PDA

View Full Version : MSI introduces their MBA competitor -- MSI X-Slim 320




glitch44
Jan 5, 2009, 11:58 PM
From the translated Engadget China article: (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fchinese.engadget.com%2F2009%2F01%2F05%2Fmsi-ces-2009-brief-and-x-slim-320-show-off-05%2F&sl=zh-CN&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8)

Model: X-Slim 320
Processor: Intel's Menlow platform, Z530, clock 1.6GHz, TDP for 3W
Size: 13.4-inch, LED backlight, 1366 × 768
Chipset: Intel Poulsbo US15W
Memory: 2GB DDR2
Hard Disk: 2.5-inch HDD, no SSD planned
Wireless: 802.11 a / b / g / n, Bluetooth and 3.5G
Ports: USB × 3, ExpressCard × 1
Battery: pre-loaded 4Cell, 8 Cell is said have 10 hours battery life
Weight: 1.3 kg
possible price: $800

http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/2972/msi09010501nx4.jpg

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/1482/msi09010503oi4.jpg

http://img389.imageshack.us/img389/1210/msi09010504vb3.jpg

http://img56.imageshack.us/img56/2542/msi09010506wf2.jpg



tubbymac
Jan 6, 2009, 12:15 AM
The cellular connection is neat, weight is nice, and the specs are better than a netbook.

But that blue VGA port sticking out the side is nasty looking and the keyboard looks atrocious.

A good keyboard is very important on a portable machine. This is one thing Macbook Airs, Thinkpads, and Sony Vaios get right while other companies completely get wrong.

goldfronts
Jan 6, 2009, 12:15 AM
Eh.. I'm not sure how I feel about it

gotzero
Jan 6, 2009, 12:27 AM
I would like to see a pic with the 8-cell. Regardless, it is great to see more entries in this category.

.Andy
Jan 6, 2009, 12:29 AM
I think it looks lovely but I'm certainly not down with the VGA port.

SnowLeopard2008
Jan 6, 2009, 01:08 AM
Simply put, this is how a cheap version of a MBA would look like.

gotzero
Jan 6, 2009, 01:11 AM
I think it looks lovely but I'm certainly not down with the VGA port.


I would certainly trade my micro-DVI for two more USB ports and an ExpressCard...

kastenbrust
Jan 6, 2009, 01:18 AM
did MSI hire 'pimp my laptop' to design that?

tubbymac
Jan 6, 2009, 01:20 AM
Simply put, this is how a cheap version of a MBA would look like.

Could be a glass half empty/full thing, but I see this not as a cheap MBA but as an expensive netbook.

The atom chip it uses paired with the terrible Intel integrated graphics on the MSI prevent it from properly decoding 1080p HD video without stuttering and dropping frames. That's how underpowered the performance is compared to an MBA which is in a different league.

shokunin
Jan 6, 2009, 01:21 AM
$800 for a netbook with an single core Atom processor? For me that seems pricey compared to $1149 for a Rev A Air. People complained about the power on a 1.6ghz Core 2 Duo rev A MBA, the MSI Wind I had could not even handle Nickjr.com for my kids. CPU pegged 100% due to too much Flash content.

SkyBell
Jan 6, 2009, 01:24 AM
I'd buy one, it looks good.

tubbymac
Jan 6, 2009, 01:29 AM
did MSI hire 'pimp my laptop' to design that?

I'm not sure we can even use the word design for that without insulting designers in general. A true designer would have some taste and would have at least colored that VGA port white or grey to match the rest of the netbook.

The "real" competitor for the MBA doesn't get unveiled until Jan 9th. It's called the Dell Adamo and I'm gonna watch out for it but not getting my hopes up. Chances are Dell is gonna screw it up somehow with an ugly VGA port crammed in too or some other tasteless excessiveness :)

gotzero
Jan 6, 2009, 02:14 AM
...at least colored that VGA port white or grey to match the rest of the netbook.

