On MSI’s website, they advertise that the Wind U100 series has a:
“Long-Lasting Battery Life. The battery life can reach up to 3 hours (3 cells) which provides outstanding mobility. *The actual battery life varies according to operating conditions and settings.”
We ran the battery tests in a controlled 72-degree Fahrenheit climate, and at idle the best we got on the Wind U100 was only 2 hours and 32 minutes. For comparison’s sake, I threw the ASUS N81Vp Gaming Notebook (reviewed here) into the mix. I would expect a netbook to blow away a full sized gaming notebook, even if the larger computer is on battery saver mode. Needless to say, I was disappointed, and if you want to watch a movie on that flight, make sure it’s a short one or it’ll get cut off right at the apex.
So, why is the MSI Wind U100 draining the battery so quickly? Well, I took out the battery and plugged it into my handy dandy Seasonic Power Angel, and it only pulled 15 watts at idle and 17 watts while playing a movie! My only explanation (and hope) is that MSI sent this particular netbook to me with a bad battery. It just doesn’t make sense how a computer that uses such little power can drain a 3-cell battery so quickly.
When I first tried to view a movie, I had some software issues. Unlike all of the other netbooks I have used, MSI did not have the proper software to view DVDs preloaded onto the Wind U100 netbook. After downloading some free software (VLC Media Player) off the internet, I was able to do the DVD test. The quality of the movie was exactly what you would expect on any netbook today. I had no trouble with hiccups or blips, and the sound and picture quality was normal. The only issue is the battery life mentioned above. You can only count on being able to watch a hour and a half movie on the U100 with a 3-cell battery.