MSI Wind12 U210 Review

MSI Wind12 U210 Review

MSI’s 12 inch Wind12 U210 netbook is the very first one in its category to sport a AMD Athlon Neo processor. Check out our review below and see how it fares in the Atom-dominated world of netbooks.

The MSI Wind U210 is a pretty large netbook, weighing in at 1.45kg (3.19lbs) with the 6-cell battery while the 9-cell version that I bought is heavier at 1.6kg (3.52lbs). And though most of the other 12-inch netbooks have a diagonal screen size of just 11.6 inches, the U210 is larger at 12.1″.

In many respects, this model is like a cheap, full-fledged notebook without a built-in optical drive. I remember buying a similarly-spec’ed 12″ Compaq-Presario laptop 2 years ago worth Php55k.

msi wind u210

The design is similar to the first generation Wind netbooks — glossy lid cover, glossy display screen and about an inch thick, not counting the protruding 9-cell battery at the bottom. It’s got a wide and textured trackpad with separate left and right click-pads which are pretty easy to use. There are 3 USB ports, a multi-card reader, LAN port, VGA port and and HDMI port to output HD videos to external monitors.

Standard specs of this unit is also above average with 2GB DDR2 RAM, 250GB HDD, WiFi draft-N, HDMI and option for 9-cell battery. Unfortunately, Bluetooth is missing (although the F9 function key has a Bluetooth icon printed in it) — prolly to save on production cost.

Most interesting part is the AMD Athlon Neo X2 processor that powers this unit. It’s a dual core CPU running at 1.6GHz.


On Windows 7 Ultimate, it scores high on Windows Experience Index with 3.0 as the lowest sub-score assigned on the graphics card (ATI Radeon Xpress 1270). The CPU alone got a sub-score of 4.1, the highest we’ve when compared to the Intel atom N270, N280 and Z530. Video performance is also good and capable of playing HD videos as well as streaming YouTube HD.

However, that extra juice that the dual-core CPU is pumping also becomes a problem when it comes to battery life. For a 9-cell battery, I was expecting between 6 to 8 hours of battery life on a single full charge. Even after several optimization and tweaks, I could not even get it to last more than 5 hours. On average, you’d get 4.5 hours with the 9-cell battery. I wonder how would the standard 6-cell battery perform? My guess is 3 to 3.5 hours.

So far, the MSI Wind12 U210 is one of the most responsive and powerful unit in the netbook category I’ve ever reviewed. The only drawback is that it’s also power-hungry so battery life is below average. Surprisingly, the unit does not feel hot even on prolonged use — probably due to the ventilation offered by the protruding battery at the bottom (PC Wizard records CPU temp between 53 to 57 degrees though which is high IMO).

Shops are selling this for a promo price of Php23k without an operating system so you’ll need to shell out a couple more thousand bucks for an OS license or you can get the version with Windows Vista for Php28k. Standard battery is 6-cell and the 9-cell model I got was during the promo period. If you have an old XP license or Windows 7 RC at home, maybe the Php23k price is a good deal.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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36 Responses

  1. lemonoid says:

    Battery life is disappointing…Tsk tsk. Sir yuga, pls update your post regarding those laptops with netbook price.

  2. Pedro says:

    I think i like this…

  3. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    I wonder if theres a way to disable one of the cores during battery powered sessions?

    Pretty nice specs which IMO can only be bested if a rival notebook/netbook carried an ION.

  4. Karl Mac says:

    ION is not the rival. It is only for graphics, N280 still sucks. It is the the intel CULV cpus that should be compared.

  5. If only I haven’t bought an Atom powered Wind, I’d surely grab this one!

  6. yuga says:

    @karl mac – problem is notebooks with Intel CULVs cost Php40k and up.

  7. Jhay says:

    For that price tag I could live with its battery life since I’m using notebooks at school where there are plenty of sockets to plugin.

    The weight is what really turns me off though.

  8. jojo says:

    sir yuga, have you gotten hold of the acer 1410, that one with a dual core celeron processor? hopefully you may be able to do a review on it and a comparison with this Wind U210. thanks in advance..

  9. IC DeaDPiPoL says:


    I’m counting on ION’s CUDA to supplement an underpowered processor.

  10. Karl Mac says:

    Software should be re-written to use CUDA. It is not straightforward. Graphics intensive games can benefit (for the gaming crowd — see the HP Mini 311). But there is also the crowd that does sql queries on these machines in which the Atom really sucks but the one Neo X2 shines.

