The Good Great battery life; good screen; impressive keyboard.
The Bad Expensive; tired-looking design.
The Bottom Line Full marks to MSI for trying to do something different with the MSI Wind U115 Hybrid, but, despite the excellent battery life, we're not convinced there's quite enough on offer to justify the high price tag
MSI Wind U115 Hybrid
One of the most common criticisms levelled againstis that they're essentially all the same. MSI is out to prove the critics wrong with the Wind U115 Hybrid. Not only does it have both solid-state and hard disk drives, but it's also got a graphics chip that can help speed up high-definition video decoding. With a price tag of around £460, standing out from the netbook crowd obviously doesn't come cheap, so is the extra outlay worth it?
Under the bonnet, this netbook differs from rival models in a number of significant ways. Firstly, it uses Intel's new GMA 500 graphics chip, designed to speed up HD video decoding -- something that the vast majority of netbooks on the market today struggle with. The idea is that, when you watch a video that's encoded in HD, instead of the processor handling the load, it passes the hard work over to the graphics chip, leaving the processor free to keep other background tasks running without any slowdown.
It's worth noting, though, that this decoding acceleration only works on video that's encoded in MPEG-2, VC-1, WMV 9 or H.264, and the software video player also has to support the graphics chipset for it to work, so you don't get the benefit of the hardware decoding under all circumstances.
MSI Wind U115 Hybrid: Goes for hours and hours and hours
The MSI Wind U115 Hybrid has been confirmed and priced. It's a new laptop with a fancy new chipset that means it'll keep on going for hours. Up to 12 hours, in fact