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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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  • Reading in dollars? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EEDAm ( 808004 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:44AM (#23587147)
    You're right that £329 is about $650 on etc today. However it's a bit misleading when it comes to product. In Blighty here we have always suffered in the transatlantic stakes - new kit is always significantly more expensive than the USD/GBP exchange rate would infer. This is frequently illustrated in the UK press as being indicative of 'Rip off Britain'. I very strongly suspect this holds in the reverse here too. Given how weak the dollar is, I seriously don't expect them to be charging $650 for it in the US - it'll be cheaper.
  • Weird scaling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oxy the moron ( 770724 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:58AM (#23587379)

    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.

  • Re:Motherboard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by abolitiontheory ( 1138999 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @12:14PM (#23587593)
    The problem is that there's so much at stake in computer hardware. A lot of consumer decisions are made on snap reflexes to past experiences. If your car breaks down, you don't loose thousands of miles of past driving experience, or anything as nasty as a hard drive failure on a PC. I've established loyalties to companies based not so much on what they've provided me, but on the fact that they've simply not let me down. So far, these are my Hardware company loyalties:

    Motherboards: Gigabyte (2 boards + 1 RMA [my fault], 5 years)
    Hard Drives: IBM/Hitatchi DeskStar (4 drives, increasing size not failures, 6 years)
    GPU: nVidia (2 cards, Ti500 and 8600GT, almost 8 years)
    Optical Drives: Lite-On (4 drives, 6 years)

    Interestingly, the only flip-flop I've had lately is AMD to Intel. AMD rocked Intel in heat/stability/efficiency back around the Barton/P4 era. Since Duo Core, though, there's no turning back.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @05:00PM (#23592069)

    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).
    Personally, I consider what they have on that laptop the "standard" layout. Microsoft uses it, Logitech uses it, my HP laptop uses it, and whatever cheapo OEM made this Dell keyboard that I'm typing on now uses it.

    I'm surpised that there are actually people that prefer their keyboard any other way :).

    Personally, I tend to mentally seperate my keys by rows. A key should never span more than one row, so the "L" shaped Enter key is an immediate abomination. The standard size shown on this laptop keeps it on a single row that I can easily reach over to from the home keys, but it's nice and wide. Right above that, equally nice and wide, and EASY TO REACH, is the backslash key, which when working on Unix systems (which I often am) I use constantly. If it's place in tiny form near the backspace key it's harder to reach and easier to accidentally hit backspace when reaching for. If it's placed on the bottom row next to the shift key as it sometimes is to make room for that oversized Enter, it's even harder reach, and I often would accidentally mistake it for shift.

    Frankly, on any layout other than the one shown I'll tend to start "tripping up" while I'm typing, so I'll definitely throw in my vote in support of it ;).
  • Re:Weird scaling (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FleaPlus ( 6935 ) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @05:58PM (#23592815) Journal
    A couple weeks ago the official pricing structure for the MSI Wind in the US was announced, which I think alters your analysis quite a bit, as the version of the MSI Wind with Linux will be less costly than either the Eee or the Vostro: []

    The Linux version, running Novel's SUSE, will have 512MB RAM and an 80GB hard drive. It will retail for $399. The Windows XP version will have 1GB RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and Bluetooth, retailing for $549. However according to MSI a base configuration of the Windows XP product will be available for under $500.

Trap full -- please empty.