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MSI announces new higher-end Wind Top all-in-one

MSI's new Wind Top AE2420 offers performance-oriented components.

We don't expect MSI will be the last vendor to offer an all-in-one with Intel's new Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs, but it seems to be the first. Starting at $1,199 when it goes on sale in the second quarter of 2010, the MSI Wind Top AE2420 will let you configure a variety of Intel's new processors, along with other higher-end components. This approach is something of a surprise from a vendor we normally associate with budget-priced Nettops.

New Wind Top AE2420 all-in-one focuses on performance. MSI

Other highlights of the Wind Top AE2420 include a 23.6-inch, 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution display, optional multitouch support complete with new touch programs, Blu-ray and TV tuner options, ATI's Radeon HD 5000-series graphics chips, and an HDMI input to output external video sources to the AE2420's display.

MSI hasn't finalized the pricing for the top-end configuration yet, but expects to stay below $1,999, ideally in the $1,599-to-$1,699 range. Even with the Wind Top's new features, a 24-inch all-in-one must watch its value proposition carefully next to Apple's $1,699 27-inch iMac. With a fast Core i5 CPU, Blu-ray, and a powerful enough Radeon HD 5000 3D chip, we might be willing to settle for 24-inches at $1,600 or so. MSI's baseline $1,199 spec, which retains the 23.6-inch display, will present a bigger value challenge to Apple given that its $1,199 iMac has only a 21.5-inch screen. We expect the all-in-one screen size fight will rage mightily this year, so expect lots of comparisons like this as new all-in-ones ship throughout 2010.