With only 2150mAh the battery is a bit too small for our liking. To test how long it will hold, we played an .avi file in standard resolution with 70% brightness. This utilizes about 14-20% of the CPU. Next up was an HD file with about 75% CPU utilization, but with only 60% brightness. And of course we checked out how long it took to replenish an empty battery. We used the balanced energy profile.
DVD-playback: 2h 33mins
HD-playback: 2h 26mins
Charging: 2h 28mins
Working with this little gadget is quite fun, but sadly MSI did not put all its effort into the designing a must-have notebook.
Nobody likes a glossy surface on the palm rests which gets filled with fingerprints in a matter of minutes. If something is shiny, it must be clean all the time. We have no clue if there are production techniques which will prevent fingerprints on such a surface, but we doubt it. So, the much smarter choice would be a rough, matte surface which is nearly immune to smears and fingerprints.
Also, for an ultra-mobile unit a glare display is the worst possible option. We asked around, and talked to some technically experienced people and some merchants. They all told us, they would buy such products only if they have a non-glare display. One merchant told us his company sells seven out of ten light notebooks with non-glare displays and if they weren't available only three of ten consumer would actually buy them. Most customers would switch models to get a non-glare display. Bottom line, glare screens have no place in ultra-portables and netbooks, a fact which we point out whenever we test such a device.
We are also not happy with the multiple display solution. Why can't the notebook not shut off its screen and use both external screens? For some users, this would be the ideal working platform, because it is power efficient, and the external power supply uses only 20W when the notebook-battery is loaded. Using an external monitor consumption is reduced to about 16W while playing a 720p file - that is cool.
The battery itself is not a selling point either, as 2150mAh isn't nearly enough to be really useful on business trips. Even with the most rigorous energy saving profile the battery holds barely three hours.
While we can forgive such limitations for netbooks, we can't do that on this one because it is very expensive. To call it yours you have to shell out €799,- and compared to its performance this is quite a fortune. Also, the Celeron 723 edition with only a 250GB hard drive sells for €663,-. To put things into perspective, an Acer Timeline 3810T with the same CPU, 4GB of memory, 320GB of storage and a 6-cell battery can be yours for €585,- and even with a Core 2 Duo SU9400 it's still quite a bit cheaper, and costs €720,- and no worries about HD playback.
We hope MSI will do a better version, preferably with an ION chipset. Overall for some users this notebook might be the right one, but we expected much more. Of course if you want Apple Air look a like for the fraction of a price, this is a great alternative.