With the number of MSI Wind netbooks coming out this year, it’s a bit hard to track down which model is which. Just in the 10-inch category, there’s the U160, the U130 and then this Wind U135.
As mentioned earlier in my first impression post, the over-all form factor of the Wind U135, especially the thickness, has not changed but the design has somewhat become stylish.
This could be a reaction to the lifestyle approach originally made by HP and Sony, followed by other netbook manufacturers like Lenovo and Asus. Nevertheless, it’s a change that will be surely appreciated by most users.
The built quality is pretty solid now compared to the first one that squeaks whenever you rest your hands on the palm-rest. At least we know they’ve addressed that issue from way back then with this refresh.
The specs itself are pretty standard of netbooks — a 10-inch display @ 1024×600, Atom N450, Intel GMA 3150, 250GB HDD, 1GB RAM and WiFi 802.11n. What might attract a lot of people with the unit is that it’s relatively cheaper compared to the more established brands (by about Php2,000 more or less) with the same specs.
However, while we’re seeing netbooks becoming lighter and thinner these days, the U135 does not seem to follow that trend. It’s still a bit chunky on the side and that’s not just because of the 6-cell battery tucked underneath.
While the keyboard layout remained the same, the U135 now features a chiclet-type keys that are becoming popular among netbooks these days. The trackpad is bigger but the click button is not separated between the left and right section.
The 10-inch display is glare-type so expect it to be bright and crisp but hard to use in the outdoors during daylight or against bright light sources. Not sure if they have the matte version of this screen though (like what they had with the old models).
The Wind U135 showed a Windows Experience Index of 2.3 as indicated by the Atom CPU. Looks like we’ll be seeing similar WEIs for most other Pine Trail netbooks this year.
Complete PassMark benchmark is posted here.
As for battery life, MSI promises up to 7.5 hours with the 6-cell battery. Our BatteryBar tests showed a very decent 5.5 hours, which can be extended to 6 or 6.5 with some power-saving on. The MSI Wind U135 retails for about Php21,990 in stores along with the Wind U130 and Wind U160.