MSI Wind mini-desktop with Intel's Atom to debut in July

MSI will start selling the Wind mini-desktop in Asia and Europe in July.

A business version of Micro-Star International's (MSI) Wind mini-desktop PC should be available in Asia and Europe in July, as products are already in mass production, a company representative said Monday.

The small desktops are designed with laptop PCs in mind and even carry the same 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessors as many of the mini-laptops coming out these days. MSI hopes businesses like the Wind desktops for their small size, low power consumption and quiet running since they require no fan for cooling.

They also use the same 65-watt AC adapters made for laptops. The desktop runs full speed at only 35-watts, compared to 250-watts for a traditional PC.

Specs on the mini-desktop are also similar to MSI's Wind mini-laptop. The desktop uses Microsoft's XP OS and comes with 1G byte of DRAM and can be upgraded to 2G bytes. It also carries a 3.5-inch HDDs (hard disc drives) with up to 160G bytes of storage and has Wi-Fi 802.11b/g wireless Internet connectivity built in.

A major difference is they come with DVD drives on board.

The barebones versions of these mini-desktops will cost around US$199, while mini-desktops with fully loaded features, including the maximum amount of DRAM and big HDDs will cost around $299, the representative said.

MSI's Wind desktop is three times smaller than a traditional PC chassis, just 300 millimetres by 260mm by 65mm. It comes in a variety of colors, including black and white.

Mass production on a consumer version of the Wind desktop won't begin until August.

The Wind mini-desktop takes a page out of rival Asustek Computer's book. Last month, Asustek revealed the Eee Box, a mini-desktop PC that has an Atom microprocessor, will come with either a Linux or Windows XP OS, and will begin selling in July for around US$300. The machine takes its name from the popular mini-laptop, Eee PC, by Asustek.

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