Mini-Review: MSI Wind U115


Wind U115 with a 9-cell battery

MSI entered the netbook market in June 2008 when there were few 10-inch netbooks on the market and it really stood out. But different times are different now; most of the major notebook vendors have 10-inch displays with 6-cell battery options. But MSI doesn’t plan on giving up and letting its Wind line fall behind. Its new Wind U115 is the first notebook with dual storage options, including a 160GB hard drive and a 8GB SSD. In addition, the U115 that we had a day to test was outfitted with a 9 cell battery that provided 10 plus hours of run time. Check out our impressions and detailed video of the system. Same Design While MSI updated its U120 with a slightly more polished and professional design (pictured below to the left), the U115 sports the same chassis as the original Wind U100. The glossy silver lid with subtle small checked lines is the only differentiator. Other than that, it has the same rounded edges with a mix of 3 USB ports, VGA, Ethernet, mic and headphone. The nine-cell battery adds at least a pound to the overall weight and gives the netbook some serious back; we weren’t able to weigh it, since there was no scale in our hotel room.


Hybrid Storage Remember those complaints that netbooks with SSDs had limited storage but were great for battery life and speedy performance? Well MSI came up with a solution to the problem by outfitting the Wind  U115 with two storage devices: a 8GB MLC SSD and a 160GB PATA Western Digital hard drive. The SSD is used for the operating system and other system utilities while the 160GB hard drive is reserved for storing your other files.  We didn’t run any benchmarks on the hard drives, but the SSD booted the system in a quick 45 seconds. Superior Battery Life One of the other benefits of the SSD is power-saving and that coupled with a 9-cell battery and 1.6 GHz Intel Atom z530 processor results in a netbook that runs as long as a good night of sleep. I should know since I started the battery test at midnight and woke up at 9 a.m. to the netbook still running our battery test which visits 60 Websites over and over again until dies. The netbook lasted for 10 hours and 32 minutes on our battery test. That is 3 hours longer than the MSI U100 with an aftermarket 9-cell battery, which got 7 hours and 32 minutes. While MSI doesn’t plan to sell the Wind U115 with the 9-cell, a 6-cell battery should get a decent 7 hours. Early Verdict The Wind U115’s dual storage option sets it apart from the rest of the 10 inch netbook crowd. And while its 9-cell battery probably won’t be standard (but most likely available through a 3rd party vendor) it is now the longest running netbook. Without pricing details, we can’t make a solid decision on the Wind U115, but we can say that MSI’s next crop of netbooks will still have an edge on the compeition. [flq:5aa4298c8bdbcdf8eb2bb33af209b289]

Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

  1. Joel Says:

    You might want to double check your hard drive spec.’s. In the “Hybrid Storage” section, you state that the 160GB Western Digital hard drive is a PATA. Understandable typo, since that used to be the standard for notebooks (and still is in some European countries). However, all other counts I’ve seen say this is a more modern SATA drive. Good info otherwise! Thanks!

  2. windbreaker Says:

    she said “passed winds”

  3. Amira Says:

    Where can i buy MSI wind 115 in US.

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options