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MSI Wind U160-412US 10-inch Netbook PC

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MSI Wind U160-412US 10-inch Netbook PC

MSI Wind U160

©MSI Computer Corp.

The Bottom Line

Feb 15 2011 - MSI's Wind U160 is one of the smallest and lightest netbooks on the market. If portability is your primary factor in a netbook, than the U160 is an excellent choice. The problem is that it sacrifices running time with the three-cell battery pack and its $300 price tag puts it above many other netbooks that feature a smaller battery pack.
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Pros

  • Smaller And Lighter Than Most Netbooks
  • Runs Very Cool

Cons

  • Smaller 3-cell Battery Limits Running Time
  • Trackpad Button Bar Is Too Small
  • Above Average Price For Features

Description

  • Intel Atom N450 Mobile Processor
  • 1GB PC2-5300 DDR3 Memory
  • 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 10" WSVGA (1024x600) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • Intel GMA 3150 Integrated Graphics
  • Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
  • 10.2" x 6.5" x .8" @ 2.1 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Starter, Office Starter

Guide Review - MSI Wind U160-412US 10-inch Netbook PC

Feb 15 2011 - MSI's Wind U160 netbook distinguishes itself from many other netbooks on the market by offering a much slimmer .8-inch profile as well as a very lightweight 2.1 pound weight. This makes it one of the most portable of the netbooks on the market. Even with the slim dimensions, it still uses the same Intel Atom N450 netbook processor found in just about every current model. It does use the older DDR2 memory compared to some that use DDR3. This means that performance is pretty much identical to just about any other netbook.

Thanks to the Windows 7 Starter licensing, the MSI Wind U160 comes equipped with the new 250GB standard hard drive size for netbooks. even though it uses a typical 5400rpm spin rate, the performance of the drive felt a bit faster than the average netbook.

The display of the MSI Wind U160 uses a very typical 10-inch display size that features a 1024x600 resolution. The picture on the screen is very colorful with good viewing angles but it does use a glossy coating. This makes the screen difficult to use in certain lighting conditions and outdoors. Like the other current Atom based netbooks, it uses the Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics system. This solution still lacks the performance necessary for reliable 720p high definition viewing.

One of the main reasons for the extremely light 2.1 pound weight for the MSI Wind U160-412US is the fact that it comes with a smaller 3-cell battery pack. Most netbooks in this price range come with larger six cell packs so it will definitely have below average battery life. In video streaming playback tests, the system was able to run for just over three and a half hours of running time before going into standby mode. This is pretty decent for a three cell battery pack that will suffice for many users. There are versions with a six cell battery pack but it will stick out behind the display hinge.

MSI continues to use an isolated keyboard design with the Wind U160. For the most part it works pretty well but users should be aware of the right shift key being smaller than normal in order to fit in the arrows keys. Typing on it is comfortable and accurate. The trackpad is of a decent size that blends with the palmrest except for the bumpy surface. The problem is the narrow tackpad button bar that can be difficult to use because of this small size.

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