Minireview Acer Aspire One vs MSI Wind

Discussion in 'MSI' started by justme81, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. justme81


    Nov 12, 2008
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    I got myself a Acer Aspire One white A150 and brought it with me to my dad's place where my stepmom fell in love with the concept of a small machine.

    She wanted one to type on during meetings. She is capable of touch typing as well as me, so this is a big criteria.

    I absolutely love my Acer Aspire One, but thought it might be good to look around a little of what else is out there.

    I considered:

    Acer Aspire One
    Asus 900, 901, 904, 1000
    MSI Wind
    Lenovo S10

    First I recommended Acer Aspire One or maybe 2133. This was mainly because both have a nice keyboard layout and are quite affordable (hp2133 was on quite cheap when I looked).

    Then she said the money isn't the main point but usability etc. So I looked around a bit again and decided to up the spec to a 10" screen, since that does add usability in my opinion.

    I basically chose between:

    Asus 1000HA
    Lenovo S10
    MSI Wind

    Asus weighs quite much, Lenovo is quite expensive. Both Asus and Lenovo have chosen a ridiculously small right shift key and placed it on the right side of of the up button.

    So MSI Wind was the best choice!

    Availability of MSI Wind was quite low, but I managed to locate one and it was quite cheap ~390€. At the store was also a Asus 901, which I got to say is nice, but only for people with miniscule fingers or people who use the mouse a lot more than the keyboard. There was also a HP2133 at the store, and I have to say I love the aluminium finishing, and the keyboard has lots of room, but I disliked the feel of the keyboard after my Acer Aspire One!

    Ok, so to MSI Wind vs Acer Aspire One A150.

    Basic specs
    Price: 330-350€
    Battery 3-cell, ~2h, 6-cell ~5h
    Screen 9", glossy
    Processor Atom 1,6Ghz
    Ram Max 1,5gb
    Hard drive 120gb
    Keyboard size just enough
    Keyboard layout ++++++++++
    Mouse Bad button layout, small, but good synaptics
    Connectivity ethernet, wlan
    Loudness stock high, using A1ctl very low
    Speakers tinny, but better than 80's PC speaker

    Basic specs
    Price: 390-500€
    Battery 3-cell ~2h, 6-cell ~5h
    Screen 10", matt
    Processor Atom 1,6Ghz
    Ram Max 2gb
    Hard drive 160gb
    Keyboard size clearly enough
    Keyboard layout +++++++---
    Mouse Good button, quite small, bad sentelic (early models had good synaptics)
    Connectivity ethernet, wlan (also /n), bluetooth
    Loudness quite low
    Speakers tinny, but quite loud

    Basic specs
    Price: Acer ( Always cheaper, price varies between models/shops)
    Battery Tie
    Screen: MSI better for bright litt areas (Acer screen is great but smaller)
    Processor: Tie
    Ram: MSI (Not a big difference, but still more ram is always good)
    Hard drive: MSI (More room is good, Acer now also comes with 160gb)
    Keyboard size: MSI (but the size doesn't add much benefit beyond Acer)
    Keyboard layout: Acer (MSI has better arrow keys, but looses on the dot, comma,line and smaller right shift, whats up with Fn key placement!)
    Mouse Acer (MSI sentelic just sucks)
    Connectivity MSI (has better wlan + bluetooth)
    Loudness Tie (MSI wins stock, Acer after A1ctl utility)
    Speakers MSI (louder, but is that a plus? =)

    So on the paper MSI Wind wins my Acer Aspire One in pretty much every category, but only by a small margin.

    Build quality and looks etc:

    Both netbooks look really good, I'd say MSI Wind is more simplistic, and thus more professional. It has no extras, maybe the only bling is a blue star shaped led at the power button. Acer has the color where the screen hinge is connected + the black color of the creen bezel.The screen bezel on MSI Wind is ~70% of that on Acer Aspire One. In "the One's" defence I have to say I love how sturdy the screen bezel is, I regularly pick it up by the bezel, since it is strong and big, but MSI Wind screen bezel does look better. Both netbooks look good. A good thing with Acer is also the gap between the screen and the bottom part, which is very good for carrying.

