Acer Aspire One vs MSI Wind U100 vs Asus Eee PC

By spiritfly | Hardware

Sep 21

Overview

This is our first review. All kinds of comments, opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated and mostly welcomed.

Acer Aspire One vs MSI Wind U100 vs Asus Eee PC 701

Acer Aspire One vs MSI Wind U100 vs Asus Eee PC 701

We managed to get our hands on two of the currently three available netbooks with the new Intel Atom processor, MSI Wind U100 and Acer Aspire One. We decided to compare the predecessor of them all, the Asus EEE PC 701 which came out in December 2007. Being an older and more of an experimental model, it is obvious that it is slightly out of the league, but we simply wanted you to see the difference and understand what is so revolutionary about these new models coming up.

On first look it is quite noticeable that the MSI Wind U100 is the biggest of them all, but the compromise on that is it carries a 10″ display, a nice large keyboard and they even managed to put some big air vents to carry away the excess heat. Even though the Intel Atom Processor heats much less than the Intel Celeron of the Asus EEE PC 701, MSI decided to implement their own hardcore tool even to this little guy, the Turbo Drive Engine Technology which overclocks the Intel Atom N270 from 1.6GHz to 1.9GHz (UPDATE: The Turbo Feature is no more, read on to find out more) .

The Acer Aspire One has a 8.9″ display, but that extra 1.1″ doesn’t really make a difference because it has the same resolution as the MSI 1024×600 and have in mind that mobility is the key factor we are after, so with smaller size it fits better on a train or plane table for example. Again we have large keys, with better layout than the MSI, and Acer have built-in two card readers, so you can put one 16GB SD flash card for example which will make your total space 120GB+16GB=136GB if you really need more space, and use the other card reader to transfer your pictures or any data from your camera, but I still find the lack of Bluetooth a little imprudent.

The Asus EEE PC 701 or also known as Asus EEE PC 4G Surf or 8G Surf. It’s about 6 months older than the previous two, and it’s the first model which announced the netbooks era. So according to me it is kind of a test model into this sort of PCs. But considering the much lower price, with its solid-state-drive for storage and much smaller size it can still compete with those other two little beasts.

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(28) comments

Mathieu September 22, 2008

Thanks for the review, but here are a few things to consider:

About the Acer Aspire One, I noticied two major mistakes in your review: 1st- Only one of the two memory card slots can be used to add storage capacity to your hard drive, not the two of them.

2nd- In your specs, you list it with a 1.3MP Webcam, which is not the case. It’s equipped with a .3MP webcam [640×480 = 307 200 pixels or roughly .3MP(Mega pixels, Mega = 1 million)]

I would suggest that you proof-read your articles before posting them too. Just copy-paste them into Word and run the spell checking ;)

In your specifications, there’s a typo with “Wheight” , it’s Weight ;)

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design September 23, 2008

it is really crappy

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spiritfly September 23, 2008

Thank you for your honest criticism Mathieu, really appreciated.

We worked on the review for three days in a row with little sleeping so in the end we kind of rushed things up which resulted in such mistakes. I fixed them, hope you guys don’t mind.

We are fully aware that our review is not perfect considering it is our first and we’ll do our best to make the second more detailed and clean. And if we don’t succeed in that, we are prepared to move at crappyreviews.com :D

Regards.

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Igor September 23, 2008

Crappy reviews rule! :)

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Chad W Smith September 24, 2008

I liked your review. I was looking for a head-to-head, and you delivered. A few suggestions, since you asked for them.

1. Divide up the pictures and the captions. Make it clear and easy to find out which label goes with each picture. In other words don’t make it one picture with all three screens photoshopped together and label it Acer MSI Asus. Make them three separate files, with white space and/or a border between them, and individually labeled. Having all 3 names under the Acer leads to confusion.

