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First Reviews of the MSI Wind Ultra-Portable Laptop

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the when-ndas-expire-you-sorta-win dept.

Portables 148

Ken E. writes "UK tech website Mobile Computer has an early hands-on review of the MSI Wind — a £329 ultraportable notebook that will compete head-on with the Asus Eee PC 900. In its favour are a 10in screen, better keyboard and, perhaps most important of all, an Intel Atom 1.6GHz dual-core processor (though the site shies away from mentioning this open secret due to what sound like NDA constraints). They like it a lot — is this finally a worthy Eee PC alternative?" (£329 is about $650US at the moment.) An anonymous reader points to CNET's hands-on photo gallery of the Wind; CNET's reviewer says the MSI Wind is the first mini notebook with an overclock button. Barence adds another review at PC Pro.

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Black people. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23586987)

I'm not being rude, but they fucking stink. I wish they'd all go back to Blackland.

Motherboard (-1, Redundant)

locokamil (850008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587021)

If their laptops are anything like their motherboards, you'd be well advised to steer clear of this one.

Re:Motherboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587079)

Why?

Re:Motherboard (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587177)

can you elaborate? I've always found their motherboards to be well build and reliable.

Re:Motherboard (1)

locokamil (850008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587289)

It's almost as if they build their motherboards to die after a year (+/- 1 month) of use... I've had four of them die on me so far (I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment), while the Asus and Gigabyte ones continue to hum along just fine.

Re:Motherboard (4, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587535)

I had one MSI mainboard that was DOA. No problems getting a replacement. Since then it's been used in a small office file server which runs 24/7 in a (sadly) unventilated closet, survived a number of power outages and even a power supply explosion (literally). Running for three years now ann not a single problem... with the mainboard anyway :)

MSI is certainly not a top brand but they're not complete junk either, in my experience.
=Smidge=

Re:Motherboard (2, Interesting)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587593)

The problem is that there's so much at stake in computer hardware. A lot of consumer decisions are made on snap reflexes to past experiences. If your car breaks down, you don't loose thousands of miles of past driving experience, or anything as nasty as a hard drive failure on a PC. I've established loyalties to companies based not so much on what they've provided me, but on the fact that they've simply not let me down. So far, these are my Hardware company loyalties:

Motherboards: Gigabyte (2 boards + 1 RMA [my fault], 5 years)
Hard Drives: IBM/Hitatchi DeskStar (4 drives, increasing size not failures, 6 years)
GPU: nVidia (2 cards, Ti500 and 8600GT, almost 8 years)
Optical Drives: Lite-On (4 drives, 6 years)

Interestingly, the only flip-flop I've had lately is AMD to Intel. AMD rocked Intel in heat/stability/efficiency back around the Barton/P4 era. Since Duo Core, though, there's no turning back.

Re:Motherboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23589733)

So you get DeathStars for HDD's?

BTW, AMD is probably beating Intel again soon. And then Intel again. It goes like that.

Also, my list:

Motherboards: Asus.
Hard Drives: Seagate
GPU: nVidia (because all competitor product linux drivers are shit)

Also: I've had BAAAD experience with pre-USB2 MSI mobos. And I mean really bad.

Re:Motherboard (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587679)

Perhaps the problem is the user and not the mobo. Built all of my systems with MSI motherboards for the last ten years, never have had a problem with one yet. One that is over 5 years old is still chugging along with nary a problem.

Re:Motherboard (1)

locokamil (850008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587955)

PEBKAC would make sense if the 15 other computers with other motherboards hadn't been working flawlessly...

Re:Motherboard (5, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587295)

I'd generally steer clear of anything with a relic of a "Turbo" button..

Re:Motherboard (0, Offtopic)

kirbysuperstar (1198939) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587537)

Does that include sooped-up Honda Civics?

Re:Motherboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587627)

Does that include sooped-up Honda Civics?
Well, it's more steering clear of the people who deal them than the Civics themselves...

