MSI WIND U100

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MSI WIND U100

The U100 has selected a 10" wide LCD display as oppose to the typical smaller sizes to provide better comfort while viewing or reading. In addition, t...

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Review of "MSI WIND U100"

published 23/11/2008 | mr_mlk
Member since : 10/03/2007
Reviews : 16
Members who trust : 3
About me :
Awful written English skills, so using this as a way of practising. Also on Dooyoo as mr_mlk.
Super
Pro Tiny and weighs nothing
Cons Tiny screen in a none-standard res, bad graphics card
very helpful
Speed
Look & Feel
Memory / capacity
Comfort & Portability
Robustness & Durability

"Small & Mighty"

This MSI Wind comes in many different flavours, the version I have is the Advent 4211. A rebadged MSI Wind by PC World.

The MSI Wind is part of a new wave of "SSCs" (Small Cheap Computers). Low powered computers sold cheap. In general they come in two sizes (8" and 10"), most use the with the same hardware under the hood. The current standard is a Intel Atom 1.6GHz, between 512 MB and 1GB of RAM and a Intel 945 graphics adapter. The different brands then change the quality of the screen, rearrange the keyboard and increase or reduce the build quality.

The MSI Wind is a on the high end of specifications range, with 1 gig of RAM (upgradeable to 2) and a 10" screen. This provides the tiny little machine with more than enough umpf to do some demanding tasks well above the stated use of web browsing and checking email. I have run some fairly weighty applications and it handles them in its stride. Until I tried a modern game. While the CPU is for its size is impressive the graphics card is very poor. I was not expecting it to run X3, I am disappointed it can not handle Halflife2 - a four year old game. Especially as on paper it should be able too.

The version I have, a Advent 4211, while it has a high specification at £280 it is cheaper than most. So corners have been cut, the most obvious is the cheap quality of the screen (and I don't just mean small, one has to accept small when dealing with Netbooks). The second place noticeable cheap point is the internal speakers. My mobile phones internal speakers sound better and have a high max volume. The overall build quality is also affected. It is not badly build, but the plastic is has a "SmartPrice" quality.

On such a small device, the keyboard and mouse pad need to be well designed to be usable. I'm not a fan of mouse pads, but this one does move mouse cursor when you ask it to, and not (as I find with some) when you are typing. Plus it has the buttons in the correct place, under the mouse pad. The alphanumeric section of the keyboard is a good size but alas the "lesser used" keys such as punctuation are 1 /2 sized which I find a tad irritating. Plus the control and the Function button are the wrong way round. I end up with c, x and v's filling my documents as I fail to copy and paste.

The battery is a small 3 cell job. Very light (as is the rest of the machine) and easy to fit but a real pain to remove. For normal use on the move this seams to be adequate, I used the device for 2 and a half hours on a long trip, and it still had juice left. I have also done some more formal tests. I played a standard definition video full screen in a loop and unplugged the power supply. It lasted a respectable 78 minutes. When running on battery it has a rather neat "Low Power" mode that dims the back light and sets the CPU to half its normal running speed. I re-ran the experiment in this mode but with the screen of full brightness - however got only 80 minutes of life.

The shipped software is lacking, consisting of just the god-awful Microsoft Works and the OS+drivers. But with Open Office a free download I see no reason to stick with Works. A device meant as a "Internet terminal" should ship with firewall and anti-virus software, but alas both are missing.

For a netbook it is well connected with three USB 2.0 sockets (two on the left and one the right), a SD card reader, a standard VGA connector, Ethernet (all on the right), blue tooth and WiFi (G not the new N). I've only used the WiFi a few times but it found a signal quickly, and connected without issue. Unfortunately one of the USB ports has become a little temperamental and will not accept every device I plug into it. It is fine with my mobile phone but ignores my mouse and DSL modem. It also comes with two standard-sized audio jacks. By default this is mic and headphones, but the audio drivers will let you change them and asks you what you have plugged in each time you plug something in. A feature I found pointless, and luckily you can set defaults. You might have noticed that most of the connections are on the right. On the left side between the two USB ports and the power port is a large air vent from which you can hear the fan whirl when you ask it to do something CPU heavy.

