MSI WIND Top AE1900

MSI offers a wide range of ‘All-in-One' PCs and the Wind Top AE1900 stands as the entry level machine from its ‘Entertainment Series'

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MSI WIND Top AE1900
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 8, 2009

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Key Specs

Form factor: Nettop
Graphics: Intel 945G
Internal storage: 160GB Serial ATA
Memory: 1GB
Monitor: 18.5-inch Touchscreen

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MSI offers a wide range of ‘All-in-One' PCs and the Wind Top AE1900 stands as the entry level machine from its ‘Entertainment Series'.

Being an entry-level nettop the AE1900 isn't a fire breathing beast in terms of specifications. This is apparent right from the beginning when you consider it features an Intel Atom 230 processor. This is a single core 1.6GHz CPU with HyperThreading technology and while the latter allows the processor to process two threads simultaneously, the rather basic PCMark 05 CPU score of 1481 shows that you won't be breaking any speed records.

The machine features 1GB of memory and will run most everyday applications without issue. This is thanks to the AE1900 featuring Windows XP rather than the more resource intensive Vista. As the machine features an 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter and sports such compact dimensions, it is ideal for use as an internet/e-mail terminal in your kitchen or even in your children's bedroom.

As an entertainment machine the Wind's basic graphics system won't let you run most of the games on the market and this is evident from its paltry PCMark 05 graphics score of 718. The only games that will run well are those that are over three years old. That said the MSI has enough video firepower to playback DivX files and DVDs. Unfortunately because the machine runs a single-core 1.6GHz Atom processor, you won't be able to decode 720p content smoothly and this is a shame given that the screen sports an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution that allows it to tackle 720p video. Had the MSI been based on nVidia's ION platform, it would have been far better equipped to handle video playback and gaming.

On the aesthetic front the MSI could initially fool you into thinking it's a Mac machine, thanks to its transparent border and glossy white finish. The Wind Top even ships with a matching white keyboard and mouse and in use, we found both to be quality