The screen stretches to 10in and is surrounded by a fairly thick bezel. There's a 1.3Mp webcam built into the the top of the bezel and a microphone positioned over to the right. The 1024 x 600 resolution screen has a matte rather than glossy finish, so it doesn't suffer from the high reflectivity seen on shinier models. That said, the colours are a little less pronounced, but still reasonable.
The classic MSI Wind profile
The U115 retains the same curvy looks as the original Wind, although this time it's finished in grey and black.
Standard netbook ports
The netbook's well equipped for wireless communication, with both Bluetooth and 802.11n built in. The ports are split between the two sides, with power and two USB sockets on the left. Over on the right-hand side you'll find 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, VGA, headphone, microphone, four-in-one card reader (SD/MMC/Memory Stick/Memory Stick Pro) and an additional USB port.
The card reader doesn't swallow the card whole, leaving it protruding slightly from the edge of the machine, so it's not really suitable to use for permanent storage. However, given the amount of disk space already on board this isn't the issue it might be on less-capacious netbooks.
A decent keyboard - despite the placing of the Fn key
The keyboard fills the width of the unit and features decent-sizes keys, so you shouldn't find typing a problem with a little bit of practice. Annoyingly, however, the Fn key occupies the bottom left spot where you'd expect Ctrl to be, so if you use a lot of keyboard shortcuts you may find you keep pressing it by accident. The touchpad is a little on the small side too - odd, given how much space there is to accommodate a wider one - but it's still usable.
"The idea is...."
Actually, I reckon that the idea is *really* to be "Readyboost", er, ready for the Win 7 netbook edition launch.
ISTR that Win 7 will use yer actual small SSD as a Readyboost device rather than refusing to countenance anything other than a USB connected device for such, as with its more brain-dead predecessor.
With this setup, they'll have something that can get Win 7 up and running in a sensible time on the otherwise sclerotic hardware.
OMG you're right it has got a strange £ over the 3 too. It is almost as if the UK computer on the UK website with price quoted in GB pounds has a UK keyboard fitted. What numpties.... hash next to the enter key to cap it off... blimey.
Small ... what? ... computer
Four flippin' hundred and flippin' fifty flippin' quid? That's what I was quoted for a brand new Thinkpad X31 on Tottenham Court Road a week or two ago. Or two perfectly good laptops from Morgan.
The point of the Eee 701 - and I love mine - was that you put up with the low spec for the sake of the low price. How we seem to be expected to pay extra for the low spec.
As has been said...
£450 ain't cheap. Really anything above £300 is not really an SCC. I was really interested right up until the price...
Hmm, just checked my Mac keyboard and no Fn key in the bottom left - Ctrl just like every other (non-laptop, 'English') keyboard.
And as for the position of " & @, are you suggesting that the rest of the world should bow down to the US as the superior race? Oh, wait...
Saying that I prefer the US layout, being a righty and prefering a proper sized left shift key. Rather than the crappy little one on UK keyboards, just so they can move \ to make a weird shaped Return/Enter that looks like it belongs on a cash register...
all day on a single charge!
If they dumped the HDD, used the 16GB SSD as standard and ran it on Linux. I'd buy one in a heartbeat. 8 Hours battery life! Finally, I can go out in the morning and know I will be able to use the thing all day without needing the power block, which is the entire point of a mobile computer in my opinion.