Overall I really like this machine. It is just the right size to put on airplane table, runs all the applications you need and looks great, if a little cheap. Sure I'd love it to play HalfLife 2 but it is under the magic £300. However I can only recommend one if you are in the market for an ultra portable. If not then you can buy a desktop computer for £300 that would blow this out of the water.

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Comments on this review

  • hillhead published 16/01/2010
    Great information.
  • tallulahbang published 03/01/2009
    'Wind' is an unfortunate name to give a computer... xx
  • JAVER1967 published 03/12/2008
    Excellent review
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Product Information : MSI WIND U100

Manufacturer's product description

The U100 has selected a 10" wide LCD display as oppose to the typical smaller sizes to provide better comfort while viewing or reading. In addition, the high resolution can relief concerns of the full display of web pages while browsing, giving you the freedom when exploring the Internet. The U100 is embedded with the LED power-saving backlight technology in providing better color fullness and brightness, elevating the total quality of imagery. Furthermore, the lower usage of power can offer a longer operating time. The U100 is equipped with the capability of magnifying text within software, so you may magnify any of the words displayed on the monitor freely, making it easier when you are viewing photos, editing or reading documents.

Product Details

Product Description: MSI Wind U100-220UK-BK120A - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 120 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-027EU - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-041EU - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-049EU - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-008 - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 80 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-015 - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-1061EU - 10" - Atom N280 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100 - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 80 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-053US - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 80 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-1616NXP - 10.2" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-1616XP - 10.2" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 160 GB HDD, MSI Wind U100-1618XP - 10" - Atom N270 - Win XP Home - 1 GB RAM - 80 GB HDD

Product Type: Netbook

Operating System: Win XP Home, Win XP Home SP3, Win XP Home - Dutch / English / French / German / Greek, SuSE Linux 10.1, Windows 7 Starter

Processor: Intel Atom N270 / 1.6 GHz / 512 KB Cache, Intel Atom N280 / 1.66 GHz / 512 KB Cache

Memory: 1 GB DDR2, 1 GB

Storage: 120 GB HDD, 160 GB HDD, 80 GB HDD, 160 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Display: 10" LED backlight 1024 x 600 / WSVGA, 10" 1024 x 600 / WSVGA, 10" LED backlight 1024 x 600 / WSVGA - matt, 10.2" LED backlight anti-reflective 1024 x 600 / WSVGA, 10" LED backlight anti-reflective 1024 x 600 / WSVGA

Graphics: Intel GMA 950

Networking: 802.11b/g, Bluetooth , 10/100 Ethernet

Battery: 3-cell, 6-cell

Colour: Black, White, Pink

Dimensions (WxDxH): 26 cm x 18 cm x 3.2 cm, 26 cm x 18 cm x 3.1 cm, 26 cm x 18 cm x 3 cm

Weight: 1.1 kg, 1 kg, 1.17 kg, 1.2 kg, 1.04 kg, 1.3 kg

Manufacturer Warranty: 2 years warranty, 1 year warranty

Manufacturer: MSI

Long Name: Wind U100-1616W7S, Wind U100-1615W7S

Type: Netbook

OS Provided: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

Microsoft Office Preloaded: Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.

