Mini-Review: MSI Wind U115

windu115lead

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.

windu115f

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]

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  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.

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