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MSI Wind U135 review:

MSI Wind U135

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Typical Price: $599.00
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The Good Excellent keyboard. Acceptable battery life. Some designs are quite striking.

The Bad One button touch-pad. Black version looks pretty ordinary. Some system instability issues.

The Bottom Line MSI's latest netbook impresses us with a quality keyboard.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.1 Overall

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The box for the MSI Wind U135 promises "One Million Dazzling Stars", not that it contains superheated balls of gas. They'd burn the cardboard box quite badly. The 1 million reference is due to this being a "celebration" edition of the Wind hardware, having sold a million of them. The same box promises "exquisite patterns and glossy finish for premium look and feel", and looking at the images above you might see the point.

Imagine our surprise then when we opened up the Wind U135 and nestled inside was a Wind notebook that didn't look significantly different from the outside from any previous Wind models. It was black, and it was plastic in tone in that particularly netbook-style way. It appears that some models of the Wind U135 are delicate flowers, and others are ugly ducklings. It would certainly pay to check inside the box before buying one, depending on where your preferences lay.

Opening up our review sample did reveal one significant change from previous Wind models, however. The Wind U135 features a full chiclet-style keyboard that extends out to a millimetre from each side. This gives each key good spacing, which should lead to fewer keying errors. As with any netbook, there's still only so much space to give to each key, but it's a marked step up from earlier Wind models.


The core specifications of the Wind U135 are, like many netbooks, not that extraordinary, but then MSI's not selling the U135 at any kind of inflated price. For your AU$599 you get a "Pine Trail" Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and integrated Intel GMA3150 graphics. Wireless networking supports 802.11b/g/n and the Ethernet port is gigabit capable, which is a nice point of difference. The Wind U135's 10-inch display screen has the usual 1024x600-pixel count, hidden behind a somewhat glossy screen. The default battery that ships with the Wind U135 is a six-cell model. While this is somewhat bulky on the base, six-cell batteries typically give very good power under the generally low draw of netbook processors.

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