    The build quality is quite similar, and I would characterize them well made. My Acer Aspire One does suffer from some creeking right from the mousepad (others have this issue too), this might be caused by disassembly, but it's still a little bad. MSI Wind is nicely built, but the screen is a little flimsy (it wobbles back and forth a few seconds after adjusting the position, looks scary!). A small usability point favors Acer, the power cable plugs into the "One" using a 90 degree angle, so it sticks out only a little and swivels around. Wind uses a straight one, which sticks out quite long and rigid. MSI's power brick also a little larger. So Acer takes the points on the power brick.

    The form factor is very similar, they are about the same thickness. MSI Wind is maybe 1+cm wider and 0.5+cm deeper. I won't bother finding the official stats, but they are very similar with MSI being a tad bigger. This results in the bigger screen area (with the same resolution).

    So to the keyboard:

    Acer Aspire One keyboard has a very nice feel to it, and I am able to type quite well on it. After trying out the keyboard on the Asus 901 and HP 2133 I really missed my Acer. Then the shop clerk brought the MSI Wind and took it out of the box. It felt like home, there was something very similar in the keyboard feel. I was bought at that instant.

    Then at home. While installing the software and getting more used to the MSI Wind I noticed the keyboard is quite nice but there are a few things that are better on Acer Aspire One, namely the size of the comma, dot and the line are full sized, as well as the the right shift key. MSI does have full sized arrow keys and a bigger left side shift key. MSI Keyboard does have a similar feel and is easy to type with, but it rattles a little bit more (more sound is bad). Also the Fn key is stupidly placed on the far left down corner where Ctrl should be. This can be fixed by a bios soft mod published at the MSI Wind forum. MSI Wind has a very functional online community as does Acer (this one!).

    I'd say it's easy to get used to both keyboards, and both are very good compared to most netbooks.

    The trackpad (mouse):

    Everyone knows the Acer Aspire One suffers from a small trackpad with awkard side buttons. I have to say I very rarely use the side buttons, because they are so hard to click and produce an obnoxious loud click sound (what's up with that Acer, even my big old 15,4 " suffers from this too loud sound!). But the Acer does have a really nice smooth/glidable surface, which is a joy to use! It's also a synpatics trackpad, which is the king of trackpads, and is able to recognize more than one finger, which means you can use mac-type gestures, for instance Two Finger Scroll: ... loads/list

    highly recommended! Synaptics normal scroll is also A-class.

    MSI Wind had synaptics pad in early models (those they sent to reviewers =). But then adopted the horrid Sentelics trackpad, which scrolls using a tap system and doesn't support gestures. It jumps around (since it doesn't support palm recognizing, only a disable while typing), and feels clearly worse than Acers trackpad. The only plus is for the smoother key which is below the trackpad. Luckily my stepmom hates trackpads already and doesn't mind it, and is going to use a usb mouse. The feel of the trackpad material is quite good, but I still prefer Acers.


    Both are nice machines. MSI Wind wins on screen size, keyboard size and clean design. Acer Aspire One wins in keyboard layout and synaptics mouse. Otherwise a close tie.

    P.S. :

    What I might have bought for my stepmom incase it would've been available in Finland with the scandinavian keys at the moment I bought MSI Wind for her

    Samsung NC10 (pretty much same as MSI Wind, but with better keyboard layout, better mouse and 6-cell battery as standard)
    justme81, Jan 21, 2009
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  2. justme81

    Super Bloob

    Jan 21, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Very nice review i love my aspire one but have heard people that absolutely love their winds. Thanks for that review I found it very descriptive.

    Super Bloob
    Super Bloob, Jan 21, 2009
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  3. justme81


    Nov 12, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Today I gave the machine.

    I actually managed to fit MSI Wind plus a Logitech Nano VX + original power cable quite nicely into the original white sleeve/casing that came with it.

    The machine was warmly wellcome and was easy to type on.

    My dad's family was also quite astonished that they were able to pickup a open WLAN network from a closeby science center with a excellent/very good signal. They had previously tried with some other machine without getting almost any signal at all. I suppose that means the MSI Wind WLAN receiver is quite good.
    justme81, Jan 25, 2009
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