2. Reviewing models that are no longer in production is no substitute for the latest model. If you can’t get your hands on the current model, just don’t review it. Don’t even mention that you were planning on adding the Asus – just compare the Acer and the MSI. (That’s what brought me here in the first place.) Reviewing stuff that’s been around forever (yes, a year is forever in the world of tech) is not a smart move – and might be why two people used the word “crap” in the comments.

3. Kind of in line with 2 – if you don’t have something to say about a feature – don’t mention it. don’t put a page up for performance if you aren’t going to talk about it. And, again, don’t tell us what you can’t tell us. Don’t say “We tried to get more stats, but we failed.” Again, that’s just begging for insulting comments. All that page told us was the Acer and the MSI are better than the old Asus (obviously), and you can’t run tests very well. We didn’t need to know the later, and the former was obvious from the specs.

4. If you are going to declare “winners” on each page – give us an overall winner. Your last page should have not been the raw spec data. Including that is fine, but you need to have an “in conclusion” page – like “We really liked this, this, and this about product A. But it had these problems here: a, b, c. We loved that, that, and that about product B. But we could have done without: 1, 2, 3. Ultimately, thought, this, that, and the other won out, and product A came out as the clear winner in our book. What do you think?”

That last sentence is important. It encourages comments, and makes us readers feel important, empowered, and valued – – even if we are not any of those things.

But the main thing is, wrap stuff up nicely in a one page, or even one paragraph summary for us. Some readers might just skip to the last page expecting to find the winner. And while I’m sure you’d rather everyone spend as much time on your site as possible – having them read the last page and leave, with the possibility of coming back for the last page of your next review is better than having them come once, skip to the last page, not find what they are looking for, leave quickly and never come back.

Also, if you are reviewing three or more items, do a 1st, 2nd, 3rd thing. Don’t just give one clear winner, and no second place. Now if there is one that blows everything else away, say that, but still order the rest of them in best-to-worst order.

4. Specifically to this review – did the Acer have BlueTooth or the MSI? Because on one page you say the MSI – even stating that it somehow balances against Acer’s 2nd SD slot. But on the Specs page (page 9) you say the Acer has BT, but the MSI does not. Which is it? I’m assuming the Specs page is wrong. But either way, it needs to be corrected.

5. Keep it up. Reviews are great! We love reviews. Keep ’em coming!

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Igor September 24, 2008

Ok just to let you know that my mate that made the text review read your comment and he will start to implement some of the suggestions you made. He’ll get back to you later. Tnx alot.

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Foster-Kid September 25, 2008

I think it was a good review… quite good if this is truly your first one. There are a lot of review sites on the net and their all trying to do the same thing, so keep your head up. I’ve read reviews on much larger sites that were MUCH worse (although, like I said, I think this was rather good).

Some of the comments above should be taken seriously, others (i.e. crap) are useless. Again, why say something if you’re not going to back it up?

My biggest gripe here is that even though you did choose individual winners (and yes, you should have left out the 701, it does not belong in this company) you neglected to give us an OVERALL WINNER.

This is essential for someone like me, because I really listen to what some people say as far as their experiences with different subjects. Go out on a limb!! Declare one of these two netbeasts a winner! It’s your website…. give YOUR opinion.

Thanks for doing this though, really enjoyed it.

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spiritfly September 25, 2008

Chad, I’m impressed by your effort to help us improve. I completely agree with your points, and I tried to fix some of them.

1. Not Done. I will divide the pictures as you said and make better captions. Its the site’s theme that doesn’t show the captions right, but I work on it.

2. I thought about this one too, but I thought Asus 701 can still compete at some points so I decided to include it. Can’t go back now, so I will let it stay.

3. Again I totally agree. I will try to update this with more info as well.

4. To be honest, after I did the review I still couldn’t decide which one is better even though I needed to buy one for myself. But now that I’m sure and after I saw many of you guys showed interest in a conclusion page I decided to write one. The sections have 1,2,3 places updated and there is a “Display All in One Page” now.

