As the netbook market has matured, a number of companies have put out cheap ultraportable computers with remarkably similar specifications. And that’s left a lot of folks scratching their heads trying to figure out which netbook is the best bargain. The answer? There is no one-size fits all answer. Odds are if you’re in the market for a $400 – $500 notebook with a 9 or 10 inch screen and an Intel Atom CPU you’ll be happy with whatever you pick up. But for the nitpickers out there, Kevin Tofel of jkOnTheRun and I bring you this semi-comprehensive nitpicker’s guide to the MSI Wind and the Eee PC 1000H.
Kevin and I have been meaning to get together to compare netbooks since last month. But a series of events kept that from happening until yesterday. And since we’re both obsessive tweakers, that means we can’t present you a completely apples to apples comparison. Kevin upgraded his MSI WInd to it has 2GB of RAM instead of 1, while my Eee PC 1000H triple boots Windows XP, Mandriva 2009, and Ubuntu Eee 8.04.1.
That said, these two netbooks are remarkably similar. Each has the following specs which make them look virtually identical on paper:
- Display: 10.2 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels
- CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Atom
- RAM: 1GB (upgradable to 2GB)
- Storage: 5400rpm hard drives (Kevin’s Wind has 120GB, my Eee PC 1000H has 80GB, but both companies are releasing even higher capacity models)
- Battery: 6 cell
- Connectivity: 802.11b/g WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth
- Expansion: 3 USB ports, SD card slot, VGA output, mic-input, headphone out
Another area where the hardware differs a bit is the keyboard. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the MSI Wind keyboard, so I was excited to check it out in person. As it turns out, it’s all a matter of taste.
The MSI WInd has a shift key that’s placed to the left of the right up arrow, making it much easier to hit. The right shift key is also much wider than the right shift key on the Eee PC 1000H. The right Ctrl key on the Wind is also larger than the right Ctrl key on the Eee PC 1000H. But to make up for the extra width, MSI shrunk the size of the period, comma, and slash/question mark keys so that they’re actually smaller than most other keys on the keyboard. I found this more annoying than the tiny right shift key on the 1000H because I use the . and , keys much more frequently than the right shift.
The two netbooks also have the Fn and Ctrl keys in different positions. On the Wind, the key on the far left is the Fn key followed by the Ctrl key. The 1000H has the Ctrl key on the outside, followed by the Fn key.
If the shift key matters to you, as it does to Kevin, the Wind is the clear winner here. But if not, Kevin and I agreed that the Eee PC seems to have a slightly more reponsive feel to its keyboard. The best word we could come up with is that it has a more “bouncy” feel to it, which makes the keyboard feel a bit more like a keyboard you would find on a full sized laptop. The keys are pretty much exactly the same size, but I find typing a tiny bit easier on the 1000H. On the other hand, and I know this is hard to tell from the image, the MSI Wind keys had slightly brighter labels. We think MSI might have used white paint while Asus chose gray.
The Eee PC 1000H also has a few user customizable buttons for launchign applications, as well as a button for toggling the display on and off, which can come in handy if you want to save power without putting the netbook to sleep. On the flip side, those buttons are thin and difficult to press properly, as is the power button. As you’ll see in the video below, I sometimes thing I’ve hit the power button when I haven’t. The Wind has a more typical power button that’s easy to press to turn your PC on and off.
Speakers and Mics
Let me start by saying this. No netbook I have ever seen (or heard) has good speakers. That said, the Eee PC 1000H clearly has better sounding speakers than the MSI Wind. They both output sound at about the same volume, which is to say, loud enough to listen to music or watch a movie in a quiet room. But the MSI Wind speakers have a tinnier sound to them. The Eee PC 1000H provides slightly fuller sound when listening through the speakers. Both netbooks palce the speakers on the bottom of the unit.
The 1000H has stereo microphnes at the base of the screen, while the MSI Wind has a mono mic at the top of the screen. The top placement is better suited for recording audio notes or talking over Skype, if you ask me. But neither mic is particularly good.
The Eee PC 1000H has a wider touchpad with two distinct buttons for right and left clicks. The MSI Wind has a single button that tilts left or right. The touchpad is a bit more narrow. Both are usable, and certainly better than the tiny trackpad on the first generation Eee PC 701. The 1000H trackpad also supports multi-touch gestures. For example, you can scroll up and down by placing two fingers on the touchpad and sliding them up and down at the same time.
