MSI is set to launch its new Hybrid netbook, the U115, next May for just under £500 and comes with both a solid state and a traditional spinning hard drive.
The Taiwanese company, whose netbooks compete with the likes of Acer's Aspire and Asus EEE range, promises that the netbook will be able to run for a staggering continuous 12 hours. That compares with 2.5 hours you can expect from many other netbooks.
The U115 will ship with a 160GB Western Digital HDD and a "small" 8GB SSD which will act as the boot drive. The 160GB drive will only be used (and therefore consume power) when needed. The rest of the platform is pretty much standard. A 10-inch screen capable of displaying 1024x600 pixels, 1GB RAM, Windows XP and a 1.3-megapixel camera.
In terms of connectivity, the Wind comes with three USB ports, WiFi, Bluetooth and a card reader. The processor is a Z530 1.6GHz CPU and an US15W graphics chipset. The 1.5Kg laptop shares the same chassis as Advent's rather popular 4122c netbook.
The battery comes with a 6-battery cell and MSI says that the 12-hour battery life can only be achieved when users disabled the hard drive (which can be done with a simple keyboard shotcut), WiFi, Bluetooth, muting speakers and setting power saving mode to maximum. There's also a 9-cell version of the laptop as well plus a few other HDD/SSD combinations including a 32GB/160GB, a 16GB/120GB and 8GB/80GB.
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The U115 is expensive for what it offers. Granted that the hybrid storage system offers more storage capacity compared to traditional solutions but it costs £200 more than others. At that price, better get a bigger SSD (64GB for example) coupled with a bigger 9-cell battery.
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