MSI Wind 12 U200 netbook
MSI's Wind 12 U200 is bigger and more powerful than a typical netbook
- 1366x768-resolution screen, HDMI, fast application performance, excellent keyboard, long battery life, ships with Windows 7
- Balance is a little off, CPU can't handle multi-threading
The MSI Wind 12 U200 is bigger and more powerful than a typical netbook, yet it's still small and easy to travel with. We love its keyboard, its battery life is good and its CPU is relatively powerful. Our main complaint is that it's a top-heavy unit, so firm knocks can make it topple backwards, especially when using it on your lap.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
MSI's Wind 12 U200 is the first netbook we've seen to ship with Windows 7 straight out of the box. However, with a 12.1in screen and an Intel Core 2 Solo CPU, we're loathe to call it a netbook. It's much bigger than a conventional netbook and a good deal faster, so you can do a lot more with it than just browse the Web and create office documents. And it's much more comfortable to use!
Its 12.1 in screen has a native resolution of 1366x768, so you get a lot more room to view Web pages and edit photos, and its keys are full-sized (18.5mm), so you won't get tired after typing for long periods of time. The touchpad is a good size and very responsive, and the palm rest is generously sized.
Build quality and design
Like a lot of MSI netbooks we've tested, the Wind 12 U200 is a little top-heavy. This means that it can sometimes fall backwards if it's given enough of a nudge, which will be a concern when you use the netbook on your lap. However, the balance problem isn't as bad as previous MSI netbooks we've seen, such as the MSI Wind U100, for example.
The U200 is top-heavy, and if given enough of a nudge it will fall backward. Keep this in mind when using it on your lap.
Despite the slight balance problem, we like the overall build quality and design of the Wind 12 U200. It weighs 1.4kg and has a frame-less LED-backlit screen, which means that it has edge-to-edge plastic across the screen, similar to the screen on the HP Mini 2140, for example. This ensures that dust and other debris can't get caught between the screen and the bezel. The white shell of the netbook looks and feels good, and the location of the ports is convenient. On the right side, it has two USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone ports, as well as an SD card slot. On the left side it has another USB 2.0 port, a D-Sub (VGA) port and an HDMI port. A large vent is also present on the left side, and it helps keep the netbook cool and quiet.
Specs and speed
The MSI Wind 12 U200 has an Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 CPU, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, integrated Intel GMA 4500 graphics, and a 160GB hard drive. The Core 2 Solo is an ultra-low-voltage, single-core CPU that runs at 1.4GHz. Despite being slower than an Intel Atom CPU (1.6GHz), the Core 2 architecture of the chip gives it a lot more speed when performing the same tasks.
In our WorldBench 6 benchmark suite, the U200 recorded an overall score of 61, which is approximately 50 per cent faster than what an Intel Atom–powered netbook achieves in the same benchmark. The BenQ Joybook Lite U121, for example, which is equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 CPU, scored 30. The speed of the U200 is also noticeable when comparing the MP3 encoding and Blender 3D times of both netbooks: the U200 recorded 3min 23sec and 4min 04sec in the tests, respectively, while the Joybook Lite U121 recorded 8min 20sec and 7min 47sec, respectively.
All of these results were achieved under Windows 7 Home Premium, which comes installed on the netbook. During everyday use, we found the netbook to be very responsive and all of its features worked perfectly. You can use the Wind 12 U200 for typical office-style work and Web browsing, but it's also a decent unit for photo editing. This is due to the 1366x768-resolution screen; most screens on 10in netbooks have resolutions of 1024x576 or 1024x600. The HDMI port can also be used to view Web pages and movies on your big-screen TV, and this worked perfectly during our tests.
The HDMI port allows you to easily view Web content and videos on your big-screen TV.
A 6-cell battery is located on the spine of the MSI Wind 12 U200, and it protrudes downward rather than toward the rear, giving the netbook a high profile. In our rundown test, in which we switch off power management, switch on the wireless radio, maximise the screen's brightness and loop an XviD-encoded video, the battery lasted for 3hr 56min. This is a good result for a 12in netbook and if you switch on power management, you should be able to get a lot more life out of the battery.
For $999, we think the MSI Wind 12 U200 is one of the best value ultraportable netbooks on the market. It represents a middle ground between a small, under-powered netbook, and a large, fully featured 15in notebook. Seriously consider it if you want a comfortable, highly mobile notebook with good performance and battery life.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectQLD
- TPSenior Drupal Developer / ArchitectQLD
- FTIT Business Process Analyst x 3 - (government background)NSW
- TPTeam Leader Project And Quality AssuranceVIC
- TPDeployment OfficerQLD
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- CCUnix/Linux Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTProcess Documentation AnalystNSW
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- FTEDRMS Officers roles - APS3/APS4/AP6ACT
- CCProcurement OfficerQLD
- FTJava Developer - Short team Contract @ CanberraACT
- FTTechnical Business Analyst- Systems & Network -Telco backgroundNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTDeployment Manager | ContractVIC
- CCProduct Design AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperNSW
- FTPMO Project Analytics and Tools ManagerNSW
- FTProject AnalystVIC
- FTInfrastructure EngineerQLD
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior C# Software Developer, BankingNSW