Both netbooks have shiny exteriors and matte displays. The Eee PC also has a glossy wrist wrest, which is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. The Wind has more status LEDs, which in theory lets you see what your computer is up to at a glance. But I honestly found the sheer number of LEDs to be confusing.
It’s also easier to upgrade the RAM and hard drive on the Eee PC 1000H, thanks to a panel on the bottom of the netbook that can be accessed by removing two screws. You need to undo 8 screws to disassemble the MSI Wind case so that you can perform even the most basic upgrade like increasing the amount of RAM.
Kevin and I did our best to resolve this issue nearly a month ago by running a series of battery tests on our respective computers. Both have similar specs, and both have 6 cell batteries. With the CPU running at 1.6GHz, and the display and WiFi on, the Wind bested the 1000H by about 20 minutes. The Eee PC 1000H ran for about 3 hours and 19 minutes, while the MSi Wind ran for 3 hours and 39 minutes.
In power saving mode, the difference is even more noticable. The Eee PC 1000H comes with software that lets you toggle the CPU speed between 1.2GHz, 1.6GHz, and 1.7GHz, depending on whether you want to conserve your battery or boost performance. The MSI WInd has just two settings: 800Mhz and 1.6GHz. So in power saving mode, you may see more of a performance hit on the Wind than the 1000H, but it’s not difficult to perform basic tasks like surfing the web or composing documents at 800MHz.
Overall, in power saving mode, the MSI WInd U100 lasted for 4 hours and 59 minutes while the Asus Eee PC 1000H ran for 4 hours and 25 minutes.
It’s worth noting here that all of these results were obtained by running the Battery Eater test, which is designed to put some stress on your processor. In daily use, I’ve gotten close to 5 hours out of my 1000H. But based on these benchmarks, I suspect you could get as much as 5.5 hours from an MSI Wind.
Both netbooks get good battery life. But if a long-lasting battery is your top priority, it looks like the Wind is the winner in this category.
Finally, we decided to compare the webcams. This test was a bit tricky, because we lined up the netbooks side by side and then called each other on Skype.
We saw a better picture on the Wind, but was it because the Wind had a better display, or because the 1000H had a better webcam? Since we’d already decided the displays were similar, we ruled in favor of the 1000H’s webcam. But just by a hair. The truth is, neither webcam was spectacular, but the 1000H webcam seems to provide a slightly sharper picture with slightly more accurate colors. Either one is good enough for making Skype video calls. I wouldn’t record my video resume on either.
Boot times and sleep performance
And finally, we ran a few completely unfair comparisons. As I mentioned, Kevin’s MSI Wind has 2GB of RAM, which is twice what my Eee PC 1000H has. And the 1000H has Mandriva 2009, Ubuntu 8.04, and Windows XP loaded, while Kevin did a fresh install of Windows yesterday. So my Windows boot would probably be slower anyway, but things were made worse by the fact that I have to wait for the GRUB bootloader to run as well.
With that in mind, here’s an unfair video comparing the boot times of the two netbooks:
And we ran a similar test to see how quickly each netbook can be suspended and resumed from sleep mode:
how do i use the shift key on msi wind i cant get the @ sign when typing
I have an EeePC 1000H from several months and I’m very satisfied. But I have a question: it has only one module of memory? Or I didn’t find the second one?
That’s a nice review and comparison.
I had some basic questions- would appreciate your response to them:
a) I use VLC media player (I dont want to use any other player) and I was wondering if .mkv movies can be played on the 1000H in VLC?
b) In some forums, there was a mention of resizing the resolution(or was it picture size) for mkv movies to play in vlc…could you kindly explain that?
I am not much of a techie so dont know much about resolutions and compability but I dont want to see the scroll bars or conversions into another format
c) Is it possible to voice chat in yahoo messenger (not talking about skype or others) on 1000H?
Very helpful, thanks
This is the most interesting versus from the Internet. I spent some hours today and this is the best.
Please can anyone make a page with all MSI Wind versions? There are several models and the differences are regarding chip sets and hdd size. A page with all Wind versions would be very very interesting.
see the msi wind website. it lists all models and specs
So Should I Get A MSI U100 Or Eee PC 1000H?
