Review Price £467.98
MSI WindPad 100W Screen, Touch and Audio
Regrettably, we're back to sub-par when it comes to the MSI WindPad 100W's lacklustre 10.1in screen. Its main problem is abysmal viewing angles, resulting in massive colour and contrast shift when viewed from anything but the exact right angle. This is a problem that's bad enough on a laptop but lethal on a tablet, especially one without any kind of stand.
None of this is helped by a reflective screen finish that makes the tablet difficult to use in sunlight or strong ambient light, though again this is a failing common to many of its siblings. In ideal situations the 100W produces crisp, saturated images with decent contrast but these scenarios are far too few and far between.
At least the capacitive touch layer is very responsive, and usually even the lightest touch will be accurately recorded. This is absolutely essential as using touch to navigate your way through Windows can be tricky at the best of times. Multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom are of course supported, and for browsing photos MSI provides EasyViewer, a rather attractively presented touch interface that works very well indeed. However, it's just one application out of many which are not touch optimised.
We also really like MSI's addition of a physical Enter button (marked OK) in the selection of controls to the right of the screen, yet can't help but wish a custom key and some form of cursor keys/D-pad had been included rather than the volume controls and camera shutter button (which would have been better off on the tablet's sides).
One significant advantage over many alternatives is that you can plug in any USB or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard combination for desktop-like ergonomics. The screen's weakness can also be combated by plugging in an external monitor.
On the audio front, meanwhile, MSI's tablet performs pretty much as you would expect. Its tiny stereo speakers fire out the back rather than the front (which would have made more sense) but at least manage an audible volume level without distortion. They're alright for an episode of Friends or some YouTube, but for anything more serious we would definitely recommend using headphones.
On the topic of noise, even when under light load the WindPad's fan spins up to create an annoying hum, which can be quite distracting when trying to watch a video or game when using the tablet's own audio. Another annoyance worth mentioning is the random orientation changes which occur when you leave the tablet lying in a stable position – not exactly a sign of quality.