Re:Motherboard (4, Funny)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587841)

If your car has a button for the turbo, you may have installed it incorrectly. ;-)

Re:Motherboard (5, Funny)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589093)

Not so quick. The turbo button in my 80s Civic was mislabeled AC, but I think the only incorrect installation was the light itself. If I turned off the AC light, the car could actually climb a hill with passengers in it.

Re:Motherboard (2, Insightful)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587223)

Any specific reason, or are you just spouting a bunch of crap? I've been using an MSI motherboard in a gaming machine I built for about a year and a half now, it's been one of the best motherboards I've ever used. Looking at reviews, they have a few models that are rated pretty low, some that are rated excellent. Just like every other motherboard manufacturer.

Re:Motherboard (2, Insightful)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587969)

thats some nice FUD you have there.

OLPC (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587023)

More evidence that the OLPC is a toy that we will be hearing less and less about.

Re:OLPC (2, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587099)

Yes, because clearly a $700 ultraportable is clearly a direct competitor for a $100 laptop aimed at children in developing nations.

Re:OLPC (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587163)

$100 laptop aimed at children in developing nations.
It's only $100 if you subtract the other $88 from the price.

Re:OLPC (5, Informative)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587271)

Uh it said a worthy alternative to the eee pc, not the OLPC..

Re:OLPC (1)

Vendetta (85883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587187)

I don't think we can really call the OLPC a $100 laptop, since it cost double that. But I agree, that doesn't make the Wind a direct competitor to the OLPC.

Re:OLPC (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587299)

Even more when the $100 laptop costs $199.00 or more.

This MSI laptop is only slightly smaller and has less use (no dvdrw than their already small subnotebooks.

I'm thinking it's a marketing gimmick only.

And that $ change is mostly due to the $ tanking (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587655)

while the products are produced outside the US, so the exchange rate matters...

let me be the first (1)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587109)

let me be the first who is saying "FRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP!".

"Green" Laptop (3, Insightful)

TTURabble (1164837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587113)

Am I the only one who read the title and thought that MSI had made a wind powered laptop?

Re:"Green" Laptop (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587251)

nope at least not until after I re read the headline, and realized Wind meant a small information machine.

I read it and thought (2, Funny)

gerf (532474) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587489)

"Um, aren't Atoms all single core?"

Re:I read it and thought (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589373)

Yeah, but the electrons are like math co-processors and graphic accelerators and such...

Re:I read it and thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23589697)

According to everything I've read about the first generation of atom they are only single core.

source: http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/05/26/atom.dual.core.leak/

Or taking it one step further ... (2, Funny)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587561)

A wind-up laptop?

Re:"Green" Laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587899)

Well, in theory, you could capture your farts and run the methane through a gas turbine. Imagine trying to explain that one to the hot gal sitting next to you on a plane! :)

Re:"Green" Laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587917)

I thought you had to wind it up.

Reading in dollars? (4, Interesting)

EEDAm (808004) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587147)

You're right that £329 is about $650 on xe.com etc today. However it's a bit misleading when it comes to product. In Blighty here we have always suffered in the transatlantic stakes - new kit is always significantly more expensive than the USD/GBP exchange rate would infer. This is frequently illustrated in the UK press as being indicative of 'Rip off Britain'. I very strongly suspect this holds in the reverse here too. Given how weak the dollar is, I seriously don't expect them to be charging $650 for it in the US - it'll be cheaper.

Re:Reading in dollars? (4, Informative)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587853)

This article [pcworld.com] lists the US prices as:
Linux version: $560
WinXP version: $604

and the UK prices as:
Linux version: £320 (~630 USD)
WinXP version: £350 (~690 USD)

Re:Reading in dollars? (4, Informative)

thebdj (768618) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588247)

Or it could be $399 [engadget.com]

Re:Reading in dollars? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590047)

Or it could be $399
$399 for an ultra-portable machine that runs Mac OS X [netkas.org] ? (it's a little slow with only 512MB of RAM; let's hope we can upgrade it) Yes please!

