If you’ve been looking for the 10-inch MSI Wind U100 with the extended 6-cell battery, you may have noticed that the few retailers carrying it (at least for pre-order) are showing prices ranging from $549.99 on up to $599.99.
That’s quite a bit more than what MSI had originally planned on, which was around $499 (which is now the standard for the 3-cell battery version). In fact, it pushes it up to around the Asus Eee PC 1000H and it gets way too close to the low-end mainstream laptops in the 13.3-inch category (remember, you’ll soon be able to buy the 13.3″ Dell Inspiron 13 for a starting price of $699 at your local Wal-Mart).
Now the U100 is very popular, make no mistake – it’s got a nice design and layout, it handles up to 2GB of memory (although as far as we know, upgrading the memory voids the warranty, but we are still waiting to hear if MSI has changed this), and because it handles a normal 2.5″ SATA harddrive, some have upgraded the stock 80GB HDD to a 320GB HDD. It’s still a little disconcerting.
LAPTOP Magazine is reporting on the reasons for the increase, with a statement from an MSI representative: We finally heard from an MSI rep who tells us that â€œSince the cost of the battery and materials raise (sp), we had no choice but adjust the MSRP to $499.99 with 3-cell battery and $549.99 with 6-cell.â€.
It makes me wonder though – Even though it’s 8.9-inches, the currently shipping Acer Aspire One can be found online for around $375 to $400 with the 120GB version for under $425 (albeit probably with a 3-cell battery, but it still has plenty of harddrive space). The similar version of the Eee PC 901 costs quite a bit more.
Something has got to give, and with the Dell Mini Inspiron or Inspiron Mini or whatever it’s being called just around the corner, I would image that quite a few companies are going to have to drop the prices on the 10″ and 8.9″ models.
Read: LAPTOP Magazine