Laptop Thoughts: News & Reviews on Laptops, Netbooks, Slates, and More.

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All posts tagged "msi"

Thursday, July 7, 2011

MSI WindPad 110W with Windows 7 Available for Pre-order

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:00 PM

"It happened once before, but now it's in stone: MSI has just come clean with its WindPad 110w pre-order, with $599.99 grabbing you a place in line. For those who've forgotten, that price premium nets you a 10-inch panel (1280 x 800), 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 32GB solid state drive, a pair of full-size USB ports, a mini-HDMI socket, Windows 7 and AMD's Brazos processor platform."

Sooner or later some manufacturer is going to succeed with a Windows (7/8) tablet. Could this be it? Enterprise features like a TPM Module (security + encryption-capable) are built-in, along with MSI's Easy Face software, allowing login authentication using face recognition. It also includes a hotkey for CTRL + ALT + DELETE, and a "control panel" app called smart O-Easy to manage settings. From reading some of the subsequent comments, a battery life of about 6-hours could be reasonably expected, but probably more like 4-5 hours. I was looking at HP's Windows tablet, and this is less expensive, with similar features, so this could end up on my wish list.

Friday, April 8, 2011

That Sweet Sound is Coming from Your Laptop

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos–and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities.

A few years ago, if someone told me that one should expect excellent sound through a laptop, I would have laughed at them. Then stop, take a breath, and laugh some more. Things have changed recently, part of which I think is driven by the increasing use of computers as media terminals for watching movies and music. While I still sincerely doubt that any laptop short of what would be classified as a "transportable computer" could have sound comparable to a proper stereo, they have improved. Unfortunately, to benefit from this, you still appear to have to choose one of the bigger laptops. I imagine this is probably a physical and technical limitation rather than a conscious choice by manufacturers. Still, I find that excluding bass, most laptops, even really light and tiny ones will generally provide "good enough" sound for casual listening. What about you? Are you picky about your listening environment, or do things like stock earbuds and netbook audio do just fine?

Monday, April 4, 2011

MSI X-Slim X370 Offers Ultra-Light Joy

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:30 PM

"Taiwan’s MSI has added another notebook to its X-Slim series of ultraportables, the X370. Weighing in at just over 3 pounds, the X370 features AMD’s power-sipping dual-core E-350 processor running at 1.6 GHz (or a E240, if you’re on a budget), along with a 13.4-inch 1,366 by 768-pixel LED backlit display driven by AMD Radeon HD 6310 discrete graphics."

It is about time I admit that I am getting old. I do not wake up as quickly in the morning. That spring is no longer in my step. I watch as those darn youngsters ruin my lawn. Sadly, that also means that I cannot carry the massive tonnage I used to when I was a strapping young man. So I look towards laptops that take weight into consideration. Be they netbooks, or just ultra-portables, I am really glad to see this segment of the mobile computing workspace get some attention. Using an E-350, I would not expect the X370 to rin any races, but with an estimated 10 hours of battery life, if it comes out with a reasonable price, it may be the right choice for a weak old geezer like me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MSI Offers Up The FX600

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM

"Specifications are nothing to sniff at either, especially considering its affordable price. Intel's Core i3 M330 might not match the mighty Sandy Bridge chips found in the MSI GT680, but it's still a very capable dual-core processor, and far better than the last-gen Core 2 offerings often found in otherwise high-spec sub-£600 Blu-ray laptops. It's backed by the usual 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a generous 500GB hard drive and GT 325M discrete graphics with 1GB of video memory."

MSI's FX600 looks to be a solid notebook PC and for those looking for some mobile computing and are not stuck on any of the big names, some savings can be had. While there is nothing particularly spectactular about the FX600, the inclusion of NVIDIA's Optimus tech seems to becoming more the norm for those laptops just a bit above budget level. Integrated graphics still are not quite there to give people the option to handle every game out there, even at the lowest settings, so we will probably see this as the standard, at least for the next few years.

Tags: hardware, msi, fx600

Saturday, January 22, 2011

MSI Windows 7 Tablet/Projector Combo Prototype

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"MSI showed off a tablet with a projector built into its top edge at CES this year. Looking at the size of the device's "brain", it's a wonder anyone missed it."

Possibly courting the traveling businessperson, MSI's tablet/projector prototype runs Windows 7, and sports a built-in swiveling projector. Looking a bit clunky, and perhaps a bit unwieldy, this could potentially replace several devices in a road warriors travel bag. Perhaps using this for taking a powerpoint presentation 'on the road' would be a good use, or projecting a Windows desktop on a wall or larger surface area (for example, for a software training session) could be reasons to consider this device. To me it seems like a niche product with limited appeal, but obviously MSI has something in mind with this device. Anyone care to venture a guess?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hands on with the MSI Windpad 100W

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:30 PM

"MSI had a CES preview yesterday in Taipei and we got our hands on the MSI Windpad 100W their 10 inch Windows 7 tablet. Not much has changed with the Windpad since we saw it at Computex in June, the build quality still feels like a prototype and the processor is the Intel Atom Z530, which is old school hardware. MSI claims that this is the highest they could go with out installing a fan. True, but i'm not sure who would want to buy it when its thick and outdated."

MSI, like a lot of other laptop/netbook vendors are trying to jump onto the tablet/slate bandwagon - but they're doing it in what seems to be a slapdash fashion, cramming netbook hardware into a slate form-factor and hoping for the best. That's not going to stand up to the competition that's out there today, let alone what's coming in 2011.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MSI Offers Up Some New Laptop Hotness

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 08:00 AM

"The latest fad in mobile PC design is to slap on a high-gloss finish, which admittedly looks terrific but also serves as a magnet for smudges and fingerprints. MSI claims its new FX700 and FR700 won't tolerate such nonsense with their anti-smudge and anti-scratch raised totem seal coating technology. Sounds fancy, and should we get one in to play with, we'll let you know if it works."

Not to be outdone by other manufacturers, MSI has announced two new laptops. While much of their configuration does not stand apart from the competition, an anti-smudge, anti-scratch coating may be of interest. While I appreciate the effort, I am unsure as to whether it is enough to sway the wallets of buyers. I imagine a choice in glossy versus matte screens would make more of a difference as those who are about smudges and scratches already care for their notebooks like babies.

Tags: hardware, msi, fx700, fr700

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Attack of the 10 inch Netbooks!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM,2751.html

"Mobile systems have long been on our to-do-list. These days, nearly everyone has a notebook. However, picking the right notebook isn't like choosing a CPU, graphic card, or memory kit, where you can just simply swap out one piece for better performance. While there are those rare few who upgrade, the options are still limited (hard drive and memory). For the braver few, a mobile processor might be on the menu."

According to the media, there may not be many of you left who want in on the netbook fad, but Tom's Hardware has put up a good review of a whole collection of current generation 10" notebooks. 10 inches seems to be the sweet spot for these mobile warriors with just enough screen real estate to get some light browsing done, but not too big or expensive to creep into notebook territory. The newest batch seems capable of some decent video playback, you still should not expect a seamless HD watching experience. The biggest problem may be that anyone who wants a netbook may already have one, and while the new models are shiny, they fail to compell customers to think that their old mobile companion is worth letting go.

Friday, August 6, 2010

MSI P600 and S6000 North American Debut

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:30 PM

"Hold onto your hats folks: it's another notebook, from MSI! It's a modern day miracle, we know. All kidding aside, we can't complain with the amount of laptops that keep flowing from MSI. After all, competition's good for us all. The company's newest two machines, the P600 and S6000, are both making their U.S. debut this week, with both of them falling into the popular 15.6" category."

MSI has a reputation for building solid laptops and netbooks that perform well, and are affordable. With the P600 and S6000, their goal is to provide systems offering "multimedia, entertainment and business capabilities" for work and play. The Intel Core i5 equipped P600, at 5.3-pounds and $829.99, contains an optical drive, and an 8-cell battery that MSI claims will last 8 hours, while its sibling, the 5.0-pound and $799.99 S6000 is slimmed-down, still with an Intel Core i5, but with a 4-cell battery and no optical drive. The P600 will be available online, while the S6000 will (also) be sold in stores. Could this be serious competition for the 15.6-inch MacBook Pro at half the cost?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Gaming Powerhouse from MSI

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:30 PM

"MSI is out to prove that powerful gaming chops doesn't necessarily mean a large and barely portable notebook. The flashy GT660 is heavy, yes, but not so big that users won't be able to carry it in a normal laptop bag."

A bit heavy at 7.4 pounds, this powerful gaming laptop is still able to fit in a standard laptop/messenger bag, unlike some of the competition. A bit schizophrenic in the styling department, with lots of angles, various glossy and matte finishes, and an assortment of colored lights, MSI has packed-in quite a bit of power for under $2,000 with lots of upgrade possibilities. However, some of the finer nuances are lacking, for example, the screen resolution of 1366x768 could be higher in a 16-inch monitor, and the screen is highly reflective. A backlit keyboard would be a plus. Still, this is a powerful beastie for gamers, with great graphics and sound, and at a very competitive price.

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