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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little netbook!, June 14, 2009
By 
Jamie Kohn (San Antonio, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
My main computer is a Toshiba Satellite laptop with a 17" screen, and it is a pain (literally) to carry everywhere. So after much research, I decided to buy the MSI Wind U123 (in red). After a few days of using it, I can say that I am pleased with my decision so far. MSI may be a lesser known brand, but they make great little netbooks.

Immediate improvements: The first thing I did was upgrade the memory to 2gb (Crucial Technology CT25664AC800 2GB 200-pin SODIMM DDR2 PC2-6400 Memory Module). [A word on the memory upgrade... I have heard mixed things as to whether the upgrade voids the warranty. I would suggest contacting MSI if this is a concern for you.] I also upgraded the touchpad drivers to allow for a scroll zone on the right side of the touchpad[...]. That makes it MUCH better.

The Wind did not come with a lot of bloatware, which saved me a lot of time. I have installed a variety of apps on it, including Open Office, iTunes and SPSS. It does not seem to have any trouble streaming video from Hulu or streaming music over the network from my primary computer. But as a grad student, I was most concerned about how well it would handle SPSS, the statistical analysis software I use most often. It is noticeably slower than other computers I've used, but only when running more complicated analyses. That said, it was still much quicker than I had expected.

Downsides: I haven't really noticed anything so far... The previous reviewer commented on the touchpad buttons. I'm not sure that they feel cheap as much as they feel stiff. You have to push pretty hard to get them to click. I'm wondering if that will loosen up with use. Otherwise, I may opt to use a mouse. But all in all, that's not enough to make me take away a star.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Mouse Buttons! Otherwise OK, August 13, 2009
By 
Jon E Watte "hplus" (Menlo Park, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
I can't believe that all the parts (screen, CPU, RAM, hard disk, keyboard, Windows license, etc), plus all the shipping (parts go to China and back, and then from Amazon to me) still only costs me $326. It's a real bargain, AFAIAC.

I ordered another 1 GB SODIMM of RAM to upgrade, but realized that there's only one slot on the inside, which already had 1 GB. You'll have to buy a 2 GB stick and throw away the existing 1 GB stick to get to 2 GB.

The CPU is quite nice -- it's a dual-core, 1.66 GHz CPU. The graphics is GMA 950, although under-clocked to 133 MHz internal frequency. If you want to play games, you probably want to find a program called BK_GMAFIX and run that before you start the game -- it will clock the graphics back up to 400 MHz! (Although this mainly affects texturing in 3D, so it won't make things run 2x faster)

The battery is in the back, and the screen is farily heavy, so the entire thing is quite weighted towards the rear. This means that it will easily tip over when standing with the screen flipped up. On the other hand, if you carry it opened, with the Vee of the hinge in your hand, the weight is in your hand, not out towards the edges, meaning you're less likely to drop it.

However, when it comes to ergonomics, there are two problems:

1) The Fn key (to get home/end etc) and the Ctrl key are swapped compared to most other keyboards. Fn is outer-left, and Ctrl is the second key. Anyone used to a standard keyboard and using key shortcuts will be driven crazy by this!

2) The mouse buttons are abysmal. They seem to require ten pounds of force to register -- the mechanism literally feels and sounds like "crunch" (but I've looked -- it's designed that way). The mouse buttons have angled edges, so your thumb will quickly become quite sore. For regular left-clicks the touchpad can be tapped, which helps, but many kinds of click operations (right-click, longer click-and-drags, etc), you have no choice but to hurt your fingers. This is almost criminally bad!

Another caution: Most specifications online for the U123 say Bluetooth and b/g/n WiFi. This particular model does not have those features -- it has b/g wireless only, and no Bluetooth. The lack of Bluetooth is a little annoying, given that you have to use an external mouse if you don't want to lose your fingers.

All in all, this is a fine choice at the lower end of the netbook scale. And if you're getting a netbook, it really doesn't make sense to get a high-end book (like the Asus N10j, which has great specs -- but costs twice what this one does!). If you want something better, you also want a bigger screen, so you should buy a real 13" or 14" laptop.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great snazzy little netbook, July 1, 2009
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
After much research, i bit the bullet and went with this very affordable and snazzy little netbook.

THE GOODS: newer N280 chipset (uses less power and goes 4+ hrs on a 6 cell battery), fully upgradable (i replaced the RAM to 2GB), size and weight = very protable, brilliant dark red cover, not much bloatware - and is able to run all of my fav SW (ie. Skype, Office, Hulu, etc.) and older games (ie HALO, Half Life, C&C, etc.)

THE SUCKS: no native bluetooth, the whole bottom cover was a pain to remove to do any upgrades (RAM or HD), not enough USB ports (IMO), and the power adapter is weird (bulky and not travel friendly IMO), i couldn't wait for the built in TV tuner model.