5. This one was a bug at the specs, the MSI has bluetooth, the Acer does not. Its been fixed now. Thanks for pointing it out.

6. It’s been our please writing this review for you guys, as long as you want to read them will be keep writing them :)

Foster-Kid, thanks for pointing some of the mistakes while keeping up your positive tone :) Most of what you requested is now up and fixed.

Thanks for the support guys, I learned a lot from you already, much appreciated!

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Igor September 28, 2008

English drive on the left side cos..of the swords or something

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Albert October 9, 2008

Good Review, this is just what i was looking for, but i agree with the above comment you should not have added the older asus to the review. Acer has a 6 cell version out now, only thing is it comes with 160 GB HD no SDD :( still going to pick one up tho.

Good review , keep it up :)

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JustMe October 14, 2008

Firstly: I’m very surprised and impressed with the quality of these comments. You must be doing something right if people are willing to take the time to help you instead of trolling!!!

I read this review after you implemented many of the above suggestions.

It’s now a good review. I found this to be the most helpful review FOR ME choosing between Wind and Aspire One. (A personal thing based on our similar requirements – this doesn’t mean it’s objectively the best review around.)

Your inclusion of the eee-pc 701 was VERY helpful for me – giving me a comparison against something I already own and am familiar with. I’m surprised just how helpful that was.

However, I agree that it’s unwise to say you included the 701 because you couldn’t get what you wanted! In a situation like this you could say you included it as a reference point for those who own the old one (like me)…. or leave out the old product as people have suggested. If you left it out most people would be happier, but not me.

The 3-in-1 keyboard image was especially helpful. The combined image allows me to easily refer to this saved image later instead of searching for the more common 3 separate files.

I loved the way you rammed home your hatred of the ctrl-fn positioning. It made me stop and think of the ramifications, and change my preference from MSI to Aspire One. I’d even like an extra sentence clearly stating that it’ll break our keyboard shortcuts for copy&paste, save, etc and so we could think we’ve saved a file or made a backup copy… when we haven’t. *shudder*

My biggest gripe: I want an easily spotted printer-friendly link allowing me to save all pages as one file so I can refer to this later.

Possible factual error: An APC webpage dated October 2008 quotes the Senior Product Manager for Acer Computer Australia as saying that “the 3G card won’t be available as an after-sales option” because an internal antenna is required. You said that you’ve read it’ll be upgradeable. (Well worded btw). Perhaps investigate and correct this if necessary.

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Will October 15, 2008

Hey guys, soz about the delay in my finally finishing reading the review but with my workload it can take time. :3Amazing however it is just a tad on the long side. I mean it is brilliant but you may want to try and shorten the next one a little. Either that or split it into separate posts?

Any way, on the info I have gathered from this very detailed review I am really really really going to be annoyed if I don’t get one of these for Christmas :P.

Well, I look forward to reading your next review! Just a very quick extra my review of this review (if that makes sense) earns you a whooping :star::star::star::star::star:!

And hows about a gold medal to go with that as well :gold:. It really was amazingly good. I just with mine were as detailed :(.

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spiritfly October 15, 2008

Wow this is just amazing! I can’t emphasize enough how encouraging and supporting these comments are to us! It feels great to have such kindhearted and grounded people as commentators. All comments are extremely helpful and mean a lot to us, as starters.

Taking the last comments into account I will dare to change a few more things, I hope you won’t mind.

I’m glad we managed to give you a clearer picture for the Acer Aspire One and MSI Wind with this review. It was our pleasure working on this.

By the way we are working on two more reviews for Asus notebooks M51Va and X51L, be sure to come back and check soon. I promise they will be shorter and more to the point this time, without many glitches I hope :)

Best Regards!

