MSI have expanded their market in India over the past few years and today you’ll find them in varied product segments like tablets, notebooks, All-in-ones and even peripherals. While they’ll always be known for their motherboards and graphics cards, their notebook segment is growing rapidly as well. We’ve already seen their high end gaming notebook segment with the GX660 and today MSI have sent us something from the other end of the price bracket, the U270 netbook. They’ve placed it in very competitive price range (20-20K) so let’s see if it’s any good to warrant a purchase.
The MSI U270 on video
Design and Build
The design of the U270 looks a lot like an Eee PC and if it wasn't for the MSI logo, It'd be really tough to tell them apart. The rear portion of the lid has a glossy finish which is prone to fingerprints. MSI gives you two screen choices, a 11.6-inch and a 12.1-inch out of which we have the former. Oddly though, the 11.6-inch screen comes with a lower 1024x600 resolution instead of the usual 1366x768. Due to this, the icons and programs appear a bit too big. The six-cell battery pack creates a slight bulge at the bottom which actually works in MSI's favor as it creates a slight elevation making it comfortable to type on. The netbook feels a bit heavy at 1.3kg and it isn't very slim either.
The U270 is built well and looks good
Connectivity includes three USB ports (one of them is USB 3.0), VGA, HDMI, card reader, memory card reader, microphone and headphone jack. The screen has a glossy finish to it so reflections can be a bit of a problem.
USB 3.0 is present as well
MSI has gone with the chiclet styled keyboard which is very comfortable to use even for long durations. The trackpad is quite small for a 11.6-inch netbook which is makes it a bit of a pain to use. The scrolling function is the touch and scroll types which mean you have touch the top or bottom portion of the trackpad to scroll up and down instead of swiping our finger.
The U270 is powered by AMD’s Zacate E-350 dual-core APU running at 1.6GHz. The memory bundled is 2GB DDR3 that's expandable to 8GB. Our unit came with a a 320GB hard drive, but you can opt for a 500GB as well. Finally we have Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed along with a bunch of utility disks and some reading material.
Chiclet keyboard is very comfortable to use
The netbook features a HD webcam and comes bundled with security software’s and MSI's own desktop utilities.
Compared to the Acer Aspire 522, it fares a little better due to the faster speed of the APU. Windows feels a bit sluggish at times and even opening and closing programs is a bit slow.
Performannce is good across the board
General and Multimedia Usage
The netbook is very comfortable to work with on a daily basis. It doesn’t get too hot which means you can easily use it on your lap. The keyboard is very comfortable and so is the feedback of the keys. The viewing angles are not too great though; the U270 is limited to about 160 degrees which means you’ll need to sit at a particular angle to get the ideal viewing angle.
The screen quality is good although the resolution is a little low so you don’t get a lot of screen real estate. The speakers are quite loud and are good as it’s even going to get on a netbook. The trackpad is a bit of a letdown as it’s simply too small. I could understand if this was a 10-inch netbook but for a 11.6 incher, I want a larger trackpad. That aside, it works well and the so does the vertical and horizontal scrolling.
With Battery Eater Pro, I got 2hr and 30mins of battery life which is pretty good. Under normal usage, with ‘Power saving mode’ enabled, you should be able to get about 5hrs.
The MSI U270 is priced at Rs.22,999 which is not a bad price for a 11.6-inch netbook, but looking at the competition, HP’s DM1 is slightly cheaper and is a better netbook. The DM1 is identical to the U270 feature wise, plus, it packs in a better trackpad, higher resolution screen and better looks and build quality. The only thing lacking from HP’s offering is a USB 3.0 port. The U270 does make a good netbook but small sized trackpad and low resolution screen makes it tough to recommend over the competition.
HD6310 DirectX11 Graphics Built-in HD6310Dedicated-Class graphics and DirectX11 support, MSI notebook gains 32% better graphic performance with gaming and multimedia. Never a moment of delay to occur, feel the excitement Long Battery Life With the latest 45nm processor and APU PowerPlay® tech., MSI notebook offers greater dynamic control of power efficiency. So you don’t need to bring along the power supply unit and look all over for the outlet, the MSI notebook give you full power all day long. Full HD Video Experience With AMD E-Series processor, MSI notebook can play Full HD video smoothly and clearly, and output Full HD video by HDMI port to share your home entertainment. Enjoy your own rich Full HD experience. MSI Chiclet Keyboard The stylish Chiclet Keyboard design reduces typing errors and increasing comfort, when compared to regular keyboards. In addition, the chiclet keyboard is designed to damp key-press sounds. Whether typing or gaming, the chiclet keyboard means you no longer have to fret about disturbing those around you with keyboard clicks and clatter. Genuine 720p high-definition (HD) video quality to 30fps (30 continuous images per second allowing smooth, natural progression without jerkiness; ordinary webcams only offer 8fps). This guarantees truly clear and smooth video and picture quality and exceptional audio effects. In addition, the 16:9 HD wide-screen video display can be used with all kinds of social networking media, allowing optimum high-quality video communication and production of HD videos for the enjoyment of friends and family. WLAN for Roaming Wireless Access Anywhere With its 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN a, the U270 provides a versatile way to connect to, browse, and retrieve data on both your own devices and the online universe.
|Processor||AMD Dual Core E-350|
|Inbuilt HDD||320GB SATA|
|Maximum Display Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Panel Type||LED backlit widescreen display|
|Chipset Model||A50M FCH|
|GPU Model||ATI Radeon HD 6310|
|GPU Memory (shared)||Share with System Memory|
|Ethernet Port (Nos)||1|
|WiFi Type||802.11 b/g/n|
|Audio Solution||High Definition Audio|
|USB 2.0 ports||2|
|USB 3.0 ports||1 (Optional)|
|Built-in Camera||Yes, HD Webcam|
|Digital Media Reader||SD/SDHC/MMC/MS|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||297 x 190 x 31 mm|
Misc Bundled Software
|Other Features||HD6310 DirectX11 Graphics|#|Long Battery Life|#|Full HD Video Experience|#|Extended Battery Life|#| MSI Chiclet Keyboard|#|High-Definition Multimedia Interface|#|Built-in 720p HD Webcam|#|WLAN for Roaming Wireless Access Anywhere|
After Sales Service
Published Date: Aug 20, 2011 02:49 pm | Updated Date: Aug 20, 2011 02:49 pm