MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review - MSI Wind U100-291UK

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



  • Recommended by TR
MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review


Our Score:


Essentially, however, in terms of looks nothing much has changed apart from the colour and a bit of added bulk at the bottom that creates a slight tilt to the machine. As you might have guessed, this is because of the larger battery: a six-cell 4,400mAh model rather than the former three-cell 2,200mAh previous Winds were endowed with. This gives the MSI theoretical parity with the Eee PC 901 and 1000, though those do still have slightly higher capacity 6,600mAh batteries.

Nonetheless, MSI's miniature machine now comfortably passes the four-hour mark while performing a number of tasks, including video and audio playback, with brightness at 50 per cent and wireless radios turned off. Best of all, this bigger battery makes the new Wind only around 200 grams heavier than older versions, bringing the full weight up to a still very portable 1.29kg - below the magic 1.3kg level as "decreed" in Andy's The Ultimate Netbook piece.

Interestingly, the added bulk actually makes typing slightly less comfortable, since the extra tilt means there is less support from the palm rest. It's not the end of the world though and the keyboard remains unchanged from the previous version, meaning it's very good; even if it still doesn't match the truly excellent keyboard of the HP 2133 Mini-Note. Unfortunately, the Fn key is still located on the outside of Ctrl, but aside from that it provides a pleasant typing experience.

The only other upgrade this version of the Wind has over its sibling is Wireless-N, so there's potential for slightly faster and longer range wireless internet provided you have a compatible router. Unfortunately, for all those who were hoping optional HSDPA would be part of the refresh, it's not, while you still get the same Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor powering in this device as every other netbook out there, backed up by 1GB of RAM; the maximum amount of memory Microsoft allows to have Windows XP loaded onto the machine.

Connectivity is also identical to before, with three USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, LAN and VGA and a memory card slot supporting MMC, MemoryStick (Pro), SD and SDHC. Other features include Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and a 1.3 megapixel webcam for all your video needs.

As before, the speakers are nothing special; any kind of serious music listening or film watching requires the use of headphones. On the other hand, the 10.1in, 1,024 x 600 screen gives little reason for complaint, with a nice anti-glare finish, decent viewing angles, pleasing levels of brightness and text production that's sharp and easy to read.


October 2, 2008, 4:45 am

I always totted the MSI Wind / Advent 4211 as being way better to use in everyday situations than the Kiddie Eeeeeeeepccc range - all 976 of them ;) This just makes the case even more compelling, although it's still too expensive - 𧶲 inc VAT would have been appreciated more!


October 2, 2008, 5:19 am

Why is the power LED the Be unlimited asterisk?

I was expecting the battery life on this to meet or exceed that of the eee 901 but it sounds like it could be as much as an hour shorter under the same usage conditions. That's pretty disappointing.

Tony Walker

October 2, 2008, 12:26 pm

Has the wired ethernet been tweaked to be gigabit?

There should be large (7800mAh I think) third party batteries available soon I seem to recall reading on


October 2, 2008, 12:59 pm

"I always totted the MSI Wind / Advent 4211 as being way better to use in everyday situations than the Kiddie Eeeeeeeepcc"

That's really only an aesthetic thing. There's little practical difference.


October 2, 2008, 5:34 pm

Ardjuna, I'm being thick. Why should the inclusion of Norton Internet Security 2008 be arguable in a netbook? Thanks

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 5:41 pm

@Mike Williams - Because running an anti-virus on a system using an Atom processor will cripple performance.


October 2, 2008, 5:49 pm

Andy: So what do you do to protect from viruses?

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 6:30 pm

Be careful. ;)

Actually, this is one of the obvious reasons why Linux is a far better idea for netbooks. Since they don't require anti-virus, it's one less thing to worry about and ensures you don't bog your machine down with various scanners.

Tony Walker

October 2, 2008, 7:39 pm


I think he meant the keyboard. The one on the Wind nee Advent 4211 that I have is close to the Dell Inspiron 7000 keyboard which I rate as the best laptop keyboard I have ever used.

My provenance? I am still using an IBM PS/2 keyboard as my main desktop PCs keyboard. Best keyboard bar none - I've also used some pretty decent other ones too.


October 2, 2008, 7:43 pm

my advent 4211 has no problem of having internet security running on the background while photoshopping.. of course with added 1gb mem


October 2, 2008, 9:07 pm

@andy: Let's hope the virus situation with Linux lasts. But are you saying don't bother with the Atom if you need to run XP? Thanks again


October 2, 2008, 9:31 pm

Shameless plug: Kaspersky has nearly no performance hit when running... but install something like a Norton product and expect to see things slow down - although most techies know this anyway.

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 9:33 pm

I wouldn't go that far, but if you're going to run anti-virus I'd opt for something lighter and less resource intensive than Norton.


October 2, 2008, 10:02 pm

I thought Norton 2009 had changed all that and was now one of the most frugal AV solutions?

(Sorry, going slightly off-topic)


October 3, 2008, 3:25 pm

@Pbryanw: unfortunately this Wind came with Norton 2008.

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