Re:Reading in dollars? (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588321)

Hate to dual reply. But the prices they list are for the UK Version to be imported by Expansys. Something engadget previously covered as $610. So, I would have to say that $399 if far more likely to be accurate based on what it is intended to compete with.

Re:Reading in dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588161)

You're oversimplifying.

As far as I can tell, the UKP329 price is inclusive of 17.5% VAT. US product prices are quoted exclusive of that sales tax (which can be at least 8%), so the fair comparison price would be (329 / 1.175) * 2.0 = $560.

Which is, coincidentally, the list price in the USA.

If you ignore VAT (which pays for things like the NHS!), "rip-off Britain" is actually a fast-fading notion, especially since we are a member of the world's largest trading bloc, the EU.

Try this calculation with things like the Eee PC and Apple kit, Nikon DSLRs etc. Quite often we aren't overpaying by the amount you expect, and often the difference could be well-explained by localisation and import duties.

Re:Reading in dollars? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588513)

It's already been reported [engadget.com] that the US price for the Linux (SuSE) version will be $399 and the XP version will be $549. The XP version will supposedly include more RAM, Bluetooth, and a higher capacity battery. There's also mention of a $499 "base" XP version.

Also, I believe that "new kit is always significantly more expensive than the USD/GBP exchange rate would imply." Last time I checked, the exchange rate wasn't capable of rational thought (ha!), and thus can't infer.

page (3, Insightful)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587183)

Ok, why the hell has every manufacturer in the business decided to eschew the pgup/pgdn buttons for the god-awful two-handed replacement? Does anyone actually like this crap or are the rest of you only reading 1 page things?

Re:page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587277)

The rest of us probably have 3+ button mice with scroll wheels...

Re:page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587293)

on my asus eee 900 i use both thumbs on the touchpad to scroll up and down. works pretty well unless you're doing selecting+pageup/down. or I also have a very small form factor mouse i often have with me which has a scroll wheel.

Re:page (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587885)

I don't know about the EeeeeeeeeeeeeeePC, but with a MacBook [Pro] you can select large chunks of text if you start the drag with one finger on the pad then put the second finger down and scroll.

Re:page (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588325)

It seems like a small thing, but the touchpad behavior on the Mac has become important enough to me that it's actually a problem now to use a Windows laptop.

Re:page (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587305)

I like the placement of the buttons on my MacBook Pro. My ThinkPad has separate buttons, but they are up in the top right corner of the keyboard and hard to hit. My MBP has them on the arrow keys and so switching between scrolling one line and scrolling one page with the keys is just a matter of resting the edge of my left hand on the function key in the bottom-left corner of the keyboard. There is no comment in TFA on whether the 'responsive' trackpad is multitouch - I have got so used to two-fingered 2D scrolling on my MBP's trackpad that I really miss it when I use other machines. They also seem to be following the trend of only including VGA, not DVI, on the machine. For those of us who have gone laptop-only but like having big screens on our desks this is a big drawback, since it basically means you can't use something like this as a primary machine (which I probably could with some external storage for when I'm not mobile) since it can't drive a decent flat panel. TFTs are digital devices, and having a DAC in the laptop and an ADC in the display is just silly (and introduces visible distortions in most cases I've seen).

Re:page (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587367)

You clearly don't hold a pencil in one hand while reading things. Not all of us have two free hands lying about.

Between the one mouse button, lack of pgup/pgdn keys, and numerous hardware problems, my macbook pro is really pissing me off. I wish everyone would stop manufacturing crap.

Re:page (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587481)

If you use two fingers on the mousepad on a Mac, it will function as a scroll wheel.

Doesn't work on older macbooks, but there's a driver floating around that will give you the feature.

Re:page (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587509)

Scroll wheel makes a crappy pgup/pgdn. Either it jumps too many pages or (if you lower sensitivity) makes scrolling in continuous mode (e.g. web browsers) way too slow.

