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MSI Focuses on Unwiring Your World

Early in the show, we told you about MSI’s brazen attempt to knock off all that Apple says that is special about their MacBook Air. Although MSI’s X320 Slim Netbook stole the show during CES Unveiled, the company had other things that they hoped would pique your interest as well.

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Netbooks and notebooks are meant to be unwired, giving you complete freedom from the desk. Unfortunately, you still need to find yourself a WiFi connection to truly take advantage of this gift. MSI’s focus at this show seems to be in trying to find ways to make this happen. Their latest product, the U120 series takes wireless a couple steps further than the WiFi you find at the Coffee Shop.

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With data prices starting to become more reasonable, users now have the option to use their netbooks and notebooks tethered to their cellphones. MSI is capitalizing on this trend by integrating 3.5G HSPDA support into their U120 series netbooks. All that is required is a SIM card and voila! Yep, that means you’re currently out of luck if you have that creepy guy following you around with his CDMA “Network”.┬áThis should hopefully reduce your need to drive around town hunting for an open WiFi hotspot, provided there is service in your area and you’re on a GSM network.

Spec wise, the U120H as it is called comes with a new LED backlight which saves power, but they still cripple it with only a 3 Cell battery like the MSI Wind U100. HSPDA is only going to suck more power and it makes no sense to include the smallest battery. Hopefully this is just a preliminary spec. Other specs include 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive and a 1.6GHz ATOM processor.

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MSI was also showing off a fully functional WiMAX enabled U120 on the floor. MSI claims to be the first to do this with a netbook and they are committed to rolling this technology out to future products. With WiMAX service rolling out slowly but steadily, it will only be a matter of time till we no longer have to drink burnt coffee just to check our email. Let’s just hope they put a bigger battery in this one so we don’t have to return to said burnt coffee shop to borrow an outlet.

Always Bringing Something New to the Table

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Sure, you could find notebooks that are a little more affordable, come in more colors, or shave a couple of millimeters off their profiles, but these are just more of the same. The notebooks and netbooks described in this article really do bring significant innovation to the table, encouraging us to consider things that are a little different. A dual-screen laptop? Are you kidding me?

Personally, I’m getting pretty excited about the prospect of an affordable netbook-style tablet PC. Everyone is in love with touchscreens on their smartphones, but wait until they get to enjoy that kind of interface on a fully functional PC too. Definitely stay tuned as we roll out all the things we found at CES 2009. More pictures of these products can be found in the photo gallery on the next page.

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