  11. Jazon says:

    Why spend for the OS when free ones are available? I think Linux is better suited for those devices to maintain affordability, security and function.

  12. churocket says:

    Mine lasts around 6 – 7 hours on the Turbo Battery mode.

    This netbook is a great deal! I got mine from PC Corner for 23k (9-cell battery). Didn’t come with an OS though it’s not a problem since I have an MSDN account. It runs Windows 7 Professional flawlessly! :)

  13. graci says:

    @ churocket: how can i get free MSDN account??.. pls, tnx!

  14. Yuya says:

    Sir Yuga can you please show the Windows Experience Index of the HP Mini 311?

  15. My MSi U210x 9-cell battery can last over 6 hours on ECO mode set to Turbo-Battery.

    Setting the ECO mode to either game or theater modes gives is better screen response. If you are using it in Office or TurboBattery mode slows down screen response enough to feel it when using FireFox scrolling down a long page.

    The best OS for this netbook is Windows 7.

  16. Gary says:

    Got this today at PC Live Cyberzone Mega for P22,995. What’s neat is that the model I got has 320GB HDD already. Great deal!

  17. Bob says:

    Recently got mine with 320gb hdd, 9 cell batt, free msi mouse and a bag. Great value for money netbook. Runs under Windows 7 smoothly. Selling like hot cakes.

  18. Ronneil says:

    If I just don’t have my EX400, I already bought this one, since my laptop usually runs out of power especially when I’m outside.

  19. Dianne says:

    Was able to buy this in Cebu… Thought it would be sold out. Got laptop for 21500php 9cell version with 2 1GB RAM and 320 hard drive today. Good thing i wasn’t able to see this in early dec. Was also told that they only had the last 2 stocks for this laptop. Was also told they may re-stock in 6 months don’t know though if this is true or not….

  20. Jann rae says:

    Wer i can by this msiwind12 u210 yuga

  21. MJ says:

    -mtgal battery life nyan… mga 6hours+ pag nka 9 cell ka.. just use turbo mode or lower the screen light. medyo nka umbok lng ung pwet kc ang laki ng 9 cell.
    -npka powerful pa ng proccesor! dual core amd hybrid
    -npka glossy bkat lahat ng kamay mu
    -nhhrapan ako sa touch pad tgal ko na meron nyan
    -128mb video memory pede pba taasan toh sa setting?
    -window 7 supah fine! kc vista mas mtaas ang requirement ewan ko lng…
    -wlan hirap sumagap ng onti.

  22. Zyber says:

    To Yuga or anyone … help naman please!

    I dont know what to buy between these two: ASUS 1201N or MSI Wind U230 – Guys which do you think is the BEST between these two OVERALL?

    Kasi halos parehas ng specs, so i’m decided what to buy.

    Sino po sakanila mas LAMANG overall?? Thanks guys!!

    (sori, nakipost lang po since di ko makita ang MSI Wind U230 na forum po dito)

  23. tl says:

    Ok I’ll bite. What linux platform will be best and what problems are encountered. New to Linux and tired of MS being shoved down my throat. Looked all over the internet and can’t find support for U200 with Linux. Thanks

  24. krisel says:

    sir yuga, kaya bang mag play dito ng Sims 2? i’m planning to buy this one kasi.

  25. krisel says:

    just got mine three days ago. kaya lang hindi ko mahanap kung saan pwede i-set yong battery to turbo mode? ang bilis tuloy malowbat. saan ba ‘yon makikita sir yuga?

  26. neil says:

    I bought the MSI Wind 12 U230.. lightweight and not too flashy…wala pa nga lang OS..

    Question lang po Sir Yuga. I plan on installing Ubuntu 10.04 sa netbook na to. Yung Netbook Edition ba dapat or yung Desktop?

    Kasi description ng Netbook Edition is “up to 10-inch” lang. I did install Jolicloud Pre-Beta..kaso may prob…

    Thanks for the reply..

  27. bratinela says:

    sir yuga,
    xenxa n d ako techy n person, i nid help. planning to by netbook/notebook but dont know wat brand to buy. budget ko is 20t-24t only. gs2 ko ung mtgal batery lyf, with wifi, bluetooth, webcam at windows 7 n sna.

    Help nman po.
    any suggestions?

    Thankz po.

  28. Marc says:

    sir yuga san po nakakabili nito n 12″ may nakita kc aq 11″ lng thnx…

  29. how much nmn ang msi netbook

  30. Thanks, I have recently been seeking for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have located so far.

  31. Pa Ul says:

    ill go to the shop and see what this is in real life, i like it
    thanks for the info

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