MSI Wind U100-641US 10-inch Netbook ReviewMon, Jun 29, 2009 - 12:00 AM
Layout and Impressions
On the left side of the Wind U100-641US we have the Kensington lock port, power input, and two USB 2.0 ports. As a right handed person, I do like having the power cord on the left side of the netbook as it gives me more mobility with the mouse on the right. The warm exhaust air from the netbook also blows our this side, which is nice as most people are right handed and won’t have hot air blowing across their hand while using the mouse.
On the right side of the netbook we have a USB 2.0 port, card reader, Mic and Headphone jacks, VGA port and LAN port.
The keyboard has a basic layout, with the exception of the “function” key being where the “control” key would be normally. Some of the punctuation keys are smaller than normal, and that could lead to problems for clumsy pinkies. Also, the touchpad is a little narrower than normal, and while it is centered under the spacebar, it is off-center from the keyboard as a whole. The mouse buttons also appear as one long bar at the bottom of the touch pad, and it is unclear where left click ends and right click begins. It is also difficult to click the mouse with the side of your thumb – I have to consciously use the tip of my thumb to click it properly. At the bottom right corner you can see the LED indicator lights.
I was waiting to talk about key size until you could see a reference. The keys are tiny! MSI advertises on the netbook itself that it has a “Big Size Keyboard,” but that can be a little confusing. The keyboard does take up pretty much the entire space allotted. However, the keys on the keyboard are a different story. The normal letter keys are smaller than a dime as it is, and then you can see the punctuation keys at the bottom right of the picture are a little over half the size of a letter key. I found myself often hitting the wrong punctuation, but I am sure that after some time and use this is something that I would be able to overcome.
Here is a closer look at the touchpad and the LED indicator lights. You can get a better idea of exactly how narrow the touchpad buttons are in this picture.
At the top of the 10″ monitor you can see the webcam is centered above the monitor and the microphone is in the upper right corner.
One thing we are not used to with netbooks is the ability to take off the bottom and see everything inside. Buyer beware: there is a sticker covering one of the screw holes, and if it has been tampered with then the warranty is void!
The 801.11 b/g/n wireless card is in the upper left and the processor cooling fan is in the upper right. Just left of the cooling fan is an empty SO-DIMM slot to be able to upgrade the system memory as this and most netbooks only come with 1GB of RAM. In the lower left and right corners are the tiny stereo speakers.