MSI Wind | A Challenger To The Eee PC?
MSI or Micro-Star International have released the MSI Wind U100 (Wind standing for WI-fi Network Device), a contender to the Asus Eee PC 900, as well as pioneering the 10 inch screen netbook. Hitting the shelves at a similar price to the Asus Eee PC 901 could it be our new 'value' number 1 netbook?
10 inch Screen Pioneer
The MSI Wind doesn’t have the metallic finish of the HP mini-note or the wow factor of an Apple, but it is a pretty little laptop. Smooth curves, clear cut interface, large screen and a variety of colours, ‘Noble Red’, ‘Angel White’, ‘Empire Black’, ‘Romantic Pink’ and ‘Wind for love’.
It improves on the Asus with features such as 10 inch screen, larger keyboard and faster Intel Atom processor.
The 10 inch anti-glare screen is another plus, and although it makes it bulkier than 8.9 inch models, such as the Asus Eee PC 901 or Acer Aspire One, the differences in size and weight don't outweigh the benefit of the bigger screen and keyboard. The screen supports a resolution of 1024x600 which isn’t staggering, but good enough and on a par with most other netbooks.
The large keyboard is a major plus, with plenty of space between keys. It isn’t quite as good as the keyboard of the HP 2133 mini-note, which boasts a 92% full size keyboard, and the ‘Fn’ key is located at the bottom-left hand side of the screen which is frustrating for Ctrl-key users.
The touchpad however, is unhelpfully small, a mere 54mm across and compared to the keyboard, it looks out of place. It's restrictive size also means you cannot scroll nearly as easily as you might like which is especially awkward for internet browsing.
Other features include a 1.3 megapixel webcam, microphone, 3 USB ports, D-Sub for an external monitor or projector.
Another oversight is the connectivity which only includes 802.11b/g wifi and bluetooth. The lack of integrated 3G means your restricted to online activity at home or at Wi-Fi hotspots. You could expand the connectivity with a USB dongle but of course a dongle would involve further expense.
Battery life is poor with the standard 3-cell battery, and the intensively used, it would struggle to work for more than 2 hours. A 6 cell battery is available (like on the newer Eee PCs), but does increase the weight. With the standard 3 cell battery the weight is kept to a tidy one kilogram.
With the addition of a dongle and a larger battery, the MSI Wind netbook, or ‘MSI Wind Notebook’ as they like to call it is very good value for money.
Available at around the same price as the smaller 8.9 inch Eee PC 901, but with the screen size of the Eee PC 1000. It is a definite contender in the netbook market.
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