Re:page (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588141)

Scroll wheel makes a crappy pgup/pgdn. Either it jumps too many pages or (if you lower sensitivity) makes scrolling in continuous mode (e.g. web browsers) way too slow.
That's not how the track pad on the MB Pro behaves. It actually works pretty nicely. I've caught myself using that even though I've had the mouse in my hand a few times. You're right, scroll wheels leave quite a bit to be desired.

Re:page (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587553)

Or, I don't know, throw out the default mouse and buy a 19.99 Microsoft Intellieye /w scroll wheel and *gasp* two whole buttons!!

Re:page (5, Funny)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588323)

You clearly don't hold a pencil in one hand while reading things. Not all of us have two free hands lying about.

A pencil? May I suggest something to help [enzyte.com] grow that pencil to something more substantial...

It's possible to do much better. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588151)

I like the placement of the buttons on my MacBook Pro.

I don't. And to add insult to injury mine's the 17" so there's plenty of room for a full sized keyboard.

This keyboard has what's close to the layout I'd like on a laptop:

http://www.adesso.com/images/big/bigger/MCK-91.jpg [adesso.com]

The older model I have at home, no longer available, has no "Fn" key or fake numeric keypad... which is another think I'd like to see laptop manufacturers give up on. Either way, this keyboard is about the same size as a regular laptop keyboard, yet manages to fit all the critical keys with no two-handed stupidity.

Re:page (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587439)

1^2=1; (-1)^2=1; 1^2=(-1)^2; 1=-1; 1=0.

1^2=1; (-1)^2=1; 1^2=(-1)^2; sqrt(1^2) = sqrt((-1)^2); {1,-1} = {1,- 1}

there fixed that for you ;)

Re:page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588229)

Don't be mean to him - he's a Mac owner and clearly doesn't understand mathematics.

Besides, his sig is much prettier than the way you did it.

Re:page (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588889)

Bravo! That display of geekiness has won you 2 geek points and a cookie.


Smile for the pictures and please exit the podium to your left.

Re:page (1)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587865)

I like them, can't use anything else now. Have to put up with space-bar-ing in web browsers on full-sized keyboards.

Women, the great enigma. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587217)

Women. The great enigma. Every man who desires them treats them differently, and the dance between one man and one woman as they work shyly and tenderly towards each other is as unique as a snowflake on a cold late autumn night, fragile and yet beautiful.


Some men are coarse, and wish to woo their ladies with feats of strength and masculinity. Often tall and powerful, they cast themselves as the protector to the protected, the coccoon to the lady's butterfly. Eager to prove themselves, they will be loud, brash, but never disrespectful, and will win their prize with acts of courage and valour.


Some men, on the other hand, are gentle. They behave towards a woman they desire as a honeybee would to a flower, delicately circling her before coming in to make his move, entering into a relationship where neither can survive without the other - as the honeybee to the flower, as the yin to the yang, is the man to the woman. More introverted but no less eager, he will aim to triumph in the game of love with gifts, such as chocolate, or flowers, or his mere presence on a night where she needs him most.


Both are filled with wonderment and fascination, a process that has danced for thousands of years, for millions of couples in hundreds of countries. You will have to find your own way to dance this ancient, timeless dance, but sure enough, you will find your feet, and you will find your partner in your own way.


Me, you ask? Well, I like to rip their legs off with a threshing machine.


Sometimes I spunk in the wounds.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587255)

The processor is still unknow ?

Re:Anonymous Coward (2, Informative)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588843)

RTFA, it's a 1.6 intel Atom dual core processor. For Shiva's sake it is in the summary, nvm TFA.

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589457)

What do you mean 1.6 atom? So, it's one core with 18 electrons? Or what?

Return of the Turbo button? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587349)

CNET's reviewer says the MSI Wind is the first mini notebook with an overclock button.

This sounds like the old "Turbo" button from the old 386 days!

Weird scaling (4, Interesting)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587379)

I find it interesting that this laptop more or less falls right in between your standard fare laptop and an Eee PC in terms of portability and raw power, but is the most expensive of the crop.

