MSI Wind review: MSI Wind

We don't want to place too much emphasis on performance here. For one, the screen is so small that any multitasking scenario will most likely be no more than having Firefox, an instant message client, and perhaps Skype open at the same time. Netbooks aren't designed for high performance, and in anecdotal testing, we found the MSI Wind's performance to be more than adequate. Applications loaded quickly and worked with nary a hiccup during the few days we had the Wind running.

By way of comparison and to illustrate how far laptop prices have dropped, we offer this tidbit: for the same $499 (which includes a $150 discount at Best Buy) and a simple swap of portability for performance, you can get a Dell Inspiron 1525. From the charts, you can see how much faster a modern (but by no means cutting-edge) dual-core laptop is when viewed next to a single-core Intel Atom-based Netbook. Then again, the 15-inch Dell Inspiron 1525 weighs about three times as much as the Wind.

Netbooks are designed in large part to run for long stretches when you're away from a power outlet, and unfortunately the Wind was unable to top the 2-hour mark on CNET Labs' battery drain test, thanks to its three-cell battery. In anecdotal testing, we never made it past two hours either. That's a far cry from the 5 hours 15 minutes we got from the Asus Eee PC 901 and its 6-cell battery. Due to a battery shortage, MSI won't begin offering a 6-cell battery until September. The company hasn't settled on a price yet, but the 6-cell battery will be offered separately and also included with future Wind models. While the AC power adapter thankfully features a very small power brick, do note that it has a three-prong plug, which may limit your charging options.

MSI backs the Wind with a one-year parts-and-labor warranty. The user manual and driver downloads can be found on MSI's global Web site along, with FAQ pages (only a few exist at the moment for the Wind U100) and helpful glossary of tech terms. Calls to tech support require a toll call; lines are open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. PT.

Multimedia Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Asus Eee PC 901
2,091 
MSI Wind U100
4,020 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
MSI Wind U100
743 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:

MSI Wind U100
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 945 Express; Western Digital 80GB 5400rpm hard drive

Asus Eee PC 901
Windows XP Home Edition SP2; 1.6GHz Intel Atom; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 945 Express; 12GB Phison Solid State Drive

Asus Eee PC 701
Windows XP Home Edition SP2; 900MHz Intel Celeron Ultra Low Voltage M353; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 915GMS Express; 4GB SiliconMotion SM223A Solid State Drive

Dell Inspiron 1525-121B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T2390; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 160GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

HP 2133 Mini-Note PC
Windows Vista Business Edition; 1.6GHz VIA C7-M Ultra Low Voltage; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; VIA/SG3 UniChrome Pro II IGP; 120GB Seagate 7,200rpm

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    Where to Buy

    MSI Wind U100-039LA (pink, Windows XP)

    Part Number: 9S7-N01153-039 Released: Jul 8, 2008
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Jul 8, 2008
    • Installed Size 1 GB
    • Color pink
    • Weight 2.6 lbs
    • Graphics Processor Intel GMA 950
    • CPU Intel Atom N270 / 1.6 GHz