OVERALL: probably the coolest little netbook (w/ RAM upgrade) for less than $400 - light and portable, great battery, powerful enough processor, and easy on the eyes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good price/performance, June 3, 2009
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
the product was delivered quite fast. It's good to work with because it's not so heavy and the battery life of 4h is good. The only disadvantage are the touchpad buttons. they look anf feel very cheap, and I quess they will break soon if I don't use a mouse. But altogether it's worth the price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After 2 monhs, love it even more than day 1!, July 16, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
I've owned my red U123 for about 2 months now. Pardon the hyperbole, but it's changed my life.

I am a writer & flaneur who likes to walk & work. My HP Pavilion is studly, but is a literal pain in the neck to haul in my backpack. For what I need -- word processing, wifi, long battery life, ultraportable -- the Wind's perfect.

I commonly get 5 hours of battery life, but haven't run it completely down yet, so dunno the limit. I plan to get a 9 cell battery, but the 6 cell is good.

I got a RAM upgrade, but I haven't even installed it yet. So far, no need. I'll get around to it. (BTW, despite the sticker, opening the back to install RAM does NOT void your warranty.)

I did not load any Microsoft Office programs on this little guy; who needs the bloat? OpenOffice works great & doesn't slow anything down.

I've often connected to my work remote desktop & spent hours happily corporate-communicating.

The screen is small & I am half-blind, but this is actually easier for me to use than the full-size laptop. It's so light I can get it as close or far away as I need it.

Besides, it is RED. Love it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Red Machine, November 10, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
We purchased the MSI U123 Red netbook for on-the-go use. Shortly after purchase, we traveled to Costa Rica. Internet reception was great, as was the speed of the connections. We Skyped with family back in Wisconsin (video calls), and the calls were first rate.

The keyboard is just a bit small, and if you are not really careful, you send the cursor all over the page, and even onto other pages. I don't have a complaint with the mouse buttons; they are a bit stiff, probably a bit cheap, but they work fine.

The picture is great and the LED screen is impressive for a $300 netbook. Processing speed for typical tasks (Word docs, Powerpoints, spreadsheets) is very good. Start up and shut down are slow.

The red cover is a fingerprint magnet, as others have written, but the keys and inside doesn't suffer from the same problem. Opening the cover is a two handed job, as the hinge is pretty tight.

You can scroll through pages by holding either the top right corner (to go up) or the bottom right corner (to go down) down on the mousepad.

Battery life is very good. With internet connectivity, it's still over 4 hours. Don't know why anyone would want to move up to a 9 cell battery, since it adds so much weight. Speaking of weight, it is a little tippy, as all the weight seems centered to the back of the screen, but if you are carrying around an open laptop, the hinge side sits comfortably and securely in your hand.

Overall, I highly recommend this netbook. I like the fact that it draws perfect strangers, generally because of the color. However, if you want to be invisible, best not to choose red.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as expected., October 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
Did extensive research into the Wind U100, U120, and, U123 units before purchasing the U123 for my wife.

Inability to expand the U120's 1GB RAMu removed it from consideration. Yes, the U123 required "discarding" the factory 1GB stick for a new 2GB stick, but the U100 wasn't available in RED; the U123 was. If I decide to get a U100 for myself in the near future, then I have the 1GB stick expansion ready. Was fully aware of the unit's inherent tendency to tip back, so no surprises there.

The U123 allows my wife to transfer photos and video from SDHC cards, surf the net, and connect 3 USB devices all at the same time in one unit--something her old IBM T22 couldn't do without a whole bunch of external devices and cables.

Mission accomplished.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I thought, August 13, 2009
By 
Sammy (Hometown, BlueState) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
I read all the reviews and thought I was prepared, but my MSI Wind turned out to be better than I thought. I saw lots of complaints about the touchpad, but I don't have any problems with mine. In fact it works better than the one on my laptop.
The speakers are absolutely terrible. You just can't turn them up loud enough. But I used it with earbuds and that worked just fine. I can touch type on the keyboard and the set up was too easy. I'm thinking about buying another one for my grandson. By the way, I paid more than the current price. Ouch!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MSI Wind, September 8, 2009
By 
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
This particular netbook, although not well know in this area, is an excellent value. Internet access speed is excellent. Keyboard is large enough for people with large hands. It is very lighweight. I would highly recommend the MSI Wind. The 6 cell battery hold a charge for a long time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent buy!, December 10, 2009
By 
Dk (Jersey City, New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: MSI Wind U123-002US 10.2-Inch Red Netbook - 6 Cell Battery (Personal Computers)
Positives

a) Decent sized keyboard - takes couple of minutes to get used to.
b) Intel Atom and 1 GB more than sufficient to perform all the work needed to do
c) Visual clarity is excellent
d) HDD space is great.
e) USB - I'm moving from an earlier version of USB (that my laptop purchased in 2005 had), the USB 2.0 data copy is super fast.

Negatives

a) Gives a feeling that it could flip over due to a slightly heavier screen
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