MSIâ€™s third generation Mega PC was also on display. The latest Mega PC comes in three flavours â€“ The Mega PC 865 Enhanced is an Intel Pentium 4 solution based on the I865G chipset, while the Mega PC 800-K is an Athlon 64 platform based on the VIA K8M800 chipset. Finally the Mega PC 350 is also an Intel Pentium 4 solution, but this time based on the ATi Radeon 9100 Pro IGP chipset.
All three new Mega PCs finally incorporate the feature that weâ€™ve all been waiting for â€“ instant-on playback. This means that you can playback DVD movies, as well as audio and video on the hard disk without the need to boot up Windows. Thereâ€™s also an optional 802.11g WiFi adapter that makes the Mega PC an even more compelling media PC platform.
A range of Mega Book notebooks were also on display. I was most taken with the Mega Book S250 which looked suspiciously like an iBook. The S250 comes in both Celeron and Pentium M flavours and has a 12.1in WXGA screen. Thereâ€™s integrated 802.11g WiFi support as well as a 3-in-1 memory card reader that accepts MMC, SD and MemoryStick media.
The Mega Book S250 definitely looks the part, and after having a short play with it on the MSI stand, it feels well built. MSI has promised me a sample in the next couple of months, so watch this space for a full review.
The latest MSI DVD writer was also on display. The DR12-A2 is a dual layer writer, so you can burn 8.5GB to a DVD+R DL disk. It will also burn single layer DVD+R media at 12-speed, which should give it a significant performance advantage over the current crop of eight-speed drives. That said, with other manufacturers showing off drives that will write DVD+R media at 16-speed, MSI needs to get this unit out sooner rather than later.
Finally, MSI was also showing off a new set of networking products. Most interesting was a broadband router with integrated 802.11g WiFi support and a built-in print server. A device like this could be very useful for the SoHo environment, or even a home environment where there is more than one PC and a shared printer.