MSI Wind Mini-desktop With Intel's Atom to Debut in July

A business version of Micro-Star International's (MSI) Wind mini-desktop PC should be available in Asia and Europe in July, as products are already in mass production, a company representative said Monday.

MSI announced the Wind mini-desktop early this month at the Computex computer show in Taipei. Most of the buzz has been about its Wind mini-laptop, but the company was quick to follow rival Asustek Computer into the desktop segment with a mini-desktop. Asustek announced the Eee Box mini-desktop at the end of May, just before Computex.

A consumer version of MSI's Wind mini-desktop won't be in mass production until August, putting its shipping date at around September.

The Wind mini-desktop is designed with parts from mini-laptop PCs. They even carry the same 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessors as many of the mini-laptops coming out these days. MSI hopes businesses like the Wind desktops for their small size, low power consumption and quiet running since they require no fan for cooling.

They also use the same 65-watt AC adapters made for laptops. The desktop runs full speed at only 35 watts, compared to 250 watts for a traditional PC.

Specs on the mini-desktop are also similar to the Wind mini-laptop. The desktop uses Microsoft's XP OS and comes with 1G byte of DRAM and can be upgraded to 2G bytes. It also carries a 3.5-inch HDD (hard disc drives) with up to 160G bytes of storage and has Wi-Fi 802.11b/g wireless Internet connectivity built in.

A major difference is they come with DVD drives on board.

The barebones versions of these mini-desktops will cost around US$199, while mini-desktops with fully loaded features, including the maximum amount of DRAM and big HDDs will cost around $299, the representative said.

MSI's Wind desktop is three times smaller than a traditional PC chassis, just 300 millimeters by 260mm by 65mm. It comes in a variety of colors, including black and white.

Last month, Asustek revealed the Eee Box, a mini-desktop PC that has an Atom microprocessor, will come with either a Linux or Windows XP OS, and will begin selling in July for around US$300. The machine takes its name from the popular mini-laptop, Eee PC, by Asustek.

The Wind mini-desktop won't be sold in the U.S., an MSI representative said.

But people in the U.S. interested in the Wind mini-laptop can buy a Windows XP version of the device online at www.msimobile.com. The laptop sells for around $499. A Wind mini-laptop with a Linux OS will be available in July for around $399.

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