When you think of a netbook, you think of a slightly cramped keyboard and a 10.1-inch screen. But the MSI Wind12 U230 has a full-sized keyboard -- it even has real Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn keys instead of piggybacking them on the cursor arrows -- and a relatively spacious 12.1-inch display. The word "netbook" almost guarantees a single-core Intel Atom CPU and skimpy 1GB of memory. The Wind12 has a dual-core AMD processor and 2GB.
Too, when you think of a netbook you think of a price between $300 and $400, though a few models do climb into the four hundreds. The MSI costs $480 at Newegg.com, which is more than a netbook but less than the $500 to $600 we expect for more-than-a-netbook ultraportables such as the Gateway EC14 series we reviewed in December. So as you can see, we're torn.
A Netbook That Thinks It's a Laptop PC
At 7.5 by 11.7 by 1.2 inches and 3.3 pounds, the glossy-black-lidded, gray-cased Wind12 is slightly bigger than most netbooks but still effortlessly portable. It goes beyond netbooks not only with a screen that accommodates 720p HD videos but an HDMI port for playing them on an HDTV set, in addition to the usual VGA monitor output and Ethernet and three USB 2.0 ports. There's also an SD/MMC/xD/MS flash-card slot and microphone and headphone jacks, in addition to the mic and webcam perched above the display.
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