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MSI Wind U123-019US 10.2-inch Netbook Laptop PC

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MSI Wind U123-019US 10.2-inch Netbook Laptop PC

MSI Wind U123

©MSI Computer Corp.

The Bottom Line

Aug 26 2009 - The MSI Wind U123 is essentially a slightly modified version of their U120 netbook. It shares the same exterior appearance, keyboard and trackpad design. The biggest difference is a move to a slightly faster Atom N280 processor and a 802.11n compatible wireless. While some models of the U123 comes with a 9-cell battery, the U123-019US uses a 6-cell battery which results in a below average running time compared to similarly netbooks. Still, at just $350, it is a very affordable netbook considering some of its features.

Pros

  • Roomy Keyboard
  • Anti-Glare Screen Coating With Wide Viewing Angles
  • 802.11n Wireless Support

Cons

  • Poor Speakers
  • Lower Battery Life for a Six Cell Netbook
  • Trackpad Buttons are Too Stiff

Description

  • Intel Atom N280 Mobile Processor
  • 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
  • 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 10.2" WSVGA (1024x600) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics
  • Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
  • 10.2" x 7.1" x 1.3" @ 2.6 lbs.
  • Windows XP Home

Guide Review - MSI Wind U123-019US 10.2-inch Netbook Laptop PC

Aug 26 2009 - The MSI Wind U123 looks almost no different from the Wind U120 netbook. This means that it shares some of the same physical designs, both good and bad. The keyboard is on the roomier side of the 10-inch netbook segment with a good feel but not quite as nice as some others. The trackpad retains the extremely stiff buttons that make them difficult to use.

Internally, the Wind U123 has two major changes. The first is the new Intel Atom N280 processor that gets a slight speed bump over the N270. This translates to roughly a 5% boost in performance but for many applications on a netbook this won't really be noticed. The other change is the use of an 802.11n compatible wireless adapter that allows for use of the new higher speed networking standard.

Some versions of the Wind U123 feature a new and very large 9-cell battery pack. Those models offer some impressive battery life but the Wind U123-019US comes equipped with a more typical 6-cell battery pack. This reduces the dimensions and weight of the unit but also provide it with less battery life. Video playback tests on the unit were only able to run just over four hours putting it below average for similarly equipped netbooks.

The screen on the Wind U123 is actually quite nice thanks to the use of its anti-glare coating that make it very useful in bright lighting conditions. It also has quite good viewing angles without the typical color shifting typically seen on these low cost systems.

Probably one of the more annoying aspects of the Wind U123 though is the audio. The speakers on it produce very low volume with an extremely tinny sound. Definitely not a netbook to look at as a portable audio solution when netbooks such as Lenovo's IdeaPad S10-2 have such strong speakers.

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