The netbooks are coming, the netbooks are coming!

With Intel's release of their Atom processors just around the corner, more inexpensive ultraportables are making their way to the market. CNet UK has a preview gallery of the MSI Wind netbook that, while a bit more expensive than competitors from HP and Asus, looks to be an outstanding entry, as well as one of the first to offer said Atom processors.

With Intel's release of their Atom processors just around the corner, more inexpensive ultraportables are making their way to the market. CNet UK has a preview gallery of the MSI Wind netbook that, while a bit more expensive than competitors from HP and Asus, looks to be an outstanding entry, as well as one of the first to offer said Atom processors. The latter detail hasn't been confirmed, but it looks pretty likely based on press information.

Exact details aside (like a 10" screen, highly usable keyboard, and an "overclocking button" that improves performance with a battery life penalty), it is very clear that both Intel's Atom release and Via's Nano release will mark a serious push in this market. According to the CNet preview,

This could be the best mini laptop so far -- it's comfortable to use, has a good display, is super-affordable and promises great performance

Press coverage of the Via OpenBook reference design has been positive as well. Engadget noted,

“we're quite impressed that VIA's crammed as much inside the OpenBook as it has, and perks like 3G / 4G connectivity, a trio of USB ports and a media card reader are making that MacBook Air look positively last century..."

I certainly smell Father's Day presents here, but I also smell lots of new small laptops unboxed before next fall when students and teachers will be able to capitalize on their light weight and low cost (meaning that we can have more portable computers available than ever).