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MSI chose to outfit the Wind U230 with the typical glossy 1366x768 screen found on other 12.1" portables, but mercifully it's a pretty good screen from cursory inspection. The hinge doesn't tilt the screen back very far, but the limit is actually about where the ideal angle is going to be. Viewing angles and uniformity, at least from first glance, are solid.

Laptop LCD Quality - Contrast

Laptop LCD Quality - White

Laptop LCD Quality - Black

Laptop LCD Quality - Color Accuracy

Laptop LCD Quality - Color Gamut

Solid relative to the competition, at least. The results sit right in the middle of our charts, but the fact of the matter is that outside of the high contrast LCD on the ASUS 1001P (and the older 1005HA), all of the LCDs look similar. The higher resolution of the U230 display is a real selling point over standard Atom netbooks, but there's not much else to recommend it.

Kicking the Tires of the Wind U230 Application Performance
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  • arthur449 - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I must say, that keyboard layout *is* quite nice. I'd love to see that on more ultraportable laptops. Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I agree, however, it's called "one last hurrah" for a good reason. Even though I am not a vendor, I am speculating the low voltage Nile K10.5 CPU aren't in mass numbers, yet. We now AMD has made one massive push into this market, with over 100 new laptop designs produced, but I have yet to see their delivery numbers truely slide into view. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    What I don't get is why Dell seems to have the most compelling Nile offering on the planet, and then they go and make a UK/Europe part! You can get a nicely equipped model for £579, but that's with VAT (17.5%) and shipping, and prices in the UK tend to be higher anyway. Seems like the US price should be able to get down to ~$600, which should be pretty good for the K625 model. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I suspect the cheaper model with MV-40 will still handily outperform any Atom netbook. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    That's like beating a 5-year-old in an arm wrestling match. :p

    I've used an MV-40 notebook (also from MSI, only with an HD 4330), and while faster than Atom it's still sluggish at far too many tasks. The 4330 was a waste, really.
    Reply
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Expecially considering you can drop $500 on an ASUS UL-50 refurb with 210M and Optimus.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    I mean, yeah, it's a refurb... but if I was spending $500 on almost outdated tech this is the route I would go...
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    This review is pointless, and it is obvious that reviews of old AMD products are placed on this site merely as filler. Why even bother? Change name to IntelTech. Reply
  • maniac5999 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Actually, I've owned a U230 for about 6 months. (bought it at the same price it is today) and while I do agree that it is a little unfair to review a product right at the end of it's product cycle, Anandtech can only review products that are sent to them. (alrhough I'm still waiting for the K10.5 Toshiba review that they promised they'd have up in a week, when they reviewed the old M600 one a month ago)

    Personally I think that the review is pretty much spot on, It's a great machine with bad battery life. I use my notebook for basic internet surfing and document creation, as well as time-killing with games. Civ IV and WoW run great on it, and it can even struggle through Starcraft 2. Something SLIGHTLY more powerful (both CPU and GPU) with double the battery life in the same case would be ideal. (to be honest, the U230 is very small for a 12" notebook, most 12" notebooks are at least 1/2" larger on every size.

    Because of this I'm really looking foward to Bobcat. Intel can't make a decent GPU to save their life (Look how old the 3200 is and how it's STILL at as good as intel's top of the line desktop IGP) and Nvidia seems to only want to make discrete graphics for netbooks in this size range. Unless Nvidia releases Ion 2 for 12" i series CULVs, AMD's still going to be the only game in town. (Disagree? point me at any other 12" laptop that'll play Starcraft 2)
    Reply
  • maniac5999 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    EDIT: No, the Alienware M11 doesn't count, it's a 14" laptop with an 11" screen. 4.5lbs is HEAVY Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I went on vacation, the A665D has driver concerns, and I was hoping to get them sorted out while traveling. Sadly, that has not happened and the result is that the Toshiba review will be up soon but it will not be particularly positive. The Danube platform appears to have potential, but Toshiba's implementation makes some real questionable moves.

    Besides that, these "old system" reviews are not a disservice to AMD. Here we have a laptop that we generally like, and it can certainly compete. We conclude with a few pointers on what the next update needs to offer to truly impress. Manufacturers do read these sorts of articles, so hopefully we can get both a Nile update of U230 (sooner rather than later), and if the planets align properly Dell might even try selling M301z in the US.

    AMD's got a real problem with manufacturers not trying to promote their product. Nearly all the big names now have AMD-based notebooks and laptops, but so many are "hidden" without any push to educate the consumer. And many feel half-baked and shoved out without fully optimizing performance. I would think MSI could have done voltage tweaks of the CPU on their own, which would have added 30 minutes to the battery life at least. The MSI GX640 practically doubled its battery life with a BIOS update. Can the same be done with the U230? Probably not a doubling of battery life, but it can certainly be improved. So U230 + BIOS Optimizations + Nile may finally give us the AMD-based ultraportable we've been waiting for.
    Reply

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