Review of the MSI Wind U123


[amazon B00295RAMU full]

I have been needing a new laptop for my Sunday Bible-study time at Panara, where power outlets can be a problem. (The battery in my tablet seems shot finally…) I’ve been wanting to buy a netbook ever since the EEE came out, but finances dictated I wait until I really needed it… I had planned to buy a netbook tablet, but after waiting for 3 months, the order was canceled… Not caring for the only other netbook tablet I could find, I started looking at the more traditional netbooks…

MSI has a good reputation over all for netbooks… The thing that really drew me though was the claims on battery life… I opted to get the 9 Cell version with 2 Gig of Ram and a red top…

This unit comes with Windows XP Home and demo versions of Office and Symantec (Norton) AV… I was surprised to find out it also came with a recovery CD and a case…. After learning how to turn on the network adapter with the hotkeys, I got everything patched and installed Portable Apps, Liberkey, Libronix, Shadow of Legend (Free MMORPG), and Skype… Let me say that all went very well, and generally fast… After making sure everything was working, I started the battery test, and guess what? I used it on and off for 2 days without charging… I would guess about 6.5 hours of real computing time… Very Nice…

I found 4 issues that bothered me, but all have fixes:

Sound: Changing the driver to use the “Bass” enviromental setting helps greatly… Earphones work too!

Touchpad: I HATE tap to click… Fortunately, found a driver that will disable it, but had to search…

Screen Resolution: 1024×600 is a little hard to work with in Libronix, but again found a Screen Downscaling Program that tricks the screen into 1024×768 mode. Not perfect, but good enough… (You can also have the screen move like a portal, or just hook up a monitor for greater resolutions.)

Modem: There is none… I see several USB dial-up modems on e-bay. but wish it was built in… (There is an option for a WiMax internal card (celluar), but coverage is limited, and costly at somewhere around $80 a month with a 5 gig limit… Also, this drains the battery…)

A few bonuses with this unit: I installed Windows 7 RTM (I am MS Technet subscriber) without issue on the 2nd partition and can dual boot. I am still testing, but all seems to work well, though battery life seems shorter… Also I have read in several places that this is a prime unit to make into a Hackintosh, but as I don’t own a copy of OS X, I can’t test it… (I may need to buy a copy, just to try out the Mac version of Libronix 😉

This system is going to be my main Libronix system and I am pretty pleased with it…

God Bless,