What about graphic? u100 uses GMA 450 and 1000H uses GMA 900, the older verson! This is pretty important in my opinion? Why you didn’t even mencioned this?
Both computers use the Intel GMA 945 graphics chipset.
Gentlemen, Excellence review, one of the better I’ve seen! Due to your review and my other research I would rather buy the MSI. However, for my specific use I need the unit’s screen to lie nearly flat, within 10 degrees as flat as what I have personally observed the 1000H can do. I realize this has been asked and answered above. However, in Kevin’s answer of 140 degrees, he used the word “guess”. This left me feeling a little uneasy. As if I should probably purchase the 1000H, because most online retailers do not allow for laptop returns should the 1000H not be enough. I am sure this is not important to most but it is a deal breaker for me.
Kevin, I hope it is not to much to ask if you could reassure me that the MSI’s screen will in fact only lay down to 140 degrees or even better, specifically how many. Obviously I am hoping for more.
Thank you both for your time and efforts.
Extremely helpful, thanks. Just bought an eeepc 1000
Thanks for the great review and comments! It helped a lot. We’re finally going with the ASUS eeePC.
1000H: wireless N
Well I have owned both netbooks the 3cell Wind and Eee PC 1000H and I got rid of the MSI Wind.
Here is a few reasons why:
1.) I am a touch-typist (80-100 wpm and naturally left handed and use the LEFT SHIFT so the RIGHT SHIFT key placement on the Eee never bothers me) but the Wind LCD flaps like it’s going to fly away when typing on anything other than a hard flat surface.
The Eee PC 1000H hinges are ugly but sturdy as a rock, no flapping at all.
2.) The Eee has 4-one touch quick launch keys just above the keyborad.
Key 1: Use to blank screen
Key 2: Used to toggle screen resolution from 1024×600 to 1024×768 or 1024×768 compressed and finally 800×600.
With keys 3 and 4 they come pre-programed or you can run any app or program of your choosing.
Key 3: SuperHybrid Engine : One touch Overclocking to 1.71Ghz (Super) Stock 1.6Ghz (High) Underclock 627 Mhz ( Power Save) and an (Auto Power ) no need to be on AC to use this feature.
Or you can also use (eeectl) a program that lets you one click overclock your cpu up to 2Ghz and gives you control of your fan and LCD brightness too.
Key 4: Set to run Skype.
3.) The Wind had a really flaky WLAN card, always dropping signals, low power meter when 5-10 ft away from router.
The Eee was able to pickup 4 new unsecure networks that I never seen before and the signal strenghth is always full when tested in the same areas as the Wind.
4.) I mainly watch 720p x264.MKV rips and 90% of the rips contain Dolby audio.
This is where the Eee PC 1000H really shines, it has Dolby Surround Room Certification.
When you play anything that contains Dolby it sounds phenominal for a set of tiny speakers.
The sounds are loud,clear and the separation of the acoustics really surprised me.
Just keeping it short, that was just a few reasons why I prefer the Eee PC 1000H over the MSI Wind.
Remember this is my opinion only, others may feel different.
so I heard that the Wifi and the camera needs to be installed by CD on the notebook – however, the notebook doesnt come with a CD drive. Is this true?
any comment on the fan noise?, which is quieter?
Net books do not have fans
Yes they do.
Hi, can ask for your opinon…… Can tell me which is the better buy or worthy? If MSI cost $30 more (comes with 2GB ram) than Eee PC 1000H (comes with 1GB ram), which one shall I get. Both of them, the rest of other spec is sames like 160GB HDD, 6 cell batt etc, except the memory ram.
you forgot to mention that upgrading the ram on the MSI wind, will VOID your warranty
Thanks for the reply. Wasnt expecting the answer quite so fast.
Hi Guys, Well done. Makes a great read. I do have one question but seem to get conflicting reports when I google for the answer. Can I install Win XP Pro and would it run effectively on the EEE PC 1000H? Main reason is that i live in The Netherlands and all of the models that come with XP come with the Dutch version. i do however have a number of XP Pro discs having updated other laptops and computers to Vista. Your early response to this would be highly appreciated.
