I’ve “always” wanted to have a very small notebook, to use it as a replacement for a PDA, but with more traditional keyboard and possibility to run normal applications. It was difficult, because until few months ago small notebooks were very expensive. The only affordable ones were 3 years old x-series ThinkPads, but it was hard to find a decent battery for it. But in 2007 Asus announced its plans to release cheap, small notebooks named Eee PC (Eee stands for Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play). First version, with 7″ screen, used 900 MHz Celeron-M processor, which was not that well suited for this job, as it ate quite a lot of “juice” from battery. Year later, 9″ screen 900 series came to the public, 900 still having Celeron processor, and, later, 901, having the new Intel child – Atom. Atom was specifically designed for this purpose – ultra-mobile computers, with not so great performance, but with low energy consumption.
But Asus’ competition did not sleep. First HP, then other companies prepared their own cheap notebooks. HP MiniNote 2133 looked great, but included poor Via processor. MSI announced their UMPC to be released in July 2008, but had problems with their battery factory burning down, so they had to reschedule a bit – instead of the beginning, Wind was released in the end of that month, and only with 3-cell battery, 80GB HDD and Windows XP operating system, with other configuration options coming in august. Acer Aspire One, on the other hand, started with lo-fi version – 512 MB RAM (half of that installed in Wind), 8GB SSD “hard disk” and Linpus Linux. More manufacturers announced their plans to release such notebooks, including Dell.
I had to choose something. First criterion was availability. I live in Poland, and the problem is that distributors ignore our market. For instance, first versions of Eee PC are still not officially available here. Of course, I could take advantage of private importers, or even friends abroad, but I would do this only as a last resort. Last week, when I was still deliberating “what to buy”, I could choose from old Eee’s (701 etc), Eee PC 900, MSI Wind (official distributor, yay!), or ask friend to buy and send me Acer Aspire One. I’ve decided that I want large HDD, as I wanted to use Windows and 8GB is not enough, so Acer was not an option. Eee PC 900’s processor was energy-consuming, so I’ve decided to go for a notebook with Intel’s Atom, and 901 was unavailable even on Polish internet auctions. 901 had advantage of being smaller that Wind, but I’ve compared sizes on paper and Wind was only 2.5 cm wider, negligibly deeper, and a bit thinner, so size wasn’t a key feature in this comparison. Other thing was that I couldn’t wait too long – I have a moving planned soon, so it was possible that in a month I’d be without any spare money. And then, I went on and bought MSI Wind. I’ve ordered one from MSI’s official distributor, with doubled RAM (without any price increase, compared to the price Wind was being sold from other retailers).
Continue reading MSI Wind – here it comes!