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Portables Hardware

First Reviews of the MSI Wind Ultra-Portable Laptop 148

Ken E. writes "UK tech website Mobile Computer has an early hands-on review of the MSI Wind — a £329 ultraportable notebook that will compete head-on with the Asus Eee PC 900. In its favour are a 10in screen, better keyboard and, perhaps most important of all, an Intel Atom 1.6GHz dual-core processor (though the site shies away from mentioning this open secret due to what sound like NDA constraints). They like it a lot — is this finally a worthy Eee PC alternative?" (£329 is about $650US at the moment.) An anonymous reader points to CNET's hands-on photo gallery of the Wind; CNET's reviewer says the MSI Wind is the first mini notebook with an overclock button. Barence adds another review at PC Pro.
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First Reviews of the MSI Wind Ultra-Portable Laptop

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  • Re:OLPC (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:42AM (#23587099) Homepage Journal
    Yes, because clearly a $700 ultraportable is clearly a direct competitor for a $100 laptop aimed at children in developing nations.
  • "Green" Laptop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TTURabble ( 1164837 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:42AM (#23587113)
    Am I the only one who read the title and thought that MSI had made a wind powered laptop?
  • Re:OLPC (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:46AM (#23587163)

    $100 laptop aimed at children in developing nations.
    It's only $100 if you subtract the other $88 from the price.
  • page (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcelrath ( 8027 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:47AM (#23587183) Homepage
    Ok, why the hell has every manufacturer in the business decided to eschew the pgup/pgdn buttons for the god-awful two-handed replacement? Does anyone actually like this crap or are the rest of you only reading 1 page things?
  • Re:Motherboard (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tweak13 ( 1171627 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:49AM (#23587223)
    Any specific reason, or are you just spouting a bunch of crap? I've been using an MSI motherboard in a gaming machine I built for about a year and a half now, it's been one of the best motherboards I've ever used. Looking at reviews, they have a few models that are rated pretty low, some that are rated excellent. Just like every other motherboard manufacturer.
  • Re:OLPC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:53AM (#23587299) Homepage
    Even more when the $100 laptop costs $199.00 or more.

    This MSI laptop is only slightly smaller and has less use (no dvdrw than their already small subnotebooks.

    I'm thinking it's a marketing gimmick only.
  • by Blahbooboo3 ( 874492 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @12:07PM (#23587511)

    I find it interesting that this laptop more or less falls right in between your standard fare laptop and an Eee PC in terms of portability and raw power, but is the most expensive of the crop.

    Using the base Vostro 1500 for the "average laptop" and the Eee PC 8G we have:

    • Eee PC - 7" display, 800Mhz Celeron, 8G storage, 1GB RAM @ $549
    • Wind - 10" display, 1.6Ghz Atom, 80GB storage, 1GB RAM @ $649
    • Vostro 1500 - 15.4" display, 1.6Ghz C2D, 120GB storage, 2GB RAM @ $499

    I realize the comparison is odd since they all hit different intended markets, but it seems that something that is between the two in specs would be closer to either of the two in terms of price than it currently is.

    Compared to the Vostro you're paying for the size reduction. I bet that Vostro is one of those fugly and heavy cheap dells. At 6.33lbs, you can have that Vostro lead brick. UGH! Never again for travel would I use something that heavy. Once you go 3lbs for travel, you NEVER go back.

    Compared to the EEE, you are paying for the larger 10" screen & faster processor.

    All in all, it makes perfect sense to me the price placement from your list.
  • Re:Motherboard (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shawn(at)fsu ( 447153 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @12:38PM (#23587969) Homepage
    thats some nice FUD you have there.
  • Re:Why would I? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @12:38PM (#23587979)
    You're paying for the smaller size...that kind of engineering isn't free.
  • Benchmarks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tknd ( 979052 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @01:34PM (#23588949)


    Most impressive of all, however, was performance. We didn't run any benchmarks, but the MSI Wind felt extremely snappy in general use...

    How can you claim performance is good without running quantitative benchmarks?

    I am interested in the performance of the new Atom processor because it uses a new chip design that prioritizes cost (to manufacture) and power efficiency, but not necessarily performance.

  • Re:Why would I? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mollymoo ( 202721 ) * on Thursday May 29, 2008 @01:42PM (#23589099) Journal
    It's not free, but it is cheap. Smaller screen = less money. Small case means no need for a metal frame = less money. No optical drive = less money. Assuming these things are similar to my Eee they are incredibly basic inside - silver paint serves as a shield, one sheet of metal under the keyboard is the heatsink, even the trackpad buttons are on the motherboard itself instead of on a daughterboard. There is only one type of screw holding my Eee together. Compared to the other laptops I've been inside with multiple pieces of shielding with a thousand tiny screws, heatpipe coolers for the CPU, daughterboards for power input or case buttons or indicator lights, hard drive, optical drive, all screwed to a metal frame, blah blah blah... they're incredibly simple in terms of construction. There's no expensive engineering there, that's all been done by Intel making a low-power reference design that fits on a motherboard small enough. I guess the closest you'd get to fancy electronics would be fitting the power supplies in there (no room for cheap electrolytic caps) - but they don't use much power, so you don't need many of yer fancy big low-ESR ceramic or tantalum caps anyway.

    The price is what it is because that's what they think the market will bear, not because it's representative of the manufacturing cost. One there are more on the market and the early adopters have has their fill someone will cut the price by 20% or more and the rest will follow suit.
  • Antique analog VGA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by orangepeel ( 114557 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @01:52PM (#23589271)
    Is anyone else frustrated to see analog RGB/VGA as the video output method for an external display? Isn't this supposed to be a cutting-edge laptop? It's 2008. It should have DVI (or even the easily converted to/from HDMI). Are there really that many people left who have access only to a dinosaur CRT or an oddball LCD that allows only for an analog signal?

    And while I'm at it, I'd be interested to hear other people's perception of the oversized backspace key (yeah, I know, this is at the bottom of the list of considerations for purchasing a new laptop, but I've got lots of free time to kill today). I've always preferred keyboards with a large "L-shaped" Enter key, and a standard size backspace key (so that the \| key is right at the top row, between the =+ key and the backspace). I've never really understood why some people like to shrink the size of a heavily used key (Enter) to make room for a key that is rarely used (backspace).

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.