Bought a new laptop the other day – this sucker is hard to source at the moment and is quite a milestone for netbooks and laptops alike.
I wanted an upgrade to my faithful MSI U110 (2GB RAM) which has been my second computer at work and at home. Good for meetings and on the run, it just doesn’t cut it when i’m developing code or decoding Bluray movies.
The U110 by the way was an awesome package, for $549 with a 2 year warranty and a laptop case. It’s been the best laptop i’ve ever had, and only now (2 years on) the battery is starting to deteriorate. Every other component is still working flawlessly even after been thrown around, used and transported every working day!
Now – give me: A fast but power efficient 64-bit dual core CPU, 500GB hdd, up to 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM, HDMI out, Gigabit ethernet, wireless-N all in a 1.3kg 12.1″ screen package.. wow.
Look and Feel
Very easy to mark with fingers as it’s black gloss, looks very sleek, status lights look great track pad very good, has a very slight texture which is different but I like it.
Bit different to U110 (10″) but quite nice, good to have pageup/down able to be used without holding down the function keys, but they’ve moved the function key from the bottom-left across one, which is akin to going from a Ford car to an american jeep (indicator stalk on the other side).
A little disappointing, advertising up to 7 hours (let’s say 5) – I got 4 in general use with wifi off. Having said that the battery was fully charged in 2 hours which I thought was too quick (6-cell).
Not a problem, slightly warm on your pants, nothing to complain about. Better than the U110. I think it’s very well designed in terms of heat dispersion.
I installed Windows 7 with a Ubuntu 10.10 dual boot.
It’s very fast, I turned down the animations etc. a bit as I always do.
I upgraded from 2 -> 4GB (was thinking about getting 6GB or 8GB) but 32-bit systems are maxed out at 3/3.6GB. I patched Ubuntu to use 4GB but more than that you need to install a 64-bit OS.
They do exist (Windows 7 and Ubuntu) but i’m not sure how available drivers and compatible apps are. For the moment i’d rather just use it and look into it in 6 months. The good news is that this laptop will fully work in Ubuntu which i’m rapped about.
Video – Radeon HD 6310
Seems good – haven’t tested any games (not my intention). 1080p bluray plays fine… awesome!
NOTE: The system RAM is shared between the PC and the video card, dunno if this can be configured?
Very nice, had to adjust the default gamma quite a bit down. Nice size 12.1″ – not to big, but better than 10″. The screen flexes well when opened and feels like it has strong supports to the main unit.
Warranty of 1 year I think is really sad, it should be 2 years if they can offer that for the other MSI Winds. Also no carry case – another expense.
Documentation is ok, but the laptop is well designed so anyone with a bit of computing experience won’t get stuck.
I’m happy I bought this. IMO the most powerful, fully featured ultra-portable laptop available.
9/10. If battery life was a bit better it would be 9.5 -> 10!
MSI have delivered a laptop bursting with features for a competitive price of RRP $550. IPad 2 step aside!