MSI Wind - Windows XP Edition - MSI Wind

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

For connectivity the Wind lacks little that other alternatives offer. MSI has managed to find space for three USB ports, with two on the left edge and one on the right. There's also the obligatory 1.3-megapixel Webcam and a Kensington lock point - useful perhaps for schools that want to use these machines without them magically disappearing into bags!

On the right there's also a 4-in-1 memory card reader that supports SD, MMC, MemoryStick and MemoryStick Pro card formats. Unfortunately, there's no support for the higher capacity SDHC cards and this might prove a negative for the photographers out there, especially since the larger hard drive would make the Wind perfect for backing up photos on the move.

Following the card reader are microphone and headphone jacks, a D-SUB port for connecting an external monitor and a 10/100 Fast Ethernet port. For wireless networking you get 802.11 b/g WiFi - no Wireless-N unfortunately - and MSI has also thrown in a Bluetooth 2.0 module. All in all, your not left wanting for much even if the Eee does beat the Wind in a couple of respects, namely SDHC card support and Wireless-N WiFi.

One area where the Wind definitely trails, however, is in audio. On XP versions the Eee benefits from Dolby Sound Room, adding support for the excellent Dolby Headphone virtual surround technology. This adds an extra level of immersion when watching videos using headphones. More importantly, though, the speakers on the Wind are considerably less impressive than those found on the 901. They're tinny and weak, more or less exactly what you'd normally expect from a machine of this size.

Happily the screen is pretty good. It's bright, slightly brighter than the Eee PC 901's own LED backlit screen, and has reasonably decent viewing angles. Colour production is nothing special and it struggles to produce dark shades, but even small text is very sharp and well defined. If one were being very picky it would be nice to see a higher resolution for this larger size, but given no one has done this in the 10.1in form factor yet, it would be churlish to single out MSI in this regard.

Build quality is largely good. It has a rigid and well protected screen and though, as noted earlier, there is some flex in the keyboard, it doesn't haven't a negative effect on typing. Unfortunately the undercarriage of the Wind doesn't feel quite as sturdy as the rest of the machine. It has plastic that looks and feels thin and any pressure reveals a significant level of flex. This may not bode well in a heavy fall and we doubt the mechanical hard drive would either. As ever there are trade-offs in all things.

Happily, noise levels are still blissfully low. It's not quite as quiet as the 901, the fan runs more often and you can hear the hard drive spin up from time to time, but it's nothing to get in a flap about. Moreover, when unplugged, the Wind will clock down to around 800MHz, reducing heat and power and consequently aiding quiet operation - though the Wind no longer "overclocks" as early samples did.

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lifethroughalens

July 4, 2008, 7:02 am

Agreed. This netbook is the clear leader of the pack at present, but the price tag with the 3 cell battery pack is very poor marketing from MSI, who seem to have fallen at the last with the Wind offering. And that's exacerbated by the (amusingly timed) release of the Advent offering, which , after an MSI Bios flash is, in effect and MSI Wind for 㿞 less!





Pump this out now MSI, in bulk, at 𧶲 Inc VAT and 6 Cell battery and you might stand a chance.





I have long championed the Wind's advantages over the EeePC range - technophiles are a fickle bunch though...I bought the Advent last night...why do I feel dirty?!

Donderonda

July 4, 2008, 7:57 am

The Advent clone version can read SDHC cards have now tried with 4, 8 and 16 gb SD versions all with no problems. The speakers are indeed truly tinny and naff im afraid. Yes, there is no case with the Advent, maybe thats where they saved the 㿞-𧴜 on other retailers such as Play (𧸁.99) or Morgan Computers, who are now selling the Wind at 𧸻.74 inc VAT on their site.

Jonas 1

July 4, 2008, 4:37 pm

The wind will be available with a 6-cell in due time. MSI clamims fire in battery factory is the reason for the shortage.

Luan Bach

July 4, 2008, 5:33 pm

That low run time puts me off buying one, I'll now wait for Acer One to come out before making a decision.

TheLostSwede

July 4, 2008, 8:06 pm

The Acer One is already on sale in Germany, for a very cheap �, but it only has an 8GB SSD drive, although with a second SD card slot for storage expansion, this might not be too bad. They've got a more expensive version with a 120GB hard drive coming, with either Linux or Windows.

King of all that is Roff

July 4, 2008, 9:05 pm

Hmm, a definate candidate for an upgrade from my old Acer 2410. A shame about the battery life but seeming as I've got my laptop connected to the mains most of the time I doubt it would make a difference to me personally

Matthew Bunton

July 5, 2008, 5:49 pm

It's battery life kills it for me.





My search continues, maybe the Acer One will fair better.

Andy Vandervell

July 8, 2008, 6:29 pm

We should be getting it in this week, though given it also uses a 3-cell battery I woulnd't hold your breath if I were you.

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