Operating System

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

General

MPN: U100-220UK-BK120A, U100 PLUS-880UK-BK160F, U100 PLUS-634UK-WT160F, U100 PLUS-880UK, U100 PLUS-634UK, U100 PLUS-441UK, U100-009UK-SWT120A, U100-027EU, U100-041EU, U100-210UK-PK120A, U100-049EU, U100-054UK-PK80A, U100W-011NL LOVE, U100-008 BLACK, U100-221UK-BK160A, U100-222UK-WT120A, U100-249UK-WT160B, U100-291UK-BK160B, U100 PLUS-064UK-WT160D, U100 PLUS-210UK-BK160D, U100-015, U100-098UK-BK160E, U100-290UK-PK160B, U100-612UK-WT160E, U100 PLUS-441UK-PK160F, U100-1061EU, U100-030US, 0011221-SKU3, U100-053US, 0011221-SKU31, 0011221-SKU42, 0011221-SKU20, 0011221-SKU350, 0011221-SKU201, 0011221-SKU22, 0011221-SKU1, 011221-SKU11

Product Type: Netbook

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP3, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition - Dutch / English / French / German / Greek, SuSE Linux 10.1, Microsoft Windows 7 Starter

Processor / Chipset

CPU: Intel Atom N270 / 1.6 GHz, Intel Atom N280 / 1.66 GHz

Cache: L2 - 512 KB, 512 KB

Front Side Bus: 533 MHz, 667 MHz

Chipset: Mobile Intel 945GSE Express, Intel 945GSE Express, Mobile Intel 945GMS Express

Memory

RAM: 1 GB, 1 GB ( 1 x 1 GB ), 1 GB ( provided memory is soldered )

Max RAM Supported: 2 GB

Technology: DDR2 SDRAM

Speed: 667 MHz / PC2-5300, 667 MHz

Form Factor: SO DIMM 200-pin

Slots Qty: 1

Empty Slots: 0, 1

Storage

Main Storage: 120 GB HDD, 160 GB HDD, 80 GB HDD, 160 GB HDD / 5400 rpm

Interface: SATA 1.5 Gb/s

Display

Type: 10", 10.2"

LCD Backlight Technology: LED backlight

Resolution: 1024 x 600 ( WSVGA )

Widescreen: Yes

Features: Anti-glare, Matt, Anti-reflective

Audio & Video

Graphics Processor: Intel GMA 950

Memory Allocation Technology: Dynamic Video Memory Technology 3.0, Shared Video Memory (UMA)

Camera: Integrated webcam

Resolution (MP): 1.3 Megapixel

Sound: Stereo speakers , microphone

Compliant Standards: High Definition Audio, Sound Blaster

Max Allocated RAM Size: 128 MB, 224 MB

Codec: Realtek ALC888S

Image Sensor Type: CMOS

Input

Type: Keyboard, touchpad

Features: MSI Ergonomic Big-Size Keyboard

Communications

Wireless: 802.11b/g, Bluetooth

Network Interface: 10/100 Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet

Battery

Technology: 3-cell Lithium Ion, 3-cell, 6-cell, 6-cell Lithium Ion, Lithium Ion

Capacity: 4400 mAh

AC Adapter

Input: AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )

Connections & Expansion

Slots: 1 x memory ( 0 free )

Interfaces: 3 x USB 2.0 - 4 PIN USB Type A ¦ 1 x display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) ¦ 1 x microphone - input - mini-phone 3.5mm ¦ 1 x headphones - output ¦ 1 x network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX - RJ-45

Memory Card Reader: 4 in 1 ( SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, SDHC Card )

Miscellaneous

Colour: Black, White, Pink

Features: Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)

Included Accessories: Carrying case, Sleeve, External speakers, optical mouse

Compliant Standards: WHQL

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 26 cm

Depth: 18 cm

Height: 3.2 cm, 3.1 cm, 3 cm

Weight: 1.1 kg, 1 kg, 1.17 kg, 1.2 kg, 1.04 kg, 1.3 kg

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support: 2 years warranty, 1 year warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - 2 years - pick-up and return, Limited warranty - 2 years, Limited warranty - 2 years - on-site, Limited warranty - 1 year, Limited warranty - parts and labour - 2 years - pick-up and return

Software

Software Included: Microsoft Office (Trial), MSI Q-Face, Adobe Reader 9.1, Windows Live 3, MSI BurnRecovery, WinRAR

Microsoft Office Preloaded: Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.

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Listed on Ciao since: 21/10/2008