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MSI Wind U123 taken through its paces

April 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm


MSI Wind U123Following on from the recent unboxing, Portable Monkey has put up a MSI Wind U123 review. Overall impressions on the 10-inch netbook were positive including very good keyboard and screen. However, they felt it was let down by a number of smaller factors including tinny sound from the speakers, no scrolling capability on the touchpad and low microphone volume.

One of the big disappointments, though, was that the RAM/HDD cannot be upgraded without voiding the warranty. Apparently whilst the bottom part of the case can be easily removed, MSI have placed a “void if tampered with” sticker to make sure you don’t upgrade the parts yourself.

The white MSI U123 comes with a 10-inch (1024 x 600) display powered by a 1.66Ghz N280 Intel Atom CPU and 945GSE chipset. Graphics are served by Intel’s GMA950. Other features include Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.0, 1.3MP webcam and a 5-in-1 card reader (the US SKU comes with a 4-in 1 reader). It also comes with a 6-cell battery (5200 mAh) as standard. The unit weighs less than 1.4kg (2.98lbs) including the 6-cell battery. Check out the key points of the review after the break.

Key points from the MSI Wind U123 review:

  • Good build quality, with hardly any keyboard flex. Hinges also don’t wobble like previous Wind netbooks.
  • Touchpad: Can easily glide fingers over it. Felt a bit small horizontally. However no hardware support for scrolling is a big letdown.
  • Battery lasted just under 5 hours using battery Eater Classic test. Settings: Wi-Fi, Webcam, BT, Sound OFF, ECO Mode ON, No mouse, Lowest Brightness.
  • Display is excellent with vivid enough colours.
  • Weight distribution of netbook is at rear which means it can fall off your lap if screen tilted back.
  • Power button sits above keyboard with bright blue light, can be distracting.
  • Sound volume is good but tinny.
  • Recording video from the webcam worked well. However, microphone had issues as could hardly hear own voice.
  • Pleased with noise levels. Stayed cool all over.

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