Is one of the most common netbook dilemmas about to be solved?
Yep, it's the 'get an SSD or get an HDD?' question and MSI has come up with an innovative answer: BOTH! In officially announcing the 'U115 Hybrid' this week the company claims to have created a netbook which it believes will give users the best of both worlds - or battery life that is "super long" (yet unspecified), to use its own curious phrasing.
In essence how this works is simple. An 'ECO' mode enables users to switch off the HDD altogether and run on the more power efficient SSD when necessary. This can then be turned back on seamlessly when required. On the other hand, I have to question whether running both an SSD and an HDD in the first place isn't going to suck battery life more than usual - especially with MSI sticking to a piffling three cell battery?! We'll wait for our own tests before I completely damn it though.
Elsewhere the U115 Hybrid is pretty standard. The keyboard has had a re-jig to slightly increase the space between the keys and the finish on the touchpad has been improved but otherwise there's an Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, a 10in 1024 x 600 LCD, 2MP webcam, card reader, 3x USB 2.0 slots, WiFi and a 1Kg weight. Wireless n and Bluetooth v2.0 with EDR are optional extras as is the choice to boost the standard 8GB SSD and 120GB HDD to a 16GB SSD and 160GB HDD respectively.
Convinced? No, me neither but no doubt we won't have to wait long to get our hands on one to find out for sure. Besides, my early impressions of the Nintendo Revolution (still a far better name than 'Wii') have convinced me it is possible to be wrong...
...at least once every few years.
Press Release (with a surprising amount of dodgy English)