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.