Monday, September 29, 2008

MSI Wind vs. HP Mini Part 1


An HP Mini landed at my shore. It was resting peacefully with its contender MSI Wind side by side on my bed for few days without any "molests" from me 'cause I was out for most of the times throughout the week.

I was asked to provide a fair review between these two (err... am I working in Cnet or Engadget? Any Cnet or Engadget or Hardwarezone editors here?). Anyway, since HP Mini was initially my favorite, let's see who is hotter and sexier between these 2 "chicks".

Check out MSI Wind's spec over here. Here's HP Mini 2133's quick spec:


On size comparison. Wind just about an inch longer...


With lids opened. Vista Ultimate on Wind and Vista Home Basic on Mini. Wind is slightly taller on the screen and longer in base due to its 10" screen...


Side by side, thickness is the same by eyes measurement...


The waist is also more or less similar...


The keyboard...


You can see that Wind has bigger keys at the first row from top (F1, F2 etc). On the second row (the numeric keys) and the sixth row (space bar row), Mini's keys are bigger. On the third to fifth row, both are almost identical in size but of course Mini wins with its big surface by square key design, whereas Wind is the standard keyboard design with slope at each side. I curious if the keyboard is swappable between both? If so, Wind users could swap the keyboard for better typing experience, though no major issue with Wind's keyboard. Unlike Wind's Fn key is the first key from left at the sixth row, Mini's first key is CTRL key which fits my typing habit perfectly where I always use my left little finger to reach out the CTRL key. I have to twist a little to do so on Wind 'cause the CTRL is the 2nd key. Further, Mini beats Wind on its ergonomic design, the BIOS (press F10 during HP Invent logo screen) provides an option to swap Fn-CTRL key to fit different typing habits. Thumbs up!

The touchpad activation/deactivation button...


Good thing about this button, instead of 2-finger work to disable the touchpad on Wind (Fn-F3), Mini has the button lays on top of the pad with one press to activate/deactivate it. Bad, the button eats up the space for bigger touchpad. Till now, I still can't get myself used to the 2-side button design especially the right button. I looked into the Synaptics software, there is no option to configure one of the edges of the touchpad to simulate the right click. Such feature is available in my Dell laptop. Also, the scroll zone is NOT on top of the line indicator on the touchpad, it extends to the left of the line which makes the zone a little wider where I scroll accidentally quite often when I just wanted to move the cursor. No option to configure the "thickness" of the scroll zone in Synaptics software and I think the "virtual scrollbar" should be on the line indicator not the side of the indicator.


Now the screen with tape on each side. The right side is aligned at the edge of the screen so you can see the difference in size on the left size. Mini's 8.9" seems to be a challenge for my age when I viewed the same web page on it and Wind. Am I too old??!! Haha!

The battery. I would say Wind's battery (right) is double the size of Mini with its connector extended out. Both are 3-cell battery...


Since MID or netbook is meant for portable and mobile, reasonable effort should also be invested on its design to make it as small as possible...


The top one is Wind's adapter, smaller size than Mini's. Both generates similar heat (measured using my ahem~ most accurate thermometer, my palms! Hehe...). I like the cable tie that comes with Mini's adapter which is very handy to keep the cables nicely. I had to get myself one for the Wind. This is where you can see the difference (such as this and ergonomics) between Western based and Asian based company.

Last for this post, look at the slip case...


Err... Don't you think HP's case (left) is a bit cheapskate and bengish? But, HP provides an internal compartment to keep the power adapter whereas you can't squeeze in the adapter into MSI's case. Perhaps portable concept comes in place, you shouldn't be bringing the power adapter with you whenever you are mobile, the battery should serve you efficiently than keep hooking up the netbook to cable all the times. We shall find out the "efficiency" when I test the performance on Mini (consumerial testing) and benchmark with MSI.