Using the base Vostro 1500 for the "average laptop" and the Eee PC 8G we have:

  • Eee PC - 7" display, 800Mhz Celeron, 8G storage, 1GB RAM @ $549
  • Wind - 10" display, 1.6Ghz Atom, 80GB storage, 1GB RAM @ $649
  • Vostro 1500 - 15.4" display, 1.6Ghz C2D, 120GB storage, 2GB RAM @ $499

I realize the comparison is odd since they all hit different intended markets, but it seems that something that is between the two in specs would be closer to either of the two in terms of price than it currently is.

Re:Weird scaling -- Not. (4, Insightful)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587511)

I find it interesting that this laptop more or less falls right in between your standard fare laptop and an Eee PC in terms of portability and raw power, but is the most expensive of the crop.


Using the base Vostro 1500 for the "average laptop" and the Eee PC 8G we have:

  • Eee PC - 7" display, 800Mhz Celeron, 8G storage, 1GB RAM @ $549
  • Wind - 10" display, 1.6Ghz Atom, 80GB storage, 1GB RAM @ $649
  • Vostro 1500 - 15.4" display, 1.6Ghz C2D, 120GB storage, 2GB RAM @ $499


I realize the comparison is odd since they all hit different intended markets, but it seems that something that is between the two in specs would be closer to either of the two in terms of price than it currently is.

Compared to the Vostro you're paying for the size reduction. I bet that Vostro is one of those fugly and heavy cheap dells. At 6.33lbs, you can have that Vostro lead brick. UGH! Never again for travel would I use something that heavy. Once you go 3lbs for travel, you NEVER go back.

Compared to the EEE, you are paying for the larger 10" screen & faster processor.

All in all, it makes perfect sense to me the price placement from your list.

Re:Weird scaling -- Not. (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589437)

I bet that Vostro is one of those fugly and heavy cheap dells.


Here [dell.com] is a link for you. If you hit the "Look Closer" link on that page, you can get a java-based 360 viewer. The Vostro actually has the same style aesthetic as the Wind. Just a bit bigger. Although it is a tad hefty at a starting weight of 6.33 lbs.

Re:Weird scaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587567)

I think the HP Mini-Note [tinyurl.com] is the most expensive, and far from the best (though it sure is purdy):

  •    
  • HP Mini-Note - 8.9" display, 1.2GHz VIA C7-M ULV, 120Gb HDD, 1Gb RAM @ $729

Re:Weird scaling (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588839)

Your Eee PC specs are off for the Eee 8G: 900mhz celeron and it is $499. The Eee 900 is 900mhz, 8.9" screen, 4GB + 16GB (or 8GB if you go with winxp) at $549.

The Wind is a little overpriced but is slightly different... hard drive vs ssd, slightly larger display (in dimensions, not pixels) and slightly larger keyboard. I can see some people paying the premium to have the large hard disk instead of the small ssd. The keyboard on the eee also takes a while to get used to and is very hard to touch-type on because the size of the keys are so small.

In the end I'd still keep my eee, but I don't mind the competition at all.

Re:Weird scaling (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589245)

I love the fast bootups on the SSD on the eee, and all my data is portable or network accessible anyhow. The slightly larger keyboard might be nice, but now that I have gotten used to the tiny keys a normal keyboard actually makes me tired.

Awesome battery life, assuming it meets up to spec (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587525)

3-4 hours on a 3 cell battery!? Awesome! With a 6cell battery at ~6 hours, I would gladly take one. Not to mention it's a dual core processor, and the the Asus eeePC only runs for a few (3.5) on a 6 cell battery off a 1ghz processor. That isn't to say I need a dualcore all the time, I am just amazed they could squeeze more juice out of a dual core and still make it competitive.

Re:Awesome battery life, assuming it meets up to (1)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587903)

They always exaggerate, that will be the battery life when inactive, screen with no backlight and WiFi turned off.

