Print 29 comment(s) - last by Seemonkeyscanf.. on Jun 4 at 5:02 PM

MSI delivers a knockout punch with the Wind

It looks like MSI has finally delivered on the promise of an "Eee PC Killer". Details of MSI's new netbook first came to light in mid-May and the specs and pricing were enough to capture the attention of many potential customers.

As announced in May, the MSI Wind is equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor paired with an Intel 945GMS northbridge and ICH7M southbridge. The Linux model will come standard with 512MB of DDR2 memory, while the Windows XP Home model ups that figure to 1GB (2GB maximum) -- both come standard with a 2.5" 80GB 5400 RPM HDD.

Other niceties of the include a 10", 1024x600 display, 1.3MP webcam, 4-in-1 media reader, three USB 2.0 ports, GbE, 802.11b/g wireless, and standard Bluetooth (Windows XP version only). The 2.2-pound Linux model will come standard with a 3-cell battery and the 2.6-pound Windows XP model is equipped with a 6-cell battery (rated at 5.5 hours).

Now comes the part that everyone will want to know about -- pricing. Andy Tung, MSI's Director of U.S. sales stated in May that the Linux and Windows XP versions of the Wind would be priced at $399 and $549 respectively -- those figures weren't entirely correct. While the Linux model is indeed priced at $399, the Windows XP version will slide in at a reasonable $499.

At that price, MSI looks to have a winner on its hands. The 2.6-pound Wind with Windows XP stacks up nicely against its immediate competition (Eee PC 900/901, HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, etc.) as well as notebooks costing more than three times its price. The long battery life and Bluetooth put it over the top.

Laptop Magazine gave the Windows XP version a glowing review as it received 4.5 out of five stars with the main complaints being the single mouse button and below average wireless throughput. The editors, however, had plenty to like about the machine including its TurboDrive feature which can overclock the system to 1.9GHz in AC mode or drop the clock down to 1.1GHz on battery mode for improved battery life.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

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By Chris Peredun on 6/3/2008 8:16:35 AM , Rating: 5
Stay your flames, ladies and gentlemen - MSI hasn't completely lost their marbles.

It's a single physical button that "levers" left and right, similar to how the Eee's button operates.

By avaughan on 6/3/2008 9:07:18 AM , Rating: 3
That's a strange decision for a laptop which will ship with linux.

One of the nice features of linux is the ability to select text by left clicking and dragging the mouse over it, and then paste by middle clicking.

No middle mouse button? No worries, click both the left and right buttons simultaneously, and XWindows will emulate the third button.

Obviously that won't work if the two buttons pivot about a fixed point.

By Quiescent on 6/3/2008 9:44:43 AM , Rating: 1
You know CTRL+C and CTRL+V works just as great!

I personally like the one button mouse clicks. I hate laptops with it so far away from the mousepad or separated making it feel weird.

By Zirconium on 6/3/2008 1:58:59 PM , Rating: 1
Durr... wow, we never thought of that.

Oh wait, CTRL+C is traditionally the break used in the command line, so it isn't used that much as a "copy" function. So no, CTRL+C and CTRL+V don't work just as great.

By avaughan on 6/3/2008 11:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
The linux command line is much more powerful and more flexible than any GUI and enables me to do things that would otherwise need custom apps.

Get the set of packages installed on machine bar, connect to machine foo and install those packages.

ssh foo aptitude install `ssh bar aptitude search -F %p ~i`

By h0kiez on 6/3/2008 3:37:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well I use it probably a few hundred times a day, so obviously I would disagree that it isn't "used that much as a copy function".

By Cullinaire on 6/3/2008 3:55:07 PM , Rating: 3
Missing the point aren't we? We aren't talking about the MS Windows environment. He's talking about linux command line. CTRL+C does not, by default, copy anything there.

By avaughan on 6/3/2008 10:05:14 PM , Rating: 3
You know CTRL+C and CTRL+V works just as great!

Once you're used to middle clicking to paste, CTRL+C and CTRL+V are clunky in comparison.

On linux mouse select, move mouse, middle click (3 steps, entirely mouse driven).

On windows mouse select, CTRL+C, move mouse, left click to set focus location, CTRL+V (5 steps, 3 with mouse, interleaved with 2 with keyboard).

Other apps also make use of the middle mouse button. Middle click on a link in Firefox = open in new tab. (There is no problem with this overloaded use. You can copy text from a web page, but you can't paste text into a web page.)

By Cullinaire on 6/3/2008 3:38:02 PM , Rating: 5
Prediction for most popular Wind mod: Sawing the mouse button in half so you can press both at the same time!

