MSI Wind Review

By soumitra, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, June 30, 2009

msiThe netbook category has found a new champion in their group which was originally started by Asus Eee PC lineup. The MSI Wind boasts a lower price tag and a better performance than most of its competitors. But is there any glitch in this netbook that may prove to be a deal breaker? We have made a review to find the answer. Read it before you decide to buy one.

Design

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The Wind sports a minimalist pearl white design with rounded edges. The all plastic design is not cheap as you may feel without getting hands on the device. But believe me, the plastic quality is top of the notch and is thick enough to bear some pressure. The lid is not too much glossy so as to catch fingerprints. The form factor of 10.2 X 7.1 X 0.7 inches feels a bit thicker and larger than the Eee PC with its 10 inch screen though it should fit in a large handbag or slim briefcase. The weight of 2.6 pound means the netbook is easily portable.

Processor, RAM, HDD and graphics

The system comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor, a 1GB RAM and a 80GB 5,400 rpm HDD. Multitasking is easy and smooth in Wind and the performance is not sluggish like a netbook by any means. There was no hang up while encoding a video, listening to music and working in photoshop while downloading a video over the net. The HDD was also on the higher side. The system booted quite fast at less than a minute. The integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics was quite impressive for a netbook like this. Thought it is not recommended to play games on it but still it manages to run some graphics intensive games though at its lowest possible configuration. There is also a Turbo Drive button which overclocks the CPU and improves the performance by as much as 20%. Playing games was smoother in this mode though it sucked the battery juice heavily.

Display

The display size is good 10 inch with a standard 1024X600 pixel resolution. I didn’t have to strain my eyes to see things on the screen as it needs on those smaller 7 or 8 inch netbook screens. Viewing movies is also pleasurable in its decent and crisp 10 inch display. The vertical viewing angle is quite good but horizontal viewing angle is not good enough to share the screen with another person.

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Keyboard and TouchPad

The keyboard is quite spacious and close to full size keyboard. The keys are large specially the Shift and the Enter Keys. They are coated with a special coating to prevent wear and tear. While typing the keys gave a good springy feedback and there would be no problem typing longer in this keyboard. The touchpad is very small though and I had to take the finger back and again to move the cursor from one corner to the other. The buttons are also not ideal and needs some pressure to get the click.

Ports

Wind houses all the ports that you normally expect from a netbook. On the right side there is a 4-in-1 memory card reader, mic and headphone jack, a VGA port, an Ethernet jack and a USB port. Two more USB ports are on the left side with the power jack. The only port we miss here is the Express Card Slot which would be very useful for connecting a mobile broadband modem card.

Audio

The speakers are located at the bottom of the system and produces clear and loud enough sound for hearing it from a few feet distance. However the sound no hint of bass or mid-range sound when it comes to listening to some good music. The speakers are only good for watching some YouTube Clips and speaking over the skype. A good pair of headphones are recommended for the audiophiles.

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WebCam and Microphone

The integrated 1.3 MP webcam is quite good for video chats over Skype and it even snapped some details at low lights without much noise. The microphone is located to the right of Webcam and is not quite good for talking over Skype as it picked some background sounds.

Battery Life

If you ask me to explain its battery life, I would simply say that it is crappy. The 3 cell battery is not good enough to run the laptop for upto three hours even in normal situation. If it is subjected to heavy workload it would run only a few minutes more than one and half hour. So when taking wind with you outside, don’t forget to pack the AC Adapter.

Price

The standard model with three cell battery is priced at around $300 and with the six cell battery you can get it at around $350. The pricing is really attractive to make it a best choice for those seeking a budget laptop.

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Pros

  • Super cool even in overclocked mode
  • 10 inch screen
  • Bright LED backlit screen
  • Good keyboard

Cons

  • Battery life is crappy with 3 cell battery

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Conclusion

The MSI Wind is one of the best netbooks available in the market with 10 inch widescreen 2.5 inch SATA drive, Intel Atom Processor, WiFi and Bluetooth. The only thing that may distract many potential buyers is its crappy battery life of merely 2 hours. But if you can manage to carry the charger with you everytime you go out with it, there is no better netbook than this available in the market with the best performance to price ratio.

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