I don’t see why not. Most netbooks that come with XP come with XP Home, but
that’s likely just because it’s cheaper to license.
Thank you for a nice review!
Awesome head to head … thanks this is just the comparison i was lookin for …
1. would you say these 2 are the best netbooks out there when compared to the others in the same price range?
2. is ther n draft on the wind or it is on a more expensive model … also do both laptops have BT built in ???? thanks
As far as I can tell, all versions of the Wind have Bluetooth, but only the
higher end models come with 802.11n.
As for whether they’re the best, that’s going to be a matter of opinion.
Some people are going to like the keyboards on the HP Mini 1000 or Samsung
NC10 better, and the Samsung NC10 gets better battery life than any netbook
in this class.
but isnt the samsung more expensive than the 1000h … i dont care for keyboards as i am not a touch typist :s … so i am kind of leaning towards the 1000h because of the multitouch which seems cool to have..
so i guess what i was tryin to ask is whether .. these 2 are missing out on any recent feature/development with soo many netboooks out today
No words to share may comments on asus eee pc 1000H – for its price it is a blessing to me
But I have a question – can I have on it the original linux with applications and windows xp
Actually I tried the linux for the first time on the eee pc and I found its applications and (work desk included but especdially its player and the star office ) far beyond my experience with the winxp ( although not a bit strange to a rooky)
I gave it to a company to install next to the lionux a winxp. So have they but instead of the original linux they have istalled a xandros and not a very healthy one. So I adressed another company to restore my original linux (next to the winxp) – they have replaced the xandros with kubuntu with kaffeine player that disappointed me )
So my question is MAY I HAVE A BACK THE ORIGINAL EEE PC 1000H LINUX NEXT TO WINXP OR AT LEAST CAN I RESTORE ONLY THE LINUX ( I have read that when on installs winxp the hidden part where the restore image is kept is deleted) I believe the problem is not only mine . vesco v
If you bought the Linux version, Asus should have sent you a system restore
disk and instructions for using it to restore your computer to factory
default settings either using a USB DVD drive or a USB flash disk.
If you don’t have this disk, you might want to try contacting Asus support
and asking them to send you one.
On the MSI Wind,
can you help to confirm what is the wireless chipset used (e.g. atheros, intel, ralink etc.)
because I wanted to dual boot it with Linux and have to make sure that there is drivers for the wireless chipset used.
Thanks in advance for the help.
How do you make it to triple boot I would like to get an EEE PC 1000H but I need help in learning to make it boot with Windows XP, and Ubuntu? Thanks in advance for your help!
When you install Ubuntu, it will automatically allow you to dual boot as
long as you install it to unused space instead of overwriting the entire
hard disk. If you want an even easier solution, use the Wubi install method.
I was unable to view your videos … please remember that some people can’t see
video for various reasons (biological, technical, or bandwidth), so when you say:”With that in mind, here’s an unfair video comparing the boot times of the two netbooks:” you’re
leaving some of us to guess which one is faster. (In other words, your articles should
always be complete in text … the videos are a bonus or proof.)
thanks for an interesting article!
“Both netbooks have shiny exteriors and matte displays. ”
That’s all you have to say about the displays? which many people might consider NOT a nitpicking feature?
In other words, there was no discernible difference between the displays.
These two netbooks *are* a lot alike. This article is focused on the areas
where they differ.
Pretty important point for me
If either had been noted with a glossy screen – off the xmas card list
horrible horrible.. why it became so popular i’ll never understand
How well do they handle an Internet Security install like Kaspersky 2009? Wondered what the hit was to their usuability????
At this point, the Asus is much less expensive configured with 160GB hard drive, $468 on up. Sorry you missed the $450 deal at ZZF. I didn’t. I’ve covered the outside and two pads inside with Con-tact black leather grain. No more figerprints!
How about the size and the weight of the AC adapter from respective machine? I know the adapter that comes with my 1000H is extremely small if compared to other notebook adapters out there, but I’d like to know if MSI had taken that step of shrinking the adapter too.
I overall prefer the look of the MSI Wind, but finally took the plunge today and ordered the Eee 1000HA (decent price, IMO — $429, free shipping, from a vendor on Amazon), partly because this review convinced me that the differences are smaller than I’d been picturing. No bluetooth, which is annoying but cheaply fixable, so I’ll live with that.
