Last week, MSI officially announced the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid (we caught a glimpse of it back in November of last year). No surprises, we knew that MSI would be talking about it leading up to CES this week (and during CES). With few platform changes in the immediate future, it falls upon netbook makers to offer new features with existing lines, and the U115 definitely fits the bill in that aspect.
What makes the U115 unique is it features two methods of long-term storage. It features both a conventional/mechanical hard drive, as well as a Solid State Drive (SSD). You have a 120GB or 160GB 2.5″ Serial ATA (SATA) HDD, along with an 8GB or 16GB SSD (depending on model). It can access both simultaneously. The HDD is used for offloading programs and data while the SSD contains the operating system (Windows XP Home).
Given that most of the commonly accessed files will probably be located on the SSD, it should provide some advantages when it comes to battery life.
There is also a special “ECO on Mode” that actually disconnects the HDD system, so that you are only running off of the SSD (makes the U115 more shock/drop resistant as well as efficient).
Along with the hybrid system, comes a move towards Intel’s Menlow platform – combining a 1.6GHz Intel Atom along with Intel’s Poulsbo US15W chipset and GMA 500 graphics. The GMA 500 graphics are based on a PowerVR SGX core. That should also boost the battery quite a bit, but we won’t know until they are out in the wild.
Read: MSI Press Release
Thanks to Tim for the heads-up.