CES 2009: MSI Makes MacBook Air Netbook

Copies look, slashes price tag.

There’s a well know saying that imitation is the greatest form of flattery…

Well, what you see here is the (s)Macbook Air(/s) MSI X320 a model with remarkable outer similarities to Apple’s skinniest notebook to date. That said, look closer and their separated-at-birth looks are about the only things that tie the two since the X320 is actually a netbook, not a notebook and carries a vastly reduced price tag (in the region of $799 to $899 it was suggested).

Consequently you’ll find Windows XP, an Atom CPU, 3x USB 2.0 ports, VGA out and a card reader plus a surprisingly large 13.4in 16:9 aspect ratio screen. It remains rather light at 1.3kg and comes with a four cell battery with an optional upgrade trading some of that slimness for a potential 10 hours of juice.

Which brings me nicely onto the company’s nine cell battery, a behemoth which MSI will make available on its Wind and SDD/HDD hybrid U115 (also announced at the show but something we picked up last week. MSI claims you’ll get up to ”10.5 hours” of continuous computing from this beast so presumably the X320 is also being offered with a nine cell as well – either that or this hybrid battery saving tech isn’t all it’s cracked up to be (10 vs 10.5 hours anyhow, anyone?!).

Still, MSI has certainly got its design chops in good order for 2009 and at prices we can live with – as long as they can fight off Apple’s lawyers…?

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