The nettop market is heating up as MSI and Asus get ready to launch new all-in-one nettops with touchscreen displays.
After successfully saturating the notebook market with netbooks, Asus and MSI are now setting their sights on the all-in-one nettop market. Featuring an Intel Atom processor and integrated display, the new systems offer a simplistic design that is reminiscent of the Apple iMac, although for a considerably lower price.
The new Asus nettops will be selling under the Eee Top brand name and are expected to launch this Thursday. Already two Eee Top models have appeared on the Asus website, both of which flaunt a touch-sensitive screen and touch-optimized software. Apparently the touch screen allows users can scribbling out memos, easily access commonly-used applications, surf the Net, draw custom emotions during instant messaging conversations and more.
Both Eee Top models come with a 15.6” 16:9 LCD display, an Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz single-core processor, 1 GB of DDR2 memory and a 160 GB 5400 RPM hard drive. Also included is a 1.3-megapixel webcam, an array mic, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, 4 W speakers, a card reader and what appears to be an embedded battery in one of two Eee Top models. Asus is advertising the Eee Top as being mobile friendly, so maybe the battery is there to allow a user to move from a desk to a couch seamlessly while watching a movie or while surfing the Internet.
Other than an embedded battery, the Eee Top ET1603 (opens in new tab) model also includes an ATI Radeon HD 3450 discrete graphics card, while the Eee Top ET1602 (opens in new tab) model sticks with the slower integrated graphics. Both models come with Windows XP Home, weigh 4.3 to 4.4 kg each and are expected to launch this Thursday.
As for MSI, its new nettops have been revealed at a pre-launch event this week, but unlike the Asus Eee Top, MSI will not ship its nettops until at least January. These nettops will be going under the brand name MSI Wind Neton and will be offered with screen sizes of 15.6-, 18.5- and 22-inches.
The MSI Wind Neton will offer a single- or dual-core Intel Atom processor, Microsoft Windows XP or Vista, an optional touch-screen and an optional TV card. The 15.6-inch Neton M16 and the 18.5-inch Neton M19 will have a screen resolution of 1366 by 768, with the M16 going for $400 in February and the M19 going for $500 in January. The 22-inch Neton M22 will have a full-HD 1920 by 1080 resolution screen, optional Blu-ray, an optional remote and will be going for $799 in March.