Lenovo S10 and HP Mini 1000 threatens MSI Wind, compared and reviewed

The MSI Wind may be about to be blown over by new entrants to the full computer UMPC game.  First, the Lenovo s10 comes along with a 1Kg mini-notebook for the same price. Take a look at the specs.


The Lenovo S10 arrived last September and retails for about $699, which is the same price for the Wind.

Highlights for the 10.2inch unit include a keyboard 85% the size of a regular size keyboard, ExpressCard slot (useful for a 3G modem, not found in other UMPCs), and Intel's Atom CPU (which is proving to cope with Windows XP on most mini-notes).

There are two USB, versus 3 for the Asus Eee PC 901, and there's a 4-in-1 multicard reader.  This is where the S10 lags, because MSI Wind has four USB.  We also found out that the Lenovo S10 heats up on your lap more than the MSI Wind and as for looks, the MSI WInd has a business look to it comapred to the Lenovo's 'toy like' appearance. As for their performance, review says that MSI Wind is better than Lenovo S10using the wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance) in which the former scored 124.656 seconds while the latter 127.172 seconds.

Storage options are more flexible than the Wind, with a 16GB solid state option, or an 80GB hard drive, or even 160 GB here in the Philippines (though you get up to 120GB with the Acer Aspire One).

 

Unfortunately, the battery lasted about as long as other popular three-cell netbooks.  For example, the MSI Wind can offer two hours and 13 minutes on a video playback battery drain test. Dell manages to get more than three hours out of the Mini 9's four-cell battery, while notebooks with six-cell batteries, including the Asus Eee PC 1000, lasted for more than five hours.

The biggest bugbears on ultraportables – screen size, keyboard size, and battery life – are being ironed out with this new crop of products, which leaves price the major factor. The $699 starting price for the S10 leaves Acer's Aspire One ($599 for Linux version), and Asus's Eee PC 901 ($649) in the cheaper slot if your wallet is a factor.

Then there's HP's redo of the 2133 mini note………..

This is HP’s return to the UMPC battle.  As it came out with their 2133 model first in this recent salvo, they failed to innovate with the latest Atom chip that the Wind and Aspire One had, thereby turning their earlier UMPC into a steaming hot portable clothes iron.

The new HP Mini 1000 measures 10.3 by 6.6 by 0.9 inches, about the dimensions of the Acer One. It's as wide as the Lenovo S10 but isn't as deep, and there's a reason for that. Like the original Mini-Note and the Acer One, the mouse buttons are adjacent to the touchpad. This allows HP to eliminate the area where traditional mouse buttons would normally sit, but it also makes for an awkward navigating experience.

At 2.5 pounds, the Mini 1000 is a touch lighter than the Lenovo S10 (2.7 pounds) and the MSI Wind (2.6 pounds). All three of these notebooks have 10-inch widescreens. The Mini 1000's, however, is better designed. The glass screen is flush with the surrounding black borders—a technique commonly used in HDTVs. The speakers, which were adjacent to the screen on the Mini-Note, are now built into the hinge and sound better than the ones on the S10 and the Wind.

The 92 percent keyboard is nearly identical to the Mini-Note's, and it's as big and as comfortable as the Wind's 92 percent model. The S10 and the One have smaller, slightly less comfortable keyboards, measuring 89 percent of full size. Another thing that HP added, which it really didn't have to, is a button that disables the touchpad, similar to the ones on its Pavilion siblings.

The feature set has its ups and downs. It offers multiple storage options: 8GB and 16GB SSDs, or spinning drives that go up to 60GB. However, the 60GB drive that this configuration comes with (as well as the other spinning drives) spins at only 4,200 rpm. Meanwhile, the S10 and the Wind are shipping with 160GB drives that spin at 5,400 rpm. In addition to the two USB ports, there's a little USB slot for storage expansion—basically, a third USB port that accepts a thumb drive only. Built-in VGA-out is nice, but you'll need the easy-to-lose dongle attachment that's included. The webcam, Ethernet port, 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, MS, MS Pro), and Wi-Fi are standard across most netbooks.

One game-changing feature might pique the interests of frequent travelers. Like the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, the Mini 1000 is mobile broadband ready, as it is equipped with a WWAN slot. Unlike Dell, HP has announced shipping dates for its systems with built-in WWAN modems in the United States—they'll be available by December. Not only does the Mini 1000 work with 3G networks like Sprint's and Verizon's 'EV-DO or AT&T's HSPA, but it can house all of them concurrently through Qualcomm's Gobi wireless. Gobi is in its infancy; it's beneficial to international travelers who want to save on roaming charges by seamlessly switching to different carriers.  No doubt this will also work with the local Smart and Globe 3G connections.  Still, expensive data plans and the fact that this is an inexpensive notebook might prompt buyers to settle on a single carrier or leave this slot blank altogether.

The Mini 1000, like the S10, the Wind, and the One, uses the 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 and 1GB of memory, so performance shouldn't be any different, right? Well, the Mini 1000 runs a laggard hard drive, so performance does in fact favor the competition,

The base price starts at $399 for Windows XP, but as you tack on a spinning hard drive, the 10-inch screen, the six-cell battery, and WWAN, the 1000 becomes more expensive than the Wind and the S10.

 

Just to give you an idea of current price rundown of popular UMPCs in the Philippines:

HP 2133 UMPC (Full Line) PhP 22,950.00
Lenovo IdeaPad S10: – PhP 27,595

Asus EEE  PC 1000H – P22,500.00

MSI WIND U100 w/XP – P24,500.00

MSI WIND no XP – P20,000

ACER ASPIRE ONE – P25,900.00 (w/XP, 6 cell batt)

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