Noted Taiwanese netbook maker Micro-Star International (MSI) has officially taken the wraps off its U115 Hybrid ultra-portable computer, and while the specs pretty much heel to the rest of the burgeoning netbook industry, it does sport a capability like no other netbook: it packs both a solid-state drive and a traditional hard drive (and can access both at the same time), offering both the battery savings and mobile safety of an SSD along with the storage capacity of traditional hard drives.
The U115 Hybrid runs mainly off the SSD—so users are more immune to the bumps, shocks, and drops of their mobile lifestyle—but can set up file storage on the separate internal hard drive. The notebook also sports an “ECO on” mode that shuts down the hard disk for improved battery live and performance. Users can spin up the hard drive any time they need to retrieve files or media.
The U115 Hybrid features a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor, a 1,024 by 600 pixel LED-backlit LCD display, an optional 1.3 or 2 megapixel Webcam, three USB 2.0 ports, 802.11b/g/n or b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking, optional Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and a 4-in-1 media card reader. The systems pack 1 GB of RAM (upgradable to 2 GB), and will be available with 8 and 16 GB SSDs and 120 and 160 GB 2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives. MSI also says the keyboard has comparatively large key spacing for easier typing.
MSI hasn’t released any pricing or availability information, but we’d expect the U115 Hybrid to start landing at retailers in early 2009.