back to article MSI Wind U160

MSI was one of the first companies to see the importance of the Eee PC as a new category of portable. The Wind U160 is its latest response to a growing range of netbooks based on Intel’s low-power Atom chips. Yet can it break the ‘me-too’ mould and offer something extra? MSI Wind U160 A mighty wind? MSI's U160 MSI’s …


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  1. Cameron Colley

    Stopped reading at Windows.

    Must one pay Microsoft for every computer nowadays?

    I understand that Linux occurs its own cost to the manufacturer but they could at least provide naked "as is" machines or something.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
      Dead Vulture

      Re: Stopped reading at...

      ...£330. Can someone at El Reg please go back and read the comments from the original review of the Asus Eee. No, not the ones about the girl, the ones about "at that price, it's worth a punt". *That* was the buzz around netbooks. These aren't netbooks.

  2. The BigYin

    Looks nice

    Can this be purchased without the burden of Windows?

  3. Fuzz

    starter vs. basic

    This section isn't very clear,

    Starter is the version only available in emerging markets, it's the one that only allows you to run 3 applications at the same time.

    Basic is available everywhere and is like home premium but without aero and media centre.

  4. heyrick Silver badge

    How is it with HD video?

    Oh, and this time, PLEASE MENTION THE SPECIFIC CODEC. Saying MPEG4 (as on the eeePC 1000-something test) is pretty lame.

    To give you an example of why I ask this: my eeePC901 (XP) struggles over 720p H.264 (jerky) and won't play 1080p H.264 at all. In fact, VLC player is the only thing I have that recognises that these are an actual real video format!

    So I figured my eeePC playing HD content was a no go.

    But then the other day I was converting a video (MediaCoder IIRC) and watching a good looking video in MPlayer. The video, it turns out, was 1280x720. Or HD. Played fluidly, not a hiccup, with a fairly processor-intensive application running. The difference? The HD that worked was a DivX, of the H.263 ilk. I'd like to try to find a 1080p DivX to try. The 720p video is larger than the eeePC's display, but still, it would be interesting to try the 1080p for the sake of it...

  5. fishman

    Live CD

    Windows on a netbook is pretty much a given. What I'd like to see is if a popular live linux CD distro works ok on it.

    1. The First Dave


      How do you expect a LiveCD to work on a machine with no optical drive?

      1. Matt Piechota


        "How do you expect a LiveCD to work on a machine with no optical drive?"

        It has three USB ports. I think you can figure it out.

        I'll echo the original statement: knowing how it works on a Live CD would be really, really good info. Makes the decision process easier since odds are I won't be keeping Windows Extreme Starter 7 Double-limited Edition on it for long. (Maybe I'd run it as a VM. :))

      2. JC 2

        @ The First Dave

        ... temporary USB external optical drive to put it on a USB thumbdrive or memory card.

        Pity we don't have reviewers testing whether kit will boot from its memory card slot, a lot of them won't.

  6. gimbal

    Fine, but don't trust their tech support for too much

    I picked up an MSI laptop, a few of years ago. I picked up a Toshiba laptop, to replace it with, more recently, one day when it wouldn't even boot up with the BIOS start screen. Having used a Toshiba laptop for an extended period of time, now, I'm a lot happier with how they've designed it, and I've become gradually more unhappy with the design of the MSI laptop.

    I don't expect I'll be buying any more MSI hardware, at any foreseeable time in the future. Fine for them to stay on the market, I just want to avoid their products, honestly told.

  7. Goat Jam


    Yet another boring, overpriced netbook that's infected with Windows.

    PC makers, for the love of Dog, show us something different for a change.

    P.S. It is a netbook FFS. You buy it because it is cheap and cheerful (well, that used to be the case). What exactly is the point of benchmarking it?

    1. Martin

      Hear hear!

      I bought my Aspire One for £175. It's got pretty poor battery life, it's a bit sluggish. But it does the basics. If I want more than the basics, I'll go to my desktop or a decent laptop.

      £330? What am I getting for the extra £155 over my Aspire One? (Apart from Windows, which I don't want or need...)

  8. Stephen 2

    No ubuntu out of the box

    We have these at the office. Installed Ubuntu 10.04 and it doesn't recognise the wifi cards. On one of them, it won't even get as far as the installer before having graphics problems.

    Windows works fine.

  9. JC 2

    Same Miserable Failure

    mere 600 vertical pixels on 10" again, what a waste of hardware.

  10. Britt Johnston

    pseudo etymology of chiclet

    "chiclet" is indeed a brand of chewing gum, which featured smaller than usual portions.

    this keyboard also features smaller squares - the standard-sized version would presumably have "chic" keys.

  11. J 3


    Why don't these manufacturers include 2 GB instead of 1 GB of RAM, I wonder? Memory is dirt cheap nowadays. When I bought my Eee 1000HE a year and a half ago I also bought a 2 GB RAM module for it -- for the fortune of $15 -- and now I have a spare 1 GB module laying around somewhere. I'm sure the manufacturers can get much better pricing. And considering RAM is usually quite a critical component for speed and general responsiveness feeling, why not do it?

  12. Chippy-Minton


    Indeed Martin, I paid the same for my Acer Aspire One and really top whack for a standard formula netbook is £250, anything above this doesn't merit any more than a 50% rating unless it has 12+ hour battery.

    It happens to be the cheapest computer I've ever owned and at the same time by far the most used. It's been on 24/7 for nearly 2 years now.

    I actually don't find XP slow on it. I just installed a ramdisk, disabled any background services I didn't need, use flashblock in firefox and in general it's as quick for everyday use as my main notebook. It's not designed for autocad and HD x264 encoding.

  13. Simon Williams

    Just saying

    This is a review of a Windows-based netbook and is covered as such. If it was a Linux-based machine, it would be reviewed as one. It wasn't tested with Live Linux, but then it wasn't tested with any software, other than PCMark, with which it wasn't supplied.

    As regards it not being a netbook, the spec of netbooks has moved on. Yes, they were once cheap and cheerful, but the generally-accepted spec is now for a physically small notebook, with low-power mobile CPU, generally sub-HD screen and no optical drive. Perhaps there's room for a sub-netbook category.

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