The Wind, like most of its genre’, has a footprint slightly smaller than a standard sheet of office paper, 8 ½” x 11” and is less than ¾” think. The keyboard, admittedly cramped, is certainly adequate for the light email and Web browsing use for which it’s designed. The first thing I did with mine was dump XP and install Windows 7. That’s when I discovered the first drawback – no optical drive.
Upon reflection I wonder about the drawback. Is it really? How often have I used the optical drive in that high-priced MacBook? Darn little. Yet I carry around its weight (and its cost) every day. So, as a trade-off for cheap and light, I’m OK. This netbook has an Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, a webcam, WiFi, and 3 USB ports. The graphics card does video just fine on the 10.1” screen with 1024 x 600 resolution. Certainly no match for the order of magnitude more expensive MacBook --- but hey, there are trade-offs in life. The only other trade off worth mentioning is the 3 cell battery --- it has a life of barely 90 minutes.
Here’s the bottom line: after a quick 48-hour road trip I’m willing to tell you that these new netbooks, the MSI Wind specifically, but the genre in general, are most definitely worth a look. If you travel from time to time they’re very handy. Mine now has a new home --- in the old magazine rack in my living room. It’s small enough to escape my wife’s “decorator eye” and certainly sufficient for email and web-surfing while watching television.