This notebook is one of the first 12 inch models to have an HDMI port and MSI still budles VGA on the oposite side. We expected some troubles with Intel and its implementation of HDMI port but the thing worked from the first time we plugged it in. Once you plug it into an HDMI capable TV the IGP 3100 graphics recognizes the second display, you tell Intel integrated graphics whether you want to extend your desktop or clone and the thing works. The integrated graphics are a part of the mobile 965 chipset.
The second thing we admired on this notebook are its three USB 2.0 ports, two at the right hand side and one at the left hand side, if you face the notebook display. Right hand side also hides a memory card reader that can read SD cards, MMC and Memory stick cards. We noticed that it is quite slow with MS Stick pro card via MS stick adapter but this can be adapter's fault.
The modem is also on the right hand side and so is the HDMI and DVB-T antenna port. Depending on the region this notebook comes with DVB-T card inside which is a real multimedia miracle. Last in the line is the DC port. The back side is completely occupied by an 8 cell battery.
One important thing about this 12 inch notebook is that it didn't overheat. Heat is usually the main thing that makes you want to stay away from the small ones as we burned our thighs with a notebook too many times. The heath exhaust is on the right hand side and the fan blows the air out continuously but its very quiet, so you won't mind it even in a quiet room. If you use this notebook in your lap it won't burn your legs and this is definitely a plus for 2GHz dual core.
The left hand side hides a DVD multi standard recorder, one more USB, LAN port and a VGA port.
The notebook has a fingerprint reader and this nice security device is placed between the left and right touchpad keys. The touchpad is nice, and it's easy to get used to it.
The power button is positioned just above the very functional keyboard, along with three stats indication keys such as caps lock, num lock and scroll lock.
There is also a button where you can turn the wireless off, two P programmable buttons, and on P1 you turn the camera on or off.
If you've never used a 12 inch notebook it will take you a while to get used to it, but as I already used one for quite a while it was very natural to get used to this one. 16x10 format really fits this notebook. Home, page up, page down and end are placed on a logical place at the end of the keyboard so you will get use to them quite fast.
On the front of the notebook you will find a microphone and a headphones port, as well as a few other stats button that will tell you if your battery is empty, the hard drive is working, the notebook went to sleep or the bluetooth and wireless are turned on or off.
A 1.3Mpixel camera is integrated above the screen, as well as a wide range microphone. The camera works quite well at least during the daylight and you get some yellow color distortions when using it in poor lighting conditions. It's great for MSN and Skype and you won't need to buy a new one unless you want a high end one such as a Creative Opti AF that can do some crazy video effects.
The exterior of the notebook really looks great, but we found at least one thing to complain about. The nice black plastic that surrounds the notebook will leave your fingerprints quite visible and this is the biggest complain we can think of so far. MSI does ship the notebook with nice fiber cloth so this will easily solve this problem. We also have to mention that MSI ships a nice and attractive notebook bag along with a small cable mouse.
The speakers are quite good but we would like them to be just a bit louder. They will serve their purpose nicely but they will be easily beaten by any traveler's speakers.
Vista will boot in about 45 to 60 seconds and it works very fast. You won't have any performance issues with this notebook, as it boots fast and works faster when it's turned on. The notebook has Hybrid drive with 378 MB cache memory that will further speed up the system.