As I promised while having a go at the Asus EeePC 900 I would do a quick look at the MSI Wind which I ordered at the same time. Please note throughout this "preview" that this particular model had a regular SATA drive, that is a mechanical disk drive, as opposed to a Solid state drive (SSD). I ran PassMark’s HDD performance test (at default settings with 1 drive) and it scored roughly 322.5 out of 400. Overall PassMark rating Performace Test 6.1: 202.6 out of 300 (full benchmarks here).
Curiously the single harddisk was formatted thus: WINRE (3.01GB FAT32), OS_Install C: (40GB NTFS) and D: (32GB NTFS).
Also of note: They call it ‘the Wind Notebook’ when this is clearly in the sub-notebook or netbook range of portable computers.
- CPU: Intel Atom 1.6Ghz (N270)
- WiFi: Realtek 802.11 b/g Mini card
- OS: Win XP Home version 2002 SP3
- HDD: SATA 80GB
- RAM: 1GB DDRII
- LCD: 10″ WSVGA (non-glare)
- Other: Bluetooth v.2, EDR, Webcam
- 3 cell battery (I guess this is optional)
- LEFT: AC, Kensington lock hatch, 2x USB 2.0
- BACK: none
- Right: Ethernet, VGA, 1x Speaker & 1x Headphone 3.5mm jack, MMC-SD card reader, 1x USB 2.0
- ABOVE LCD: Webcam (center) Built-in mic (to the right)
Comes with a Warranty Sticker: Void if tampered over one of the screws underneath.
On first-boot it will ask you what locale you want your windows in. For space-saving (or maybe licensing reasons) the other version(s) are removed so be careful about your choice. This also means that the first boot takes ages.
Which brings about something weird… With MSI Notebook in the corner and a real slow boot status at the bottom there are four bizarre 24-bit BMP quality pictures displayed in this cycle:
- Obama-like couple grinning in the park
- Four middle-aged Germans dancing polka in sweaters
- Strawberry-like rose leaves with a white paper ribbon over ’em
- Gay boy listening to music on a skyscraper (holding the headphones with both hands like a fucking idiot)
Are these the MSI Wind people? Do I want to associate myself with them? A simple status bar with a TIME REMAINING would’ve done it.
- Boot-times (auto-login):
- Measured at pressing POWER to fully usable interface: 52.85 secs
- Measured from BIOS screen to usable interface: 43.54 secs
- Boot-down from interface to POWER OFF: 13.45 secs
- Please note: Windows Operative systems have poor bootup practices, allowing the user to move around and do things although many processes aren’t finished booting yet. This is why Windows seems so slow in the beginning – it is still booting.
The boot times aren’t too shabby for a windows machine. But just wait until after you’ve used it for some time and your registry’s full of void strings.. You’d think the XP Home on a sub-notebook would be optimized for speed. But it isn’t. Not even the simple "time to display list of operating systems" and "recovery opetions when needed" are adjusted. Why have a 30s bootloader on what’s most probably a windows-only machine? You don’t need 30 seconds when 3 is enough. At least it’s got /fastdetect flag in the startup command..
The great thing about it is that they didn’t let the LCD screen determine the size as was the case with the EeePC 900 series I looked at earlier. This means that they have fit a near-full keyboard on the damn thing and instead added a big black border around the 10" LCD. I hear Asus have remedied this in later versions of the triple E. They’ve managed to put the Fn button all to the right, where I’d expect CTRL to be, but they’ve got a nice ENTER and Backspace button.
As far as I can tell, this machine seems okay to use. It’s a netbook, not a notebook/laptop replacement, so don’t expect too much from it in terms of computing power. It turned on pretty fast, and as soon as you realize everything’s started with Fn+F1-12 buttons it gets pretty easy to use. As always with windows it isn’t ready out-of-the-box. Like I’ve mentioned before the Automatic updates in windows XP keep disconnecting current wireless connections, making it an unsuitable option for the MSI. So why include it? Why didn’t they just scale down an XP Pro to a minimum, leaving behind stuff like Automatic Updates and focus on features that we saw in the XP Tablet editions? It’s a good netbook, I still prefer the Eee, and if you want a notebook choose something entirely different.