The "real" competitor for the MBA doesn't get unveiled until Jan 9th. It's called the Dell Adamo and I'm gonna watch out for it but not getting my hopes up. Chances are Dell is gonna screw it up somehow with an ugly VGA port crammed in too or some other tasteless excessiveness :)

VGA ports are almost always blue. This is conventional color for the port.

I assume that the "Adamo" will contain similar if not weaker specs than the MBA, but I suppose we will see. I would not be surprised if it had a VGA port. It is pretty common on PCs. I would not hold out for the proprietary mini-DP.

tubbymac
Jan 6, 2009, 02:36 AM
VGA ports are almost always blue. This is conventional color for the port.

Yeah I know, and that's exactly my point :) It's a subtle detail, but if you look at, say, the VGA adapters that Apple sells, you'll notice that they aren't blue. Apple colors them white or grey because a designer with taste actually designed them to match the machines they are paired with.

Another small detail many people aren't aware of is the USB connector in the USB ports on Apple machines is colored white. This is because again a designer worried about that detail to make the machine more attractive. Look at pretty much any other machine and you'll notice the USB connector is black, the ugly default color from the USB reference spec.

gjw4u
Jan 6, 2009, 02:37 AM
Did someone forget the Mini DisplayPort? VGA does seem a bit clunky for such a small device.

UltraNEO*
Jan 6, 2009, 02:40 AM
It'll never beat the elegance of the MacBook Air! Not even if they copied it spec for spec. For one very simple reason...

The MacBook Air runs MacOSX natively!! :p

though I do like the white finish!!

gotzero
Jan 6, 2009, 02:53 AM
Did someone forget the Mini DisplayPort? VGA does seem a bit clunky for such a small device.

Despite what Apple says, the Mini-DP is a proprietary standard, and I would be surprised to see it on any competing laptops or displays in the coming months. The $900 24" ACD is hilariously expensive to most people, and even if other notebooks came with the mini-DP output, I doubt many of those buyers would choose the $900 Apple monitor.

Since the mini-DP so far works with only one display, why would anyone adopt the port?


Yeah I know, and that's exactly my point :) It's a subtle detail, but if you look at, say, the VGA adapters that Apple sells, you'll notice that they aren't blue. Apple colors them white or grey because a designer with taste actually designed them to match the machines they are paired with.

Another small detail many people aren't aware of is the USB connector in the USB ports on Apple machines is colored white. This is because again a designer worried about that detail to make the machine more attractive. Look at pretty much any other machine and you'll notice the USB connector is black, the ugly default color from the USB reference spec.

I guess you can look at this multiple ways. If you are hanging upside down looking at the back of a rack, you would sure love all of the ports to be colored the conventional way. You are correct that the Macs mostly have body-colored ports, but I remain unconvinced that is entirely a good thing.

Sometimes, Apple's playing with standards can be a PITA, like when they over-specced the MBA's USB port to make the add-on superdrive useless with any other Mac.


Everyone seems to talk about Apple's design, but how many of you would not give an extra 10th of inch and half a pound to have a laptop with significantly longer battery life? The Apple design does come at a price (literally and figuratively, and it is worth it to remember). If I could fatten up my MBA to have the same features but longer life, I would take the trade-off in a second. The Atom netbooks with full-size batteries have very impressive battery life, something worth considering if you are focusing primarily on basic tasks with an MBA. Legality aside, if you are an enthusiast, OSX is less and less of a hurdle to adopt on the platform of your choice.

darngooddesign
Jan 6, 2009, 09:25 AM
It'll never beat the elegance of the MacBook Air! Not even if they copied it spec for spec. For one very simple reason...

The MacBook Air runs MacOSX natively!!

MSI Wind's are the easiest of the netbooks to get OSX running on. The blue VGA wouldn't look as bad if the bottom case covered the edges of the ports like they do on the Wind. That, rather than the VGA color, is what makes the MSI's sides unattractive.


how many of you would not give an extra 10th of inch and half a pound to have a laptop with significantly longer battery life?