Re:Awesome battery life, assuming it meets up to s (1)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588747)

Atom is a single core CPU.

It supports two hardware threads on some configurations (not the lowest power versions), in the same way the P4 did.

Re:Awesome battery life, assuming it meets up to s (2, Informative)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589315)

The Silverthorne Atom was single core, the Diamondville comes in single or dual core.

Why would I? (1)

Valcrus (1242564) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587667)

While I like new toys why would I pay $600.00 for this when for $499.00 I can just get a Dell Laptop? I was looking at one of these a little while ago as I wanted something I could use for DVDs on trips and when I wasn't in the car and for something I use as a navigator in the car.

Re:Why would I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23587837)

Because the Dell laptop is big and heavy. These are small and light. Also, the 6-hour battery looks really, really nice.

Re:Why would I? (3, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587979)

You're paying for the smaller size...that kind of engineering isn't free.

Re:Why would I? (2, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589099)

It's not free, but it is cheap. Smaller screen = less money. Small case means no need for a metal frame = less money. No optical drive = less money. Assuming these things are similar to my Eee they are incredibly basic inside - silver paint serves as a shield, one sheet of metal under the keyboard is the heatsink, even the trackpad buttons are on the motherboard itself instead of on a daughterboard. There is only one type of screw holding my Eee together. Compared to the other laptops I've been inside with multiple pieces of shielding with a thousand tiny screws, heatpipe coolers for the CPU, daughterboards for power input or case buttons or indicator lights, hard drive, optical drive, all screwed to a metal frame, blah blah blah... they're incredibly simple in terms of construction. There's no expensive engineering there, that's all been done by Intel making a low-power reference design that fits on a motherboard small enough. I guess the closest you'd get to fancy electronics would be fitting the power supplies in there (no room for cheap electrolytic caps) - but they don't use much power, so you don't need many of yer fancy big low-ESR ceramic or tantalum caps anyway.

The price is what it is because that's what they think the market will bear, not because it's representative of the manufacturing cost. One there are more on the market and the early adopters have has their fill someone will cut the price by 20% or more and the rest will follow suit.

Re:Why would I? (1)

cmat (152027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589793)

I'm sorry, I think you mistook "engineering" for "manufacturing". The first involves effort, problem solving and creative solutions to cramming X shit into 25% less space. The second is about reducing component size/quality/number to achieve a cost reducing for each unit built (and perhaps reduce the complexity of the unit being built and therefor reducing building costs).

Re:Why would I? (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588555)

While I like new toys why would I pay $600.00 for this when for $499.00 I can just get a Dell Laptop?
Because it's not a Dell?

Back in my day... (3, Funny)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587733)

...the "overclock" button was known as Turbo and the only reason we used it was because our 386's went too damn fast!

Re:Back in my day... (2, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23587945)

It was more of an "underclock" button. "Turbo" was whatever your system should normally run at. Turning it off made it clock down to AT speed so games with timing loops written to CPU NOOPs instead of using the system clock wouldn't be over before you got a chance to play.

Re:Back in my day... (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588567)

The "turbo" button on my 286 functioned something like a "crash now" button would.

$400 in the US (2, Informative)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588117)

The Linux version of the Wind will be only $400 in the US [laptopmag.com] . Unfortunately, it only includes a three-cell battery, which is a deal breaker for me. I'd pay $50 more for a longer battery life, but apparently that will only be available on the "standard" $550 Windows XP model.

I don't know... (3, Funny)

pokeyburro (472024) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588123)

...329 pounds doesn't seem very portable to me...

Re:I don't know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588297)

*rimshot*

Re:I don't know... (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588443)

...329 pounds doesn't seem very portable to me...
Apparently you never carried around a Grid. For that matter, the Dell M60 I used to carry seemed pretty close.

It's Been Done Before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588169)

I just bought another IBM Thinkpad/Lenovo X30 on eBay for $199: 1.2 GHz P3, 10" screen, full size keyboard, wireless, and it fits inside a Manila envelope. Comes with MS Win XP, Ubuntu installed in 25 minutes, everything worked perfect first time.
What has changed?

