MSI Wind U123 in Japan on April 11

MSI Wind U120 Akihabara is reporting that the MSI Wind U123 will be available in Japan on April 11 at a price of 49,800 yen ($507 USD). It was announced/mentioned earlier this month. It’s powered by the new 1.66GHz Intel Atom N280, the same CPU that powers the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, which is known for its longer battery life (although the 1000HE also has a high-capacity battery). It also comes with a six-cell battery as the standard option, but no mention of whether it’s a high-capacity battery or not.

The U123 will come in four colors – red, white, blue, and gray (originally it was going to be black instead of gray). 802.11a/b/n wireless networking plus Bluetooth 2.0 look to be a standard feature. There’s also a 1.3MP Webcam (it would be great if all netbooks/ultraportables came with at least 1.3MP) and MSI has included facial recognition software.

After criticism that other MSI Wind netbooks in the U12x series were not upgradeable as far as the memory, MSI makes a point on the 123’s website that you can upgrade it to 2GB of RAM. There is a bottom cover/hatch that allows for the memory upgrade.

No worth on a North American or European release.

MSI Japan (Translated – English)
Akihabara News
via SlashGear

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ZipZoomFly – Asus Eee PC 1000HE w/2GB RAM for $359.98

Asus Eee PC 1000HE ZipZoomFly is running a special from today through tomorrow night (11:59pm PST) on the 10.2″ Asus Eee PC 1000HE.

For $359.98 (and free shipping for most areas), you can get the 1000HE with 2GB of Corsair memory/RAM.

– High Capacity Battery
– Intel Atom N280 (1.66GHz)
– 160GB HDD
– Windows XP
– Black

ZipZoomFly Links:
ASUS Eee PC 1000HE 1.66GHz 10in 160GB HDD 1GB RAM Laptop Retail $339.99 with purchase of Corsair 2GB DDR2-667 Memory
Corsair 2GB DDR2-667 PC2-5300 Value Select SO-DIMM Memory Retail $19.99 with purchase of ASUS 1000HE netbook

Offer expires 3/28 11:59PM PST

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Asus Eee PC 1004DN (DVD Drive) in April, 1008HA in May

Asus Eee PC 1008HA
DigiTimes is reporting that retail sources are claiming that the Asus Eee PC 1004DN (or E1004DN) is going to be launched by Asustek sometime towards the middle of next month (April 2009).

It will be the first Eee PC to launch with an internal/built-in DVD drive (or Optical Disk Drive – ODD). It was announced back in January.

The 10.2″ ultraportable was originally thought to be shipping with an Intel Atom N270, but since then, a drop-in lower power upgrade, the N280, has become available. DigiTimes reports that the N280 will be coupled with an Intel GN40 chipset, along with a 120GB HDD, and a price of $531 – $590 USD. Availability in North America is unknown – initially it was thought that it wouldn’t be available outside of Asia and possible Europe.

The same sources report that the Eee PC 1008HA, aka the “Shell”, Asustek’s thinnest netbook, will be available sometime in May.

Read: DigiTimes

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Microsoft Talks Touch and Gestures in Windows 7

Windows 7 The Windows Touch Team at Microsoft has posted a very comprehensive look at touchscreen interfaces and interaction with Tablet PCs in regards to the upcoming . The post is their first on this subject, and it sounds like they will be discussing it much more in the upcoming weeks/months.

They plan on touch being a “ first-class way to interact with your PC alongside the mouse and keyboard“, instead of in the past, where it usually felt more like an add-on (or even an afterthought). They also plan on it not only being used to scroll through a web page or zoom in or out on a map or photo, but also finding its way into games.

They discuss how touch in Windows 7 has evolved and built upon the experience they’ve been gaining since the Tablet PC days of Windows XP. They also mention where they think touch is headed:

We think touch will become broadly available as the hardware evolves and while it might be the primary input for some form factors (such as a wall mounted display in a hospital, kiosk, or point of sale) it will also prove to richly augment many scenarios such as reading on a convertible laptop or a “kitchen PC”.

Among the gestures that will work with existing applications:
– Tap and drag
– Scroll
– Right-click
– Forward and back
– Zoom and rotate

There won’t be a totally seperate user interface/shell either – they are working on integrating it directly into Windows 7, with some of the UI elements being optimized for touch input (such as taskbar buttons, etc.).

It’s a very extensive article, and it’s pretty clear they are making touch a major focus of Windows 7.

Read: Engineering Windows 7

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Asus Eee PC 1002H Announced

Asus Eee PC 1002H We have yet another member of the Eee PC family. This time it’s the 10-inch Asus Eee PC 1002H and it’s powered by one of the new 1.66GHz Intel N280 Atom CPUs. It comes with a Lithium Polymer battery that Asustek claims will give it up to 5 hours of battery life. It will come in Pearl White, Pink, or Black.

From the specifications/features, it appears targeted towards the upper-end of netbook buyers and oriented towards businesses or video conferencing. Bluetooth 2.0+EDR plus 802.11n wireless appear to be a standard feature, along with a 1.3MP Webcam and a digital array microphone. If you are running Windows XP, it also features an “F9” System Recovery key function.

In addition to the wireless connectivity and the video conferencing options, as well as the F9 recovery mode (handy if you’re on the road), the feature that jumps out to me, as far as making this a product aimed at business users, is the Dr Eee application. The Dr Eee application allows you to launch applications and control slide presentations by voice command. That is something definitely oriented towards the business market.

– 10GB Online Eee Storage
– 1.3MP Web Camera
– F9 one-key system recovery option
– Multi-touch Gesture Inpu Touchpad
– Dr Eee software application for voice control
– Chiclet-style keyboard

It’s just over 1″ (27.6mm) thick and weighs just over 2.6 pounds (1.2kg).

No word on pricing or availability.

Thanks to Tim for sending the link

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