Who is MSI, Anyway?

There’s a lot to love about the MSI Wind NB: it has an 80GB hard drive, 10-inch screen, comfortable keyboard, appealing design, and an Intel Atom processor that puts every other mini-notebook’s CPU to shame. But at a time when low cost laptops from even lower-profile companies keep coming out of the woodwork, it’s tempting to trust the brand as much as the specs. We know some folks out there are asking, “Who the hell is MSI, anyway?” For all of you considering the Wind, here’s a quick run-down on the company.

  • It’s been around awhile.

Founded in 1986 in Taiwan, the company entered the U.S. market in 1998. In addition to the Wind, it sells full-size notebooks, mainboards, graphic cards, servers, workstations, multimedia products, networking devices, and technology for the health care industry.

  • Its notebooks are known for their low price and decent performance.

Although we haven’t yet awarded an MSI notebook our editors’ choice, we’ve consistently been impressed by the power and features they offer for the money. Read our past MSI coverage here and here.

  • Its customer service needs improvement.

MSI is one of the few notebook vendors that doesn’t have a toll-free tech support line (the number, for the record, is 626-581-3001). Los Angeles-based tech support is open Monday through Thursday 7:30am PST to 5:30pm PST, and Friday, 8:30am PST to 4pm PST. (To be fair, if you stick around for Dell’s rumored mini-notebook, you might be disappointed with its tech support as well.) Moreover, the online tech support is tedious (and we’re not even stuck with a broken computer, mind you). The online support isn’t live; you must submit a form instead. And before you can even enter your 2,000 characters’ worth of complaints, you must register your notebook, creating a user name and password. You can’t even view forums or FAQs without doing this. More MSI Wind Coverage:

Complete MSI Wind Guide

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  1. Mike Cane Says:

    Has MSI yet revealed any details of U.S. retail store distribution of the Wind? Hello, J&R maybe?

  2. Geo Says:

    The Laptopmag blog’s May interview with an MSI rep mentioned Best Buy and Costco as among the retail channels they were in discussions with:
    http://blog.laptopmag.com/msi-wind-revealed-10-inch-mini-notebook-to-hit-us-in-june

    So far I’ve only seen a U.S. listing for it at Amazon’s site (which I know isn’t a store, but thought worth mentioning :)

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