this new model featurs a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display and a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core CPU.
The netbook also has 1GB of DDR2 memory, a 250GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter Edition. The 6 cell battery is said to be good for up to 7.5 hours of run time, and the netbook weighs about 2.8 pounds.
The Packard Bell Dot SE is available in Europe for about 400 Euros, or roughly $505 US. I don’t expect to see this model in the US anytime soon.