Unleashing the Wind, part one

After following the UPS tracking system all day yesterday and today, my new computer arrived at my doorstep around 1:00 pm this afternoon.  I ordered the MSI Wind U100 for two major reasons:

1) It has a nice 10″ screen but similar size to many of the smaller netbooks

2) It has the most compatability with Mac OS X of any netbook on the market.

This netbook is going to be my first foray into Mac territory. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the iMac lab that was in our school when I began working there  years ago. My only other experience with Apple computers came during my own schooling, when the Apple IIe was a major staple in our academic endeavors :)

Wind Box

Unboxing the Wind from the shipping box, I was initially struck by the small size of the packaging. Having just purchased my wife a new HP laptop with a 15.6″ screen for Christmas, the Wind box was about the same size as her laptop.

Wind Loading XP

I like the size of the Wind. The keyboard does not feel as cramped as the Eee PC and feels a bit larger even than that of the Aspire One. Those were the other two models I seriously considered when looking at netbooks. When closed, the Wind is about the size of a hardback book, with the added bulk of a 6 cell battery.  This was a minor consideration as the battery life jumps from 2 to 3 hours with a 3 cell, to 5.5 to 6 hours with the 6 cell.  Here’s 2 shots of the Wind sitting on my wife’s new laptop for comparison.

Wind on HP 01
Wind on HP 02

My only complaint thus far, about 45 minutes into playing around with the computer is the fact this particular model is a Canadian unit, and therefore has a French-Canadian keyboard.  I keep accidently hitting the “,eh?” key when I type. That gets kind of annoying ,eh?  Seriously though, the enter key is turned and the left shift key is half it’s US size, making typing a bit awkward.  I am seeking out a US keyboard to replace this one, but so far it’s not a huge issue.

Odd Enter Key

Odd Enter Key


Small Left Shift Key

Small Left Shift Key

Next steps:

1) Loading several necessary Windows programs

2) Updating the BIOS

3) Installing an extra gig of RAM

4) Repartitioning the hard drive to split it for my XP and OS X installations

For those interested, here are the specs on this model of the Wind:

Intel Atom processor, 1.6 Ghz

1 Gig RAM preinstalled (upgradable to 2 GB)

160 GB Hard Drive

6 cell battery

Webcam, Bluetooth, 802.11 b/g/n wireless, 3 USB ports, multi SD card reader

1024 x 600 screen resolution

Look for more updates as I continue my voyage into setting this up as the ultimate “I’m a PC…AND a Mac” netbook and consider it’s use in the middle school classroom.

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2 Responses

  1. This i exactly the same machine I just sold. Do you have the links to load OSX on it? If not let me know.

    • Erica, I do have the links for OS X from msiwind.net That’s an amazing community of folks over there working to get the most out of these tiny powerhouses. In fact, I’m planning to give a major shout out to that entire forum in my next post. Thanks for stopping in and reading these early attempts at getting my thoughts out there :)

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