By drunkenmastermind on 6/3/2008 8:51:41 PM , Rating: 2

By nvalhalla on 6/3/2008 9:33:29 AM , Rating: 2
I was really hoping they would live up to the $400 price that was promised. Asus disappointed me with the Eee. I liked it at $200, $400 is too much for what little it offers. The Wind at $400 is perfect. Nice screen, great performance, decent storage, everything the Eee lacked. I am buying a Linux version as son as it launches!

By BigLan on 6/3/2008 10:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
$400 is about the right price for me as well, but 2.5 hours battery life sounds weak. I already have a spare copy of XP and don't care for bluetooth, so if I got the XP version it's effectively $100 more for extra battery life and some ram, but that's a bit more than I want to pay.

What's the chances of inexpensive 3rd party batteries becoming available for these devices?

By Brandon Hill on 6/3/2008 10:32:31 AM , Rating: 2
The Eee PC has a pretty big market on eBay for third-party batteries of varying capacities.

You should expect similar support for the Wind.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 6/4/2008 5:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
I heard about some burn up stories from some of those third party batteries. None from anyone I know, but just a caution all the same.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 6/4/2008 5:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize until it ships it just vaperware. Same things you just said about MSI people said about Asus before it came out. "It's going to be a magical day" type of comments. Truth...1)Asus went up in price so will MSI before it ships. 2) Asus quality for their products are on a completely different and higher level then comparing a Ford focus to a top end BMW. 3) Asus has a product that is actually shipping. 4) MSI - has moving parts which will break down easier (one of the key features of the Asus Eee PC – Asus will have less hardware failures).
Just some things to think about....

Paper launch
By crimson117 on 6/3/2008 1:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
Grrr what's with the near-paper launch. Not available for 2 weeks = not yet launched. And the linux version won't be available until later in the summer?


RE: Paper launch
By nayy on 6/3/2008 2:29:27 PM , Rating: 2
why would you pick the linux model?
the extra $100 get you:
- Double the ram
- Bluetooth
- Unpgrade to 6 cell battery
- Windows licence

Not a bad deal, you can always dual-boot to linux if you want

RE: Paper launch
By BigLan on 6/3/2008 2:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
The ram's only worth about $15 with current prices, and the bluetooth receiver even less. If you've no need for a windows license (either you have one already or want to run linux) then the upgrade is a tougher sell, especially if you think of the windows one being priced 25% higher than the linux offering.

Hopefully 3rd party batteries will be available in a few month when I'll have the cash for one of these, or maybe the via cpu based models will give better performance.

By Trisagion on 6/3/2008 8:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
It was just a matter of time before the competition caught up with Asus. Never rest on your laurels. The prices of various Eee PC variants seems to be increasing not going down.

RE: Well...
By FingerMeElmo87 on 6/3/2008 8:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
not only that, but it looks way better than current 900s. but aside from that, its has a better feature set at a lower price. you cant beat that with a 5ft stick

Paper Launch?
By ziggo on 6/3/2008 10:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
I can't find it anywhere. MSI's site lists a bunch of distributors but I doubt I am going to be able to buy it from them.

RE: Paper Launch?
By ziggo on 6/3/2008 10:48:10 AM , Rating: 2
Answered my own question, June 16th for the windows version, later this summer for the Linux version.

available from

good price range
By vapore0n on 6/3/2008 8:17:21 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully this price range will force Asus to rethink their bigger is better is more expensive strategy.

I haven't seen pricing on the new eeepc1000 but if there were no competition, my guess is that it would be in the $700s

Price Dropped!
By portugee on 6/3/2008 9:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
This is completely backwards from the release of the EEE. The price of the Windows XP version has actually dropped $50 since it's original announcement. Word is a ship date of the 16th for the US and I can't wait to get my hands on one of these. It's an absolute steal for the price.

By littlebitstrouds on 6/3/2008 9:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
Flame away, but, the first thing I'm doing with mine when it comes is a doing a complete nlite stripping of XP, and I might dualboot linux. But I'm really hoping someone releases an OSX package install for one of these. I've always felt OSX was toy like, and this thing will only be used as a toy of sorts for me, so I feel like it'd be the perfect fit.

EEE killer :)
By LaMpiR on 6/3/2008 10:01:25 AM , Rating: 2
I like this a lot :) I was thinking of buying new EEE but this is waaaay much better.

Pricing sucks for Linux users
By hirschma on 6/3/2008 6:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
I want the bigger battery. I want bluetooth. I don't want Windows.

C'mon MSI, does your contract with MS prevent you from selling "head to head" hardware? Some of us would rather have Linux, you know.

It'd be tempting to try a license refund... not sure I need a new hobby, tho.

New Offerings.
By drunkenmastermind on 6/3/2008 8:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone will be passing "Wind" on this offering.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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