Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MSI WIND LAPTOP





With its pearl-white finish, the much-awaited MSI Wind is like a breath of fresh air and this mini-laptop may just emerge a strong contender to challenge the Asus Eee PC's claim to fame.

Features and Specifications
The MSI Wind is powered by the latest Intel Atom processor clocked at a speed of 1.6 GHz. It has 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM (expandable to 2GB), an 80 GB hard drive spinning at 5400 RPM. The graphics engine is driven by Intel GMA 950, and the 10-inch non-glossy screen, which is larger than the Eee PC 900's 8.9-inch display, supports a maximum resolution of 1024x600 pixels. On the connectivity front, it bundles in 802.11b/g standard Wi-Fi, three USB ports, 4-in-1 card reader, mic and headphone jacks, VGA port, and Ethernet. The build quality of the chassis is good, and it also has an integrated 1.3MP web camera for taking snapshots and recording video. The microphone carved into the front chassis, a little right of the webcam; comes handy during video chats. Watching movies and listening to songs is still good, given the laptop's dimensions. The speakers are situated beneath the keyboard, and we liked the sound pumped out at full volume, and listening to streaming music over the Wi-Fi was a breeze as well.

Design and Usability
Our lab sample came with a base install of Windows XP. It weighed in at a minuscule 1.25 kg thus offering truly impressive ultra-portability. Slightly larger than a hardcover book, it can be easily tucked away in an office desk drawer. Its standard 6-cell battery provides an extensive battery life which easily lasted over 5 hours with standard usage. The Wind didn't buckle under the strain of surfing the Internet on Firefox 3.0, with multiple tabs open and multitasking with MS Office applications - which is what its intended usage is. For a mini-laptop, the Wind's keyboard isn't bad at all. Typing on it takes getting used to, but the keyboard's tapering design simplifies that, and it takes little time before your fingers move seamlessly on the keypad. There is a discernible key flex but not enough to spoil the party as every key is well-defined. Keyboards become even more of an issue with mini-laptops as they're small in size. Chunky fingers notwithstanding, all of us in the lab were satisfied and felt the overall tactile feedback of the Wind's keyboard was good. The touchpad is fairly responsive, too.

Verdict
Battery-life, performance, screen-size and the size of the keypad were our biggest concerns, and the Wind scored high in each of those categories. But for all it offers, it still lacks an optical drive, Gigabit LAN and doesn't support the latest Draft-N wireless connectivity standard, which the Eee PC 1000 does. It is hard to understand the omission of the Draft-N standard as it offers much higher data transfer speeds as compared to the wireless b/g standard.

Comparing mini-laptops to normal laptops is fair when the prices are at par, but overall the trimmed down, low-cost versions aren't really designed to compete with normal notebook PCs. These are small laptops aimed at people who want small, light devices that are easy to carry around and surf the Internet with. If you want a small device that weighs about 1 kg, connects to the Internet and multitasks with simple software, the Wind is pretty nifty at Rs. 22,000. With Windows XP it is approximately priced at Rs. 25,000.

Krish image


1 comment:

Kiran Sawhney said...

hi,

thanks for stopping by my blog.
as far as lap tops...i am MAC freak. Mac rocks...what say?