Re:It's Been Done Before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588329)

Oops Forgot to mention: it boots and runs applications much faster than a brand new $3,000 Dell XPS dual core running MS Vista (what a surprise!)

It had to be asked......... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23588397)

So will hacks/mods/cracks of this thing become known as "breaking Wind"? And if so, will the goatse guy become the new mascot?

That's almost 70% more than my only-portable (0, Redundant)

suburbanmediocrity (810207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588593)

laptop

dfgsdgf (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588633)

What? No SSD? ultra portable laptops are one of the few uses that a 16gb or so SSD is viable.

Misread the title ... (1)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588781)

But, I really want a wind powered laptop.

Still quite fat for small laptops (1)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588853)

Whilst it will be a small computer, the 10" screen is making it very close in size to a 12" laptop, which aren't that expensive these days. My old 12" iBook isn't that much larger, and it's probably faster to boot, so there's not much reason to buy this.

The 9" versions are a little more desirable. I wish they'd make them slimmer.

Benchmarks? (4, Insightful)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#23588949)

FTA:

Most impressive of all, however, was performance. We didn't run any benchmarks, but the MSI Wind felt extremely snappy in general use...

How can you claim performance is good without running quantitative benchmarks?

I am interested in the performance of the new Atom processor because it uses a new chip design that prioritizes cost (to manufacture) and power efficiency, but not necessarily performance.

If you drop it and it shatters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23589069)

If you drop it and it shatters or otherwise ceases to function, does that mean you just broke wind?

Title? (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589157)

My first reading of the title:

First reviews of the MSI Wind Powered Laptop

Antique analog VGA (2, Insightful)

orangepeel (114557) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589271)

Is anyone else frustrated to see analog RGB/VGA as the video output method for an external display? Isn't this supposed to be a cutting-edge laptop? It's 2008. It should have DVI (or even the easily converted to/from HDMI). Are there really that many people left who have access only to a dinosaur CRT or an oddball LCD that allows only for an analog signal?

And while I'm at it, I'd be interested to hear other people's perception of the oversized backspace key (yeah, I know, this is at the bottom of the list of considerations for purchasing a new laptop, but I've got lots of free time to kill today). I've always preferred keyboards with a large "L-shaped" Enter key, and a standard size backspace key (so that the \| key is right at the top row, between the =+ key and the backspace). I've never really understood why some people like to shrink the size of a heavily used key (Enter) to make room for a key that is rarely used (backspace).

Re:Antique analog VGA (4, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589987)

I'm with you on the VGA output. DVI, however, is a bit too big to consider on a laptop, so IMHO they should switch to HDMI instead (which is probably where computer monitors are headed anyway).

As for the enter/backspace key, I hate those huge L-shaped enter keys and a regular-sized backspace key is a problem. In fact, on my Apple keyboard right here, the delete key is just a tad shorter than the return key.

If you rarely use backspace, more power to you. But for the rest of us, a regular-sized backspace key would be too much trouble. In fact, I'd even say that if you can't hit a non-L-shaped enter key, you're the one with a problem.

dual core model or single core (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23589435)

the intel atom in the msi wind is it the dual core or single core http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom

Intel Atom stuff (1)

przemekklosowski (448666) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589463)

Intel is really pushing Atom now; just last week I went to an Atom seminar for embedded computing folks. They claim 1GHz+-class performance at 3W power usage; I was impressed by a motherboard running a GPS/car automation type realtime app, where not only there was no fan or even a heatsink, but you could touch and hold the finger to the CPU.

They didn't want to say what's the unit price, but it probably won't be in low single dollars like with some ARM variants (STM/LPC)

1024x600? no thank you (1)

Dillenger69 (84599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23589837)

I don't mind lower hardware specs or a smooshed keybaord.
However, Before I plunk down my cash I want at least a 1280x768 resolution screen.
1024x600 is smaller than the old beater I'm using now.
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