MSI Wind U135 Netbook Review

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Introduction and Specifications


 
We have been fans of MSI's Wind series of netbooks. They have consistently rivaled Asus' Eee PC range and HP's Mini line, and the competition has been good for the industry. MSI's Wind line has remained relatively consistent over the years, with the design staying mostly the same, but the internals progressively getting more advanced with newer hardware platforms from Intel and fresher operating systems from Microsoft (and Linux, truth be told). The Wind U135 is the first major contender in MSI's netbook line to ship with Intel's Pine Trail platform within, which means that it finally ditches the aging Atom N270/N280 CPU in favor of the newer Atom N450.


What's most interesting here is that our review should detail quite nicely what improvements are available from Intel's new platform. In most every other way, the Wind U100 that we tested early last year is exactly the same, save for the new CPU and new integrated GPU. The price has also fallen quite nicely, with the Wind U135 priced around $315. When the U100 launched, it was around $430. MSI has also made a few small improvements here in terms of usability, with a chiclet keyboard being implemented and the trackpad given a small bump in size. There's also the option for adding WiMAX support for those near Clear equipped cities, and the addition of Windows 7 (albeit the Starter edition) really makes this a compelling netbook for those who were waiting out the Windows XP phase.


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MSI Wind U135 Netbook
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Atom N450 @ 1.66GHz, 667MHz FSB; 512K Cache
  • 1GB of DDR2 RAM (667MHz)
  • 10" LCD (1024x600 resolution); LED backlight
  • Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics
  • 160GB (5400RPM) WD Scorpio Blue Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • No Optical Drive
  • 1.3 megapixel webcam
  • VGA Output
  • USB 2.0 x 3
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
  • Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
  • SD / MMC / MSPro Multimedia Card Reader
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 2.64 Pounds (with 3-cell battery installed)
  • Removable 3-Cell or 6-Cell Li-ion Battery
  • 10.23" x 7.08" x 0.74"-1.24" (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Starter (32-bit)
  • Price (as tested): $315

 




You'll notice a lot of familiar specifications here, but the notable difference makers are the Atom N450 CPU (based on Pine Trail platform), faster memory, a new GMA 3150 GPU and Windows 7 Starter instead of Windows XP. We'll be putting this one to the test in the pages to come, so join us as we take an in-depth look at MSI's latest Wind netbook.

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