MSI Wind - Windows XP Edition - MSI Wind

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

Were the review to end here it would probably end something like this: "the MSI Wind is without doubt the best Netbook we've seen so far". It would go on to say that it deals with many of the problems found in all the versions of the Eee PC, particularly the keyboard, and offers a compelling alternative idea of what the Netbook ought to be. Unfortunately, this isn't the end of the review, there are at least five paragraphs to go, and they detail a couple of fundamental problems with the Wind.

Battery life - until the Eee PC 901 it was the single area where all Netbooks failed. But Asus moved the rhetorical goalposts when it decided to ship the 901 with a higher capacity six-cell 6600mAh battery, boosting battery life to around four and a half to five hours depending on usage. It was a move clearly intended to steal the thunder of potentially more versatile and complete competitors such as the Wind: the ploy has worked rather well.

As the 2200mAh, three-cell battery the Wind ships with suggests, it achieves approximately a third of the longevity of the Eee PC 901. Using the Wind with wireless enabled, screen brightness at 50 per cent and with the CPU clocked down, it managed a mediocre two and a quarter hours and is put into stark relief by the four and three quarter hour stint put in by the 901 at 100 per cent brightness and with wireless enabled.

MSI, however, can't blame anyone else for the other "fundamental problem", because it's a problem of its own making. On face value the £329 SRP of this Wind configuration is perfectly reasonable, even if online pre-order pricing varies wildly. But, as we reported yesterday, PC World is listing a re-branded version of the Wind as the Advent 4211 and is selling it just £279 inc. VAT, £50 less than MSI's suggested £329 price point for the Wind. It has a different, presumably cheaper, silver and black finish and we're willing to bet you won't get the smart carry case that you get with the Wind, but "fifty quid is fifty quid" and in this most price sensitive of markets it makes a huge difference.

Verdict

There's a lot to like about the MSI Wind. It's a great design and benefits from an excellent keyboard and screen, but it's let down by battery life that cannot compete with the Eee PC 901 and undercut by a re-branded version, making you think twice. It's still a good machine and if you're happy to trade battery life for a better keyboard, or purchase a separate battery, it's still worth serious consideration, but it just misses out on a wholehearted recommendation.

Scores In Detail

Performance
8/10
Value
8/10
Features
8/10
Design
9/10

Our Score

8/10
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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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