We alluded to the Atom CPU's solid performance earlier and our benchmarks have reaffirmed this. The device is rarely sluggish in general use. It renders Web pages quickly, launches most applications without becoming too bogged down and generally doesn't feel like it's a budget laptop. It scored a 1,449 in PCMark 2005, which is a respectable tally for a device of this ilk. To put this into perspective, the Eee PC 900, which uses an older 900MHz Celeron M CPU, scored 1,133.
Graphics horsepower was predictably lame. The 3DMark 2006 score of 600 is testament to this: it's not going to run the latest 3D games. It'll happily play high-definition movies, show pictures and run very basic games, though.
Battery life in the Wind is not as impressive as we'd first hoped. MSI had planned to ship it with a 6-cell battery as standard, but shortages meant it had to switch to a 3-cell unit instead. Worse still, the capacity is a lowly 2,200mAh -- a far cry from the Eee PC 901's 4-cell, 6,600mAh power cell.
It lasted 1 hour 55 minutes in our CPU-intensive Battery Eater test, which obviously isn't as impressive as the 4.5 hours we achieved with the Eee PC 901. A larger 6-cell battery is promised, but its price is to be confirmed.
Throughout our test period, the Wind ran cool, quietly and unobtrusively. It does have an internal cooling fan, but this isn't particularly loud.
The MSI Wind is a fabulous mini laptop. The keyboard is a joy to use, the screen is fantastic and it definitely looks the part. It lets itself down with a lack of integrated 3G and the standard battery life is relatively poor. Those willing to splash out on a larger battery and perhaps a 3G data dongle will really enjoy using it.
Edited by Shannon Doubleday