MSI WindPad 100A and 100W hands-on: Some assembly required
We go hands-on with the unfortunately named MSI WindPad 100A and WindPad 100W at CES 2011. But it seems as if these two tablets are only half finished...
When we covered the announcement of the MSI WindPad Android and Windows 7 tablets, we were somewhat unconvinced by the specifications they touted, and rather amused by their giggle-inducing names. But at CES 2011 in Las Vegas we were able to play with the 100A and 100W, which run Android and Windows 7 respectively.
Well... sort of. You see, MSI didn't seem to have got round to putting the buttons on the 100A -- the tablet running Android -- so it was in a pretty sorry state. Still, it gave us a good impression of the hardware we might eventually get to see, so click through the photos above to check out both devices.
The 100A was far from finished, and while an MSI rep told us this was a prototype model, we were a little disappointed to find the typical Android buttons -- menu, home, back and search -- that frequent most Android devices were missing entirely. We're sure they're coming, but it made using the 100A nigh-on impossible.
The device isn't too heavy, but feels slightly plasticky. It's not exactly thin either. The 10.1-inch touchscreen felt reasonably responsive, and while not blisteringly fast, scrolling around the few Android menus we could navigate to didn't feel agonisingly sluggish. The screen, which has a resolution of 1,024x600 pixels, didn't look particularly great though. The 100A has Wi-Fi and the option of 3G.
As for the 100W (which has Wi-Fi but no 3G), we were happier to see that this was looking more like a finished product, although many of the issues we found in the 100A persist. The processor on board is of the Intel Atom variety, so it didn't feel all that swift, and might struggle to play HD video. The display is the same resolution as the 100A, and as well as feeling not very slim, the plastic body felt a little cheap.
Cheap isn't a word that's particularly relevant here, however -- prices will start at around £320, and for that money you could acquire yourself an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. Or you could hold out for one of the ace-looking Android 3.0 tablets just around the corner.
MSI could turn these tablets into something flashier before they're released later in the year, so fingers crossed.