Wind Of Change
MSI has been quick to bring their Wind Netbook to India, and we received the 6-cell version. With Intel releasing their Atom processors, all the top laptop manufacturers have been focussing on making compact and cheap laptops for the masses. ASUS’ 10-inch Eee PC 1000H is direct competition to the MSI Wind.
The MSI Wind has a 6-cell battery and a 10-inch screen, and pretty much the same configuration as the Eee PC 1000H. The body has a matte finish, and its curved edges give it a very compact look.
There are a few other differences between the MSI Wind and the ASUS EeePC: the keyboard, although similarly spaced, is positioned weirdly. The Function key sits on the extreme left bottom of the keyboard, where the [Ctrl] key should be. There are status indicators for most of the features that you control using the Function keys. The touchpad is a little small, and the two mouse clickers have been integrated into one large button.
An Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor powers the MSI Wind along with 1 GB of RAM and an 80 GB Western Digital drive. The build quality in general isn’t as good as the ASUS Eee PC. The hinge, for example, doesn’t feel as sturdy, which means with the Wind you have a screen that literally will flap in a strong wind. The keys feel a little cheaply put together as well.
There’s really nothing to set the Wind apart from the Eee PC in terms of performance though, and this is because of the almost identical hardware in use. SiSoft recorded a hard drive index of 47 MBps, and our video encoding test took close to four and a half minutes.
Although the 802.11n standard is not the norm just yet, it seems significant enough to mention that the Eee PC supports it, while the Wind does not.
The screen quality is more or less what we’ve come to expect from Netbooks. It’s important that you realise that although screens on Netbooks aren’t as vibrant as those on regular sized laptops, it’s the high 1024 x 600 resolutions on smaller screens that cause these screens to look very crisp and sharp.
The center of the laptop gets a little warm and the vents on the side of the MSI Wind are quite large. The Wind’s 6-cell battery sticks out from the bottom of the notebook instead of the back. This adds to its compact profile.
The webcam quality is average. The audio quality isn’t very impressive either but it is better than the Acer. The charger is a little bulkier than the one supplied with the EeePC as well.
Overall, the MSI Wind is a great laptop and it lies in between the Acer One and the ASUS EeePC 1000H in price. In terms of features, it lags behind the Eee PC 1000H, but the 6-cell version of the MSI Wind is priced at Rs 29,000. This makes it a little expensive as compared to the MSI Wind. As long as the EeePC 6-cell is priced around the same as the MSI Wind, the Eee PC remains the better option. If you can get the Wind for over Rs 1,500 cheaper, it’s worth considering.
Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 1 GB DDR2 667 MHz RAM, 80 GB HDD, 10” 1024 x 600 LCD screen, 6-cell battery
Web site: www.msi-india.com
Price: Rs 29,000
Build Quality: 3.5
Value for Money: 3