MSI Wind Is the EEE Laptop biggest Challenger

Although its unfortunate name is bound to be the source of many office jokes, the MSI Wind is certainly the strongest challenger to the near monopoly that the Asus EEE PC has on the ultra cheap, ultra portable laptop market.

At least one UK company, Expansys, is taking pre-orders on the MSI Wind, starting as from £319.95; in comparison, the next generation Asus EEE which is set to be launched in the UK soon will cost around £330.

Prices in the US will be substantially cheaper, starting at $500 according to some sources.

The MSI Wind though appears to have the upper hand when it comes to sheer value for money; the entry level UK version will have a 10-inch 1024x600 pixels LED screen and will be powered by by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Processor and an Intel chipset.

The laptop will also include 1GB memory, a 80GB traditional hard disk drive, WIreless LAN and a 1.3 megapixel webcam; both Linux and Windows XP Home options will be available.

And unlike the Asus EEE, the Wind did not compromise on the keyboard layout which is only 20 percent smaller than a normal version, a good compromise between a cramp PDA style keyboard and a full size QWERTY keyboard.

Battery life is expected to match the Asus EEE laptop at 2.5 hours and a beefier, 6-cell battery will offer up to 5 hours.