It’s like car upgrades, though — the combination I wanted, I couldn’t quite find (6-cell battery, Linux, bluetooth), so it’s going to come with Windows XP, which I will either keep as a dual boot (hmm, maybe) or wipe entirely in favor of Ubuntu or similar.
My only concern with all the netbooks out there is the 1GB RAM but I see in your review that the MSI has 2GB and your specs list says ram upgradable which I didn’t think was possible. What I was looking to do was purchase the 100H with Linux as this comes with 2GB RAM and then install Windows – is this possible?
Can any other netbooks have their RAM increased?
Neither netbook *comes* with 2GB. But you can upgrade the memory in almost
any netbook with off the shelf RAM. Usually you can find a 2GB module for
$40 or less.
Thanks for the clarification Brad. With your experience of both models, is there a clear winner? Which would you recommend?
It’s going to be entirely up to the user. The Eee PC 1000H has a slightly
more solid feel to it, but that’s partly because it’s half a pound heavier.
It also has 802.11n and a multi-touch trackpad and marginally better webcam.
But the Wind is lighter, a little smaller, and has a keyboard that some
people might find more comfortable to use.
This is a super comparison. I would like to see a later addendum comparing the Lenovo S10 with these two, since it seems to be about the trimmest and lightest 10 inch netbook, thus sort of being between the 9 and 10 inchers in size but squeezing in a 10-inch screen. It looks like a good candidate for people who can’t make up their minds between 9 and 10 inches, or, as in my case, not having any way to have a hands-on side-by-side comparison.
The main things I would like to see compared are keyboard, screen quality, and battery life.
Now the Samsung NC 10 has been mentioned here can someone give me some considered opinion or experience on screen backlighting. Have just seen that the new Samsung does not use LED backlighting but believe the Asus and Wind apparently do. Is the LED system likely to be more reliable, provide better even screen coverage and use less power?
One area not mentioned where I believe the MSi blows the ASUS away is in the area of heat. I believe the MSi is much, much cooler at the keyboard than the ASUS. Did you notice a difference in your testing?
I actually measured all aspects of my MSi WIND with an IR thermometer and compared it to one published on Engadget or Gizmodo (but it was regarding the Lenovo S10). I think they mentioned that the ASUS was hot too.
I’ve never really found the 1000H to get very hot. The HP Mini-Note was a
hot machine, but the Eee PC 1000H just gets a bit warm under the base. The
keyboard and touchpad seem fine most of the time.
Awesome. How about xp versions of HPMininote 1.6 processor vs Lenovo S10 vs Acer Aspire one?
– 1000h has 802.11n & bt
– MSI has no Wifi N
In plus wind have really crapy hing, when you typing on keyboard the screen move
The main issue for me, with any netbook, is the keyboard. I’ve owned a couple of laptops with the small shift key way to the right, and just found them impossible to use. At least on the Wind, the keys for the comma and period may be a little smaller, but they are in the right place.
The Samsung NC10 looks to be even better – they move the arrow keys down just a little, which allows all the keys to be the appropriate relative width, and in the right place. This is the model that all netbook makers should use, IMO.
You’re right. This seems so obvious. This is the major complaint about netbooks. Why don’t the netbook makers simply make the little indentation at the right side of the wrist rest to accommodate the arrow keys as most notebook makers do? Can they be that desperate to save a speck of space under the arrow keys? Or does the lack of a straight line at the bottom of the keyboard offend their designers? Do most Asians use the hunt and peck technique because Chinese characters are difficult to touch type (if you hunt-and-peck it doesn’t matter where the keys are)? (Actually, from what I’ve read, Arabic characters [ABCs] are used on the mainland and the kanji-type characters are just used on Taiwan.)… or can someone give me some other reason?
Sorry about the rant… this just seems so obvious.
I do not personally like the arrow keys lower than the rest of the keyboard and not just because it makes the desing of the keyboard a lot uglier. But this is my own tates.
The lowered keys is one reason I’m considering the Acer Aspire One. A Wind with that layout would be dreamy. And I don’t really have time to wait for the NC10.
Anyway, Hear, Hear! It seems obvious to me too.
