MSI To Release X340 With Intel CULV Processors in April
At CES last month, MSI revealed its ultraslim, MacBook-Air-reminiscent X320. According to MSI, the company is on track to release the 13.4-inch laptop with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 in April. In addition to the X320, MSI will release the x340 in April which will have the same slim chassis but will be powered by Intel’s new Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) line of processors. “At launch you will see [the x340 with] two specs. They are both using Intel’s Consumer ULV CPUs. One is the CULV Intel Celeron M 725 and the second one will be the Core 2 Solo SU3500,” MSI’s Director of U.S. Sales Andy Tung told LAPTOP. According to Tung, the Intel Celeron M 723 processor will have a clock speed of 1.2GHz and have 1MB L2Cache while the Intel CULV Core 2 Solo SU3500 runs at 1.4GHz and has 3MB of L2Cache. Later in May, MSI will offer the X340 with two additional CULV processor options: the 1.3GHz Core 2 Solo SU2700 (2 MB L2 Cache) and the Core 2 Solo SU9600 (clock speed unknown). Our interview with MSI marks the first time we’ve gotten names or model numbers of Intel CULV processors. We were unable to find additional details on these CPUs online and are awaiting comment from Intel. “The pricing is a little bit touchy right now,” says Tung. “We expect the x340 to start at $750. That will be one of the ones using a lower end CULV processor. We expect it to go up to $999.” Tung expects the Atom based X320 to be priced around $700. “We expect to be one of the first with the CULV solutions. We tried to put the Montevina solution into this form factor, but there were potential thermal issues and battery life concerns,” Tung described. According to Tung, the CULV processors will be paired with GS40 or GS45 chipsets. The CULV platform will out preform Intel’s Atom solution but the power consumption will be greater as well. “To have the best battery life on this product the Z530 is the only choice, but the CULV platform will provide better performance,” Tung says. The x320 and the x340 are expected to ship in the second half of April and both will be sold here in the U.S. MSI also has plans to expand the X Series into larger form factors and has plans for an x600 with a 15.6 inch, 16:9 aspect ratio display.