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MSI X-Slim 320 and U115: Hearts go boom

Always wanted a MacBook Air but can't afford one? You'll be delighted to hear MSI is all set to unleash a MacBook look-a-like

If there's one product category that exploded this last year it was netbooks. Gone are the days of expensive compact laptops: now almost everyone can afford a titchy computer that won't weigh you down when you're trundling across town.

MSI has been quick to get involved with the netbook phenomenon and last year made a real peach in the form of the MSI Wind. We were rather partial to the Wind, which is why we're excited to see that MSI is announcing a raft of new ultraportables over at CES 2009.

Among the mass of new products MSI is unveiling in Vegas, two stand out in particular. First up is the MSI X-Slim 320 (pictured left), which looks a little like a MacBook Air and boasts a 13.4-inch screen -- bigger than a typical netbook -- but it only measures 20mm thick and weighs a measly 1.3kg, putting it firmly in the ultraportable category.

According to MSI, the X-Slim 320 will have up to 10 hours of battery life and come in a variety of colours, including champagne gold, pearl white and jet black. Dates and pricing for the X-Slim 320 have yet to be released, but we assume it will be available in a few months.

Next up is the MSI U115 (pictured right) -- the world's first dual hard-disk netbook, featuring a built-in SSD and HDD, which means you theoretically get the best of both worlds. SSD, for example, offers a fast way of accessing data, while HDD gives you more storage space.

If you switch the U115 to 'eco' mode, battery life can last up to 12 hours. Again, dates and pricing have yet to be announced, but we assume it will be out in the next few months. Keep reading Crave over the next week for further CES coverage.