MSI put out a vague news release today that details some, but not all, of the specifications of its upcoming and unfortunately named Wind mininotebook. At the top of the release, it states the 10-inch notebook will "feature the new Intel Processor," but it fails to explain what that processor might be. An Intel Atom processor is a safe bet; the chips are expected to be released this summer.
The only mention of pricing in the release states that MSI Wind configurations will start at less than $500 in early June. The MSI Wind is available, however, for preorder at Expansys, which lists a $560 price for a Linux-based model and a $605 price for a Windows model (and a ship date of June 24--decidedly late June). Expansys lists the processor as a 1.6GHz Intel processor. I'd hazard a guess that the Wind will use the 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 chip. Available colors for the models on Expansys are white, black, and pink.
The MSI Wind news release does reveal that there will be two configurations, one based on Novell Linux and another based on Windows XP Home. Both models will feature a 10-inch, LED-backlit screen with a 1024x600-pixel resolution, the Intel 945GMS chipset, and an 80GB hard drive. Common features also include three USB ports, a card reader, an integrated Webcam, and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
The Linux version serves up 512MB of RAM and a three-cell battery, which MSI estimates will run for 2.5 hours. The Windows version doubles the memory to 1GB and the battery to a six-cell unit, which it equates to 5.5 hours of running time. The Windows version also adds Bluetooth. With its smaller battery, the Linux-based MSI Wind weighs 2.3 pounds to the Windows version's 2.6-pound weight.
Asus offers the both versions of its Eee PC 900 at the same $549 price, but it supplies a larger hard drive in the Linux version--your bonus for skipping the fee for the Windows license. MSI is taking a different approach, outfitting the Windows version with better specifications and more features, which means the sub-$500 price it quotes will almost certainly apply to only the Linux model.
Perhaps the most interesting detail included in the release was how MSI arrived at the Wind moniker. Wind = Wi-Fi Network Device.