MSI releases new Wind netbooks with Intel Pine Trail platform

New platform to provide better battery life and performance for Wind netbooks

Intel’s Atom N450 processor (otherwise known as Intel’s Pine Trail platform) makes its debut in MSI’s latest Wind netbook offering. The MSI Wind U130 and the MSI Wind Special Edition Millions U135 will feature the new CPU platform, which has a graphics and memory controller built in. A second chip controls the three USB 2.0 ports, HD audio and Serial ATA port.

This gives the new Wind netbooks a total of two chips, instead of three for the previous Intel Atom platform (otherwise known as Diamondville), which had the CPU separate from the graphics and memory controller chip, and a third chip for the USB, audio and storage ports. The Atom N450 will run at 1.66GHz, have a built-in Intel GMA 3150 graphics controller and support up to 2GB of DDR2 memory. The USB and Serial ATA controller is called NM10 (otherwise known as Intel’s Tiger Point).

The advantages of the new platform will be lower power consumption (5.5W) and less heat generation; both the N450 and the NM10 will be manufactured using 45nm transistors. MSI claims a boost of 15 per cent in the Wind’s battery life using the N450, and both the U130 and U135 will be available with either 3-cell or 6-cell batteries. The power consumption can be managed using MSI’s ECO Engine, which gives the user access to five power profiles ranging from battery mode to gaming mode.

MSI also says that the new CPU will deliver 10 per cent more speed compared to the previous Intel Atom N280 CPU running at 1.66GHz. The new platform has the ability to run without a fan, but the new Wind models will have active cooling.

The Wind U130 and U135 Special Edition Millions U135 will have a wider touchpad than the previous Wind netbook (up to 20 per cent larger), and a chiclet-style keyboard. Both will have a scratch-resistant film print on their lid. The U135 will showcase a woven pattern, while the U130 will be available in different colours. Both the U135 and U130 will have a 10in screen with a native resolution of 1024x600 and will weigh 1.3kg with a 3-cell battery.

The netbooks will ship with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed and will feature a webcam, 802.11n wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, an SD card reader, a 160GB or 250GB 2.5in hard drive and 2GB of RAM (via one memory slot).

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Elias Plastiras
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