MSI Announces a Hybrid SSD/HDD Nettbook

MSI has just announced the MSI U115 Hybrid, which it claims is "very first notebook computer in the world that is capable of operating both SSD and HDD hard drives simultaneously." We're highly suspect of that claim, as we know of at least one notebook right off the bat that is currently selling with the option to use both SSD and standard hard drives simultaneously: the Dell XPS M1730 we did a Video Spotlight of back in July. MSI's U115 Hybrid is more of a netbook than a notebook, however, and as such it might be the first netbook to have both a standard hard drive and an SSD (although, we're sure one of our well-informed readers will correct us of this impression).

The MSI U115 Hybrid uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor, has 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (upgradable to 2GB), and has a 10-inch 1,024x600 display that uses an LED-powered backlight. Based on the specs listed in the MSI press release, it looks like there will be two versions of the netbook: One will come with an 8GB SSD and a 120GB standard hard drive; while the other version will come with a 16GB SSD and a 160GB standard hard drive. The SSD is meant to be the primary drive, housing the Windows XP operating system and applications. The standard hard drive is meant to be used for "file storage." The unit includes an "ECO on Mode," which shuts power down to the standard hard drive in order to save power. The press release states that the battery life of the MSI U115 Hybrid is "super long" no less than four times; although it never actually states what that means exactly (the battery has only three cells--although there is a six-cell battery option).

The MSI U115 Hybrid weighs 2.2 pounds and is 10.24-inches wide by 7.09-inches deep; at its thinnest point it is 0.75 thick, and 1.24-inches at its thickest section. It includes a 2-megapixel Webcam, a 4-in-1 media-card reader, and integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless networking (a Bluetooth module is optional). Ports include VGA, three USB 2.0, Ethernet, Mic-in, and headphones.

There is no word yet on availability or pricing, but the inclusion of an 8GB or 16GB SSD will be sure to bring the netbook's price up another $100 to $200. Unless the MSI U115 Hybrid delivers truly "super long" battery life, we're uncertain that the inclusion of both an SSD and traditional hard drive are going to be enough to attract users who are looking for a netbook, especially when the MSI U115 Hybrid will probably be more expensive than the competition.
Tags:  Netbook, SSD