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First Look: MSI Wind

Andy Vandervell


First Look: MSI Wind

Full Review Now Available: MSI Wind - Windows XP Edition

It's getting awfully crowded in here. Not long ago we had just the Asus Eee PC to content with, but now the market for small, basic and affordable sub-notebooks is quickly heating up, with the likes of Dell, HP, Acer, Via and MSI, whose effort we're looking at today, lining up competitors to snatch some market share.

So, what do you need to know about MSI's effort, the Wind? Much like the HP 2133 Mini-Note it weighs a little more than an Eee PC, at around 1.3kg. In turn that makes it just a smidgen heavier than a Sony TZ, which typically weighs around 1.2kg. In any case it's perfectly portable and unlike the HP Mini-Note or the Asus Eee PC 900, the first edition of the Wind will come equipped with a comparatively large 10in screen. However, despite its screen being significantly larger, it surprisingly doesn't have a resolution to match, with the screen running at 1,024 x 600.

This will no doubt disappoint those who want to watch high resolution video - of which there are many - but there is some crazy kind of logic to this move. Though it may appear wasteful to have such a large screen at a comparatively low resolution, it's a combination that makes the Wind very usable. Text is large and sharp, icons well defined and it's a scale that arguably suits more people than it disappoints.

Naturally enough, it's going to be a cheap machine. On launch the Wind will come loaded with Windows XP - a Linux version will follow at a later date - and will be retailing for a very palatable £329. This will net you 1GB of RAM, an 80GB standard mechanical hard drive and all the usual bit pieces like wireless, wired networking and even Bluetooth as well. Unfortunately we still can't officially confirm the CPU inside the Wind, but the consensus in the rumour mill has it using a certain new Intel CPU that begins with an ‘A', ends with an ‘m' and has ‘to' in the middle.

And, from our brief time with the machine, we found the Wind to be a nippy little thing. Programs loaded efficiently and were responsive to use, something that can't be said of the HP Mini-Note and its lackadaisical 1.2GHz Via CPU.

That's enough with the introductions, though, so let's take a much closer look at the MSI Wind has to offer...

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