MSI Wind U135 Netbook Review - HotHardware

MSI Wind U135 Netbook Review

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If you've ready our in-depth analysis of the Wind U100, you'll pretty much be up to speed with the design and build quality, save for a few key changes that have happened over the past year. The 10" frame is exactly the same as other Wind netbooks that we have handled, with a glossy black palm rest and LCD bezel, a glossy exterior, a matte underside and a glossy LCD. The chiclet style keyboard may be new for some of you, but this format has become somewhat of a standard choice in today's notebook world.


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MSI has also bumped up the trackpad size by 20%, which is a big upgrade in our minds. In our past experiences with MSI netbooks, we always felt that the trackpad was a tad cramped. 20% isn't huge, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. Netbooks deserve notebook-sized trackpads, and any increase in size is one we support.


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We were somewhat disappointed that MSI hasn't really altered the port layout over the past year. There's still just a single video output (VGA), while many other machines are moving on to DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI. There's also no sign of USB 3.0, and while we understand that it is just now gaining traction, it's understandable to think that some consumers will simply pass on any new machine coming out without USB 3.0. We estimate that most machines hitting the market by Q4 will support SuperSpeed USB, so unless you need one now, a machine with USB 3.0 is easy to pass on.

    
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There's no mistaking that the overall build quality of the U135 isn't exactly top-notch. It's a $300 machine though, so that's perfectly acceptable. Compared to the much more expensive Lenovo ThinkPad Edge that we just reviewed, this is a step-down in quality. But that said, it's plenty sturdy for the target market. This is a bargain-priced machine, and considering that it cost just over $300, the reliance of semi-flexible plastics is understandable. The LCD hinge, however, seemed extremely sturdy, with our only complaint there being that it won't recline 100% flat.


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There's still no optical drive, and there's still a rather large bezel surrounding the LCD. We do like the idea of having an option for integrated WiMAX, though it seems this approach would be more useful in the U.S. if they partnered with a major cellphone carrier (Verizon or AT&T, perhaps) and offered a subsidized version with integrated 3G WWAN.

    
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The MSI components all together from my point of view anyway seem to be well thought out, and generally solid products.

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Im pretty sure I couldnt type with my big fingers on that little thing lol...

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Lol Killer you might be surprised. I have very large hands (10" palm to tip of index, and am 6'3" tall), I had someone send me a netbook to repair I could actually use it. It was one of the small one's to, smaller than this one. While I would not want one of the smaller one for personal use a 10-12 would be fine I am almost positive. Also remember a netbook is more mobility and extended usage over a period of time to, not for typing a book on although the guy in the BK commercial (I have such tiny hands), a child or many females would not have any issues at all with them. I was just surprised I could use it decently well (although it was pecking if I remember correctly, it was not hard), a 10 or bigger would be fine I think.

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