The MSI Wind U90 is the U100′s little cousin. Well, it’s not actually smaller. It just has a smaller screen and a larger bezel around the display. So if you want to save a few bucks, you can pick up the U90 instead of the U100, right? Well, not if you live in the US, because it’s not available here — unless you can find an international retailer willing to ship to the US.
And that’s exactly what Liliputing Forum member FDAMAN did. He discovered that Canadian retailer NCIX is selling the U90 for about $370 US including shipping to New York. So he placed an order and 4 days later, a box arrived.
The U90 does have some French symbols on the keyboard, but the operating system is in English. This version of the MSI Wind laptop ships with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (the same distro HP includes on lower end Mini-Note models), and has a 3 cell battery and just 512MB of RAM. The US version comes with 1GB of RAM and a choice of a 3 or 6 cell battery. But while the US version of the MSI Wind currently ships with an 80GB hard drive, the version FDAMAN ordered from Canada has a 120GB hard drive.
The bezel around the screen doesn’t look all that bad. And the advantage to using a bezel to put a smaller screen in the same case as the U100 is that the keyboard is identical to the U100 keyboard. That means if you’re comfortable touch-typing on one laptop, you should have no problems with the other.
You can check out FDAMAN’s unboxing videos after the break. The first video shows the unboxing and the first bootup of the U90. But since SUSE takes a while to configure the first time you load it, he shut off the camera for a few minutes and shot a second video showing the OS loading.