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MSI Wind U160 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £316
inc VAT

A stylish and sleek netbook with long battery life, but strong competition holds it back from winning an award.


10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 1.2kg, 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 1.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows 7 Starter

While MSI’s original Wind netbooks were very successful, they were a little chunky and not the most desirable. With its 10.1in Wind U160, MSI is going all-out for style.

We have to say that it’s been pretty successful. The cylinder hinge makes the Wind U160 look more like something from Sony, which is no bad thing, and its silm case and neatly sculptured edges make it look more like a desirable ultra-portable than a standard netbook.

The laptop’s available in two colours. We looked at the gold version (part code U160-049UK). To us, it looks very similar to the shade of gold that seems to only be used on Mercedes estate cars available in the Middle East. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, as we quite liked the subtle shade of gold. The more sedate netbook owner can always opt for the standard black version instead (part code U160-048UK).

If you look at MSI’s list of specifications, or indeed the rather prominent stickers, on the netbook, you’ll see that the U160 is proudly proclaimed as weighing just 1kg and it’s less than 1in thick. However, these figures have to be taken with a pinch of salt, as they refer to the model that ships with a three-cell battery, while the UK version will ship with a six-cell battery only.

MSI Wind U160 battery

This larger battery protrudes from the bottom of the netbook and adds an extra 200g in weight, making the laptop slightly more than an inch thick at the rear and weighing 1.2kg: very similar to most other 10.1in laptops. We’re not overly concerned by this, as the bigger battery helps stand the Wind U160 more comfortably on a desk for typing and improves battery life significantly.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Atom N450
Processor clock speed 1.66GHz
Memory 1.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 25x265x165mm
Weight 1.2kg
Sound Realtec High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1,024×600
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 3150
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 250MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive model none
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots 0
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC
Other ports none


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows 7 Starter
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included none
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty two year collect and return
Price £316

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