When it comes to life away from a socket for the WindPad 100W, we were very worried when we saw the two-cell rating on MSI's official specifications page. However, the actual battery unit is a 4,200mAh model which kept the tablet running for a solid five and a half hours in our looped video test with wireless radios turned off and screen brightness at 50 percent. That's reasonably impressive for a tablet with netbook-like specifications.
Overall then, the Windpad 100W would be a decent enough Windows tablet if its price undercut rivals and alternatives to make up for its cheap design, average performance and poor screen. Unfortunately, it doesn't, with the standard retail price at the £500 mark, and the cheapest we could find it for being £470.
That's a full £70 more than the Apple iPad2, which might not come close on connectivity but will make a markedly better casual tablet that's thinner, lighter, faster, better-built, has more than double the battery life, a far better screen and is just plain sexier.
But what about those who want Flash video, or who need the extra connectivity and more of a focus on productivity? Well, you might find that something like the impressive Android-based Asus Eee Pad Transformer is adequate for your needs. It beats the MSI tablet in all the same areas as the iPad, offers HDMI-out and expandable storage, and for its lowly £450 price throws in a keyboard dock (extending its battery life to 16 hours).
That only leaves those who truly need a Windows 7 tablet, which we would reckon are very few. If a netbook like the classy, £300 Toshiba NB550d really won't do you, you don't want the extra weight of a convertible like the currently £450 Acer Aspire 1825PTZ and you can't afford a good Windows 7 tablet like the £999 Asus EP121, it may just about be worth considering MSI's entrant. For everyone else, steer clear.
In terms of specifications and connectivity the MSI WindPad 100W actually offers reasonable value. It's just a pity that it's all contained in one of the least attractive tablet chassis we've come across, with a look and feel that's more reminiscent of a device costing £100 than one that will set you back nearly half a grand. Since it also shows off its capabilities on one of the worst screens we've seen, there's little reason to pick this tablet over alternatives.