Actually, as far as typing Chinese is concerned, most of the Asians I know type very efficiently, Taiwanese or mainland. The difference is that in Taiwan, they use Traditional Chinese characters, on the mainland, they generally use Simplified, but the typing of either of those is almost exactly the same because they ALL use pinyin. Check out https://pinyin.sogou.com if you have Asian text support installed, you’ll see what I mean.
The most likely reason for differences in keyboards, as I see it, is different strokes for different folks. The world don’t march to the beat of just one keyboard….
Thanks for replying to this dusty thread. I had read that Taiwanese keyboards had traditional characters and that those on the mainland had the Roman alphabet. (I said “Arabic” above–sorry I don’t know where I got that.)
I’m sure Asians are skilled typists, but in my very limited experience in typing Asian characters, it was Japanese kanji, and to do that I had to type first in romaji, which would convert to hiragana or katakana (my choice). When I completed a word, I would hit the spacebar, and a list of usually 25 or 30 possible words corresponding to that phonetic spelling would drop down, rendered in a combination of usually kanji and/or hiragana, and I would select and insert the one I thought was most appropriate.
That’s what I meant by hunting and pecking… it’s not too amenable to speed typing 🙂 By the way, I can’t read or write Japanese, but was just trying to translate small amounts of it.
I think this subject of how Asian languages are rendered on and by keyboards is fascinating and wish it wasn’t so hard to find information about it.
tomorro am gona buy one of them plz answer me quicklly with thanks
I have both the Wind and the 1000h. i prefer the 1000h because it feels more solid. The screen on the Wind seems to be a little loose and the trackpad is small on the wind. Also, when touching the corner of the Wind’s screen bezel, you can see how sensitive it is because the lcd screen looks like your pressing it. This is not the case with the eee 1000
thanks joe you did help me alot
Wow, you’re right. I just tested by pressing on my 1000H screen and it does seem more solid than other notebooks I previously had.
I second on this. 🙂
The 1000H is rock solid. It is a lot stronger than my 1500 dollar HP 15″. Not to mention that it is quicker and works a lot better. I gave the HP to my gf and now use the 1000H as my main computer. HP never again! ASUS…..welcome on board.
finelly shall i buy asus or msi
You should get the Asus
It is awesome! I am typing this comment on it now.
It’s so light and portable. I take it everywhere I go!
Great review, though I prefer the Wind for the overall design. FYI, to add to the netbook confusion, there’s also a higher end Wind with 802.11n and 160gb hard drive. ;P
Could you comment on the maximum open angle for each of these machines? I’ve found that it’s sometimes necessary to open a machine far wider than the “usual” (sitting in a chair, at a desk) range, either to avoid glare, to more easily share the screen with someone, or because I am lazy enough to suspend the computer overhead, while using a USB keyboard.
Oh, and when I used to work in my car while hovering by a parking spot on street-cleaning days in Brooklyn 🙂
Can either of these open fully flat?
We didn’t look at this yesterday, but I can say that both netbooks open well
past 90 degrees. The Eee PC 1000H can go almost 180 degrees… maybe as far
as 150 or 160. I’m not sure about the Wind.
The Wind also has a wide open angle. If I had to guess, I’d put it around 140-degrees.
The 1000h has 802.11n, Wind does not. A download speed comparison would be a good spec to add
I mentioned 802.11n support in the post. It’s right after the page break.
Thanks for the head-to-head! Good read.
MSI Wind 160gb 6 cells all support 802.11n and bluetooth. It’s just the 3 cells and the 80gb 6cell models that don’t.
I’m pretty interested in keyboard and mouse button noise. I like good tactile feedback, but there’s no excuse for excessively noisy buttons. I’ve got a laptop now whose mouse buttons literally echo in a large rooms (ie, libraries)
I like the idea of a draft N network, but even G is faster than any modem you’re likely to encounter. Even with my network harddrive, I never use more than 50% of the capacity of G. What’s far more likely to impact performance is the internal HD, which spins at 5400 rpm anyway.On to the MSI’s overclocking abilities. You only mentioned the CPU speeds for power saving mode. However, if you turn on “FOC” in the BIOS, you’ll see an option for 24%. When you hit Fn+F10 while the MSI is plugged in, you’ll get 2GHz.
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