Mini-Review: MSI Wind U115
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.