You could also just buy an external battery:
http://www.macnn.com/articles/08/11/11/quickertek.macbook.battery/

Dr_Maybe
Jan 6, 2009, 10:11 AM
MBA competitor? MBA imitation rather.

alphaod
Jan 6, 2009, 10:44 AM
MBA competitor? MBA imitation rather.

So it's not a competitor then? That's rather flawed logic…

Once you get down to it; if they want to make it look slim, they have to taper the edges and when you do that, it will look like the MBA.

weckart
Jan 6, 2009, 11:04 AM
I'd say the VGA socket is less of an eyesore than Apple's mismatching black/white keycaps on its latest slew of notebooks and keyboards. I'm also loving the translated comments on the original Chinese article linked - especially how the seventh comment somehow managed to work in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Poulsbo chip is light on energy consumption but also grunt, so I would expect performance to be below that of current netbooks. I would also like to see how large the eight cell battery is.

TinyHulk
Jan 6, 2009, 11:11 AM
MBA competitor? MBA imitation rather.

Vouch :cool:

madmaxmedia
Jan 6, 2009, 12:42 PM
Having tried out OS X on a MSI Wind and been very impressed with the overall package, this looks very interesting to me. It's certainly not powerful enough to be my only computer, but then again I wouldn't want a MBA as my sole computer either (GPU, no Firewire).

I think both machines can fulfill similar purposes, though of course at very different price points (and different performance levels of course.) The MSI GPU is inferior, but keep in mind it is the same Intel 950 that came in the original $1099 MacBook- it runs OS X very well.

If I could spend well over $1K on a second machine, by all means I would buy an MBA. But I can't, so would be much more likely to buy a MSI netbook and install OS X on it. The other poster did mention first generation MBA secondhand, that could also be a very good deal as prices slowly drop in the coming months.

darngooddesign
Jan 6, 2009, 01:29 PM
So it's not a competitor then? That's rather flawed logic…

If the only criteria is size and eight then yes its a competitior, but if you factor in screen quality, build quality, power, gpu, etc then no its not.

RaMaz07
Jan 6, 2009, 06:16 PM
Simply put, this is how a cheap version of a MBA would look like.


agreed. It's nice. PC version of the MBA. Only thing i don't like is that Ugly VGA port. I don't mind it sticking out like that. But they should of made it a DVI port. The White would have looked so much better.

But can it run crysis? :confused:

andreab35
Jan 6, 2009, 06:33 PM
Ehhh, I like my Air better. :D

neiltc13
Jan 6, 2009, 07:45 PM
agreed. It's nice. PC version of the MBA. Only thing i don't like is that Ugly VGA port. I don't mind it sticking out like that. But they should of made it a DVI port. The White would have looked so much better.

But can it run crysis? :confused:

I don't think the VGA port is as ugly as a giant adapter drooping out of the port like you have on MBA.

Eidorian
Jan 6, 2009, 07:47 PM
I'd rather have an AMD one. They're already launching a more well rounded platform.

I don't think the VGA port is as ugly as a giant adapter drooping out of the port like you have on MBA.Truth! I hate those little Mini adapters. I wish they used DisplayPort instead. VGA is a relic with LCDs today.

RaMaz07
Jan 6, 2009, 07:49 PM
I don't think the VGA port is as ugly as a giant adapter drooping out of the port like you have on MBA.

At least the adapter has class and matches the machine :p :cool: :D

Eidorian
Jan 6, 2009, 07:51 PM
At least the adapter has class and matches the machine :p :cool: :DIt does match but who wants to carry every adapter for every other display technology?

tubbymac
Jan 6, 2009, 09:19 PM
If you consider that the MBA's competition then I argue it's no contest.

Think about it this way. That thing is at least $800. The refurbished rev A Macbook Airs are going for $999. For about $200 more you get a machine with better performance, aluminum versus cheap plastic, OSX versus XP, real software like Garageband versus crapware and trialware, a beautiful backlit keyboard versus a junk crammed keyboard, and multitouch versus a cramped and smaller trackpad. And you get something that looks like some real design and thought has been put into it instead of just cramming industry standard parts together.

http://images.apple.com/macbookair/images/design_gal05_20080115.jpg