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NbC: MSI Wind U115 Hybrid Review

July 27, 2009 at 9:23 am


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Build & Design

There is no doubting that feature-wise, this is one of the best netbooks on the market today. However, it seems that MSI spent most of the development time on figuring out how to pack all of this tech into the chassis rather on the design. The aesthetics haven’t moved on since the U100, which is a shame considering this is an area that other manufacturers have been focusing on with success (the Asus Eee PC 1008HA and Samsung N310/Go are great examples of this). These models show that specs and battery life do not need to be compromised for good looks.

One area which can’t be faulted, though, is the build quality. The netbook feels very solid in the hand with no discernible creaks and flexing in the lid. However, we did notice very slight movements with the battery, which caused us to check to make sure it was locked in place properly. Opening and closing the lid was very smooth, with just the right amount of resistance to support the display. Once again, we noticed no creaks during this motion.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The Wind U115 isn’t the slimmest netbook around, measuring 31.5mm at its thickest point. The 6-cell battery creates a very slight tilt, which puts the netbook at a nice angle for typing.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The solid build quality extended to the palm rest and keyboard. The palm rest exhibited no flex and we were very impressed by the solidity of the keyboard that did not flex at all, despite exerting quite a bit of pressure.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The Wind U115 comes with a glossy lid although thankfully it is not susceptible to noticeable fingerprint marks. A typical MSI logo sits in the middle of the case.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The lid is patterned although it has a glossy coating on top. It’s a very subtle touch but quite pleasant to the eye. The colour and type of materials used means that you will only notice fingerprint marks when angled to the light.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The palm rest uses a matte plastic rather than the glossy material used in the lid. This works well when typing, as your hands don’t stick to the palm rest when used for long periods. The keys on the keyboard use a similar material (albeit in black).

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The display is surrounded by a large black bezel, as is the case with most 10-inch netbooks on the market. The top of the bezel houses the 1.3MP webcam and a solitary mic on the right-hand side. The bezel also has small black rubber points to ensure that the netbook lid doesn’t clap when the netbook is closed.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The Wind U115 lid could be placed quite far back, marginally further than the Samsung N120. I was not restricted by the hinge when using the netbook whilst travelling.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The picture below gives a better idea as to how far the lid opens. The hinge felt very sturdy despite how far the screen lid was pushed back.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The MSI Wind U115 has a total of eight status lights, more than most other netbooks. Starting from the left, we welcomed the inclusion of a status light for Bluetooth, as well as one for Wi-Fi. A sleep indicator sits next to this along with a battery indicator. Caps lock and num lock come next before you get to the scroll lock and HDD access lights.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

The power indicator light flashes a cool blue colour when in use…

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

… however, when you switch into Eco mode i.e. the HDD is switched off, the status indicator turns green to let you know the mode has been changed.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

With some netbook manufacturers really pushing the envelope when it comes to design, the U115 Wind can be described as functional at best. It looks pretty much like any other 10-inch netbook out there, which is a shame considering how well featured the U115 is.

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

Nothing in particular is wrong with the design, but given the premium charged one would expect something prettier. Or maybe we’re a bit shallow!

MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook

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Comments

5 Responses to “NbC: MSI Wind U115 Hybrid Review”

  1. ODOEMENE CHIDIEBERE said:
    August 22nd, 2009 3:58 PM

    I will appreciate to know where i can shop this amazing netbook.

    I am writing from Nigeria and the good battery life will make huge business sense here.

    Best regards.

    Chidi

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