Originally started as a motherboard and graphics card manufacturer in 1986, MSI has since branched out into the laptop and netbook market. The Wind U160 is an excellent machine which ticks all the right boxes and excels when it comes to portability.
The netbook boasts a fantastic battery life of 518 minutes, keeping you productive on the road for over eight hours. This provides you with a lot of flexibility while you're on the move, and also makes the netbook more environmentally friendly than some of the other machines here, as you won't be charging it as much. At only 1.3kg, this is also one of the lighter machines to feature such an impressive battery.
Being a shiny machine, the netbook attracts smears and fingerprints, and the chassis is quickly covered. While most laptop manufacturers are contractually obliged to include Microsoft and Intel stickers on the palm-rest, MSI has unfortunately gone a big step further and coated the surface in stickers describing the included warranty and other system information.
We found the stickers aren't easily removable and the netbook's look is cheapened considerably as a result.
Nevertheless, the machine's usability is admirable. The widescreen 10-inch display is not the most vibrant or bright, but it is more than capable of displaying office work, as well as your movies and photos.
The keyboard – sitting at a comfortable angle thanks to the large battery – uses the isolated-key style and is generally excellent. The keys are comfortably spread out, and the typing action is very firm and reassuring.
The mottled touchpad is also great, and we didn't brush it once while typing, meaning there's no erratic cursor behaviour to worry about.
Integrated web cam
Networking is pretty standard and the integrated webcam will allow you to make video calls across the web. A nice touch is the face-recognition software bundled with the netbook.
This teaches the webcam to recognise your face when you log on, removing the necessity for a password. The netbook will also lock when your face hasn't been recognised in front of the device, providing an extra layer of security for your data.
Overall, we were very impressed with the MSI Wind U160. The stickers that plaster the palm-rest are unfortunate, and detract from what is otherwise a nice looking machine, but otherwise the features, usability and portability on offer thoroughly impressed us.