Having played around on my new MSI Wind U100 for the last few weeks, I can honestly say that it is the most awesome tool for working on the move I've come across so far. For a start, the keyboard is nearly fullsize and a joy to use, the 6 cell battery gives around 4 hours of battery life and the 3 USB ports mean I can plug in my camera, Logitech microphone and iRiver all at the same time if I want to!
If this wasn't enough, perusing the MSI Wind forum, I've been able to work out how to boost its performance further by having an extra 1GB of RAM added at PC World and by overclocking the processor to enable a 15% increase in 'Turbo Mode' when connected to AC power (Just press FN+F10). 'Eco Mode' when running from the battery also extends operating time too by deliberately reducing power usage. Turning off Bluetooth and wireless connectivity helps as well.
I've thought carefully about what software to install on the machine bearing in mind its primary purpose of audio editing and moblogging and have compiled the following list of free tools:
- Twhirl desktop client - mobile tweeting
- Audacity - recording and editing sound
- The Levelator - balancing audio levels
- Skype - video/text chatting with 1.3 built in megapixel webcam
- Pamela - recording Skype calls
- Utterli desktop client - audio and video moblogging
- Real Player 11 - downloading online video clips
- Flickr Uploadr - uploading images in a batch
- iTunes - downloading podcasts
- Adobe Reader - reading pdf files
- Quicktime - playing mov files
- Google Toolbar - finding information quickly on the web
- HandyFind - finding keywords in Word and on the web
- DeskPins - keeping media players, Skype and Flickr Uploadr on the desktop
- Avast! - anti-virus software
I've added MS Office 2007 too although I know I could have put on OpenOffice for free, but decided I would take this opportunity to get used to its new interface and re-learn where everything is again! The slim external DVD drive I picked up at PC World will also allow me to watch films and install software from disk if a memory stick is not up to the job.
So far I've hardly dented the 120GB hard disk despite backing up my whole podcast series to date which took up about 2.5GB and came to nearly one hundred recordings!
All in all, I would guess that the MSI Wind U100 or Advent 4211 as it is called in the UK is the fastest, best value for money and versatile ultra mobile PC (UMPC) on the market at the moment and for less than £300 is certainly worth investing in.
For a more detailed description of its capability, have a look at this video or this one. You could even create an RSS search to find similar clips on YouTube and be blown away by the power of the Wind too!