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NightShift October 25, 2008

Keep up the good work cousin:)

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Mehdi October 28, 2008

Thanks guys, but still do not know if I should buy the ACER or the MSI? can please someone help and advise.?
Thanks in advance
Mehdi

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Daz October 29, 2008

Really useful review, and for the record, didn’t find any of the things about the review mentioned in the comments a problem. Thanks for taking the time to do the review – it really helped.

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Moi November 11, 2008

I plan to use it for my patient records. I use MS Office Access for this. Which one (Wind or Aspire) can handle it? I want a laptop that’s mobile (as I plan to bring it to several clinics) but won’t compromise my records. I have been debating over which laptop to buy for quite some time now. Can you please help me make my final choice?

Thank you very much!

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spiritfly November 11, 2008

Hello Moi,

I myself chose Acer and as a field technician I use it just in case I need to check anything on the internet, or download some software, driver etc. Both Acer and MSI are quite the same considering performance so you shouldn’t have any problems using MS Access on it. I personally chose Aspire One over Wind U1000 because it seems more firmly made. Now that I don’t have both, I regret that I didn’t make a video for this review about the displays. If you shake the display back and forth on the MSI Wind, you will notice that its very loosely made which could cause to possibly break in future or at least become more loosely. The Acer’s however is so strong and stable that is doesn’t move at all when you try to shake it. The same is true for the whole chassis of both netbooks, the MSI Wind’s just seems more loosely made. In your position I would choose the Acer without thinking twice. Go for the white color, it suits perfectly for a doctor :) Btw can you write prescriptions? :P

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Moi November 12, 2008

I’ve been leaning towards the Aspire One but when I read up on the Wind, I get confused again. I like white very much but I prefer dark colors for gadgets. Re: Rx, of course I write them but you’d have to see me professionally first. Ha ha! Thanks a lot!

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Carls December 9, 2008

Now it’s December and this review is still timely! And one of the best reviews for coverage of things that make a difference.

This week the price reductions have started…(Costco for Acer; Buydotcom for MSI). So is this competition – or is there something new coming before the holidays?

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ceares February 9, 2009

thanks for this, very helpful. I was firmly set on the Asus, but now I will definitely consider the Acer as well.

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Catherine May 20, 2009

THANKYOU! This is EXACTLY the review I’ve been looking for! Well written, clear and concise. Now I know that I must see the Wind and Aspire One in the ‘flesh’ before I choose, and I can choose on cosmetic value only as both are capable of doing what I need.

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Samuel C June 9, 2009

‘Why do the English drive on the left side of the road’ you said when talking about the swapped the fn and ctrl keys on the msi wind?

Because everyone else is on the wrong side of the road.

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Wizard Prang June 30, 2009

The ancient Romans drove on the left.

In America, they drove on the left until the beginning of the 19th century. My theory is that they switched sides for the simple reason that the British drove on the left.

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kristy September 2, 2009

I HAVE ACER ASPIRE ONE AND I LOVE IT!!! :))

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Doctor Jones September 9, 2009

Thank you for spending the time and doing a great review. I really liked how objective you were in your detailed comparison. I am glad you posted the screenshot of the screwy MSI keyboard layout.

Here are some small, almost trivial, suggestions for future reviews like these.

1). When you are comparing battery times, you write out times like (2 hours and a half) instead of 2:30 or 2 hours and 30 minutes. I skipped over this first and had to go back and re-read it. You might wanna use more numbers instead of spelling it out. Using numbers makes it easier to compare quantities.

2). You should include your name somewhere in the top so people know who the author is and hopefully find future work by you.

3). No biggie and I got your joke, but not all of us Asians have small hands (“…It is made either for asians or for little kids.”) :^ )

Thanks for your great review and info. It helped a lot!

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Team Roster October 30, 2010

Best you should change the webpage name Acer Aspire One vs MSI Wind U100 vs Asus Eee PC to something more specific for your blog post you make. I liked the blog post withal.

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Bud Malikowski November 11, 2010

Very usefull post would it be OK if i translate into Spanish for my blogs viewers? Thanks

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