Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Acer 1810TZ vs. MSI Wind U100

After I revealed my new gadget, many ask me, "what are you going to do with your misai (beard)?" My misai??!! Why the new lappy has anything to do with my beard? It's actually referred to my lovely "MSI" Wind -.-|| It's not going away, it will become my mini desktop once I am fully comfortable with the new 1810TZ. Not only that, the new lappy must outperform my lovely Wind in some areas that make me feel worth buying. Before I move into the details, let's make some appearance comparison...


No doubt the 11.6" 1810TZ is bigger size than the 10.1" Wind. Both are glossy top but I find Wind is more "magnetic" to fingerprints than 1810TZ. Well, easy come easy go. It's easier to remove the prints from Wind than the 1810TZ too.

Let's go on top...




1810TZ is about 1 inch longer and wider than Wind. Not to bad for me, a good compromise if consider the bigger screen with 1366x768 resolution compare to 1024x600 on Wind. The netbook resolution really causes inconveniences on reading.

What about the thickness?


Wind is negligibly slightly thicker, you can't see the difference when view from side like photo above.

Turn upside down...


There is no user-accessible compartment on Wind. User needs to take out the entire chassis to upgrade hard disk or RAM. Also, noticeably Wind has more air vents.

Open up the lid...


The glossy screen on 1810TZ and matte on Wind. I have bad experience with glossy screen that causes glarry view. I have no issue with Wind when using outdoor under the sun, it has been proven few times with treasure hunt events. The other aspect that would affect the viewing pleasure is the tilt angle...


Wind has wider angle to tilt, the wider the better when you put the lappy on your lap.

The keyboard...


I am using 1810TZ to post this blog and from this limited experience, I prefer Wind's keyboard even it's smaller size. Quite a number of typing errors, perhaps I am used to small keyboard but I just feel awkward with such keyboard design on 1810TZ, it reduces the gap between keys and therefore the "tolerance" for typing error between adjacent keys is also reduced. As a result, you tend to have typo on adjacent key. I also hate the direction keys...


They are damn bloody small that many time I inadvertently press 2 keys in 1 stroke (i.e. left key and Pg Up, up key and Shift)! And I use these keys a lot to scroll pages, to quick jump in Word document and what not. I hope I can get used to it over time. Beside that, you can see the gap between keys from photo above, it's big enough to trap particles in it but it's too small to slip in a cotton bud to clean it! Bad design! I would rather to have the typical design like Wind or chiclet style like Mac.

I do welcome 2 good designs though, The first key from bottom left is a CTRL, not Fn key like Wind and the addition of Pg Up and Pg Dn keys.

What about the other input interface, the touchpad?


Here's the measurement for comparison sake (Wind follow by 1810TZ)...





Obviously 1810TZ is only wider (horizontal) but not longer (vertical) than Wind. It has multitouch feature, quite cool to pinch-zoom like iPhone. But I find the surface is not as smooth as Wind where the multitouch gesture some times is not responsive but the buttons are snappy, light click and responsive. Again, I may need more time to get used to it, or to fine tune the software later. Hopefully.

The other difference I like is the LED arrangement on 1810TZ...


Acer place the input related indicators at the top left for easy viewing and system related LEDs are bottom left, whereas Wind has all the indicators at the bottom right...


On Wind, I have to lift my right palm to check input related indicators i.e. is Caps Lock on etc occasionally.

Before I wrap up this post, let's compare the power brick...


This may not be a good comparison as I have replaced the Wind's power brick with AcBel. However, AcBel and Wind's stock brick are quite comparable in size where you can read from one of my posts. Acer did a good job to bundle a small and light power adapter for an ultra portable notebook. Like I mentioned previously, Acer did not do a perfect job designing the power cable...


The fat power cable with barcode is the one from 1810TZ and the other is AcBel. One thing I observe on 1810TZ brick is the flimsy cable on the other end just like the original brick from MSI...


I think I may want to get another AcBel for travel purpose before my next trip on March/April so I don't break it during travel again.

I reckon this is not a fair comparison to compare a better spec notebook with a 2 years old netbook. I write this up is to share on some of the areas (in hardware) you may want to consider if you plan to do an upgrade on your netbook/notebook like me, so you would know what to expect from the new one i.e. glossy vs matte screen etc etc beside those hardware spec inside the chassis i.e. CPU, RAM etc.

Enough hardware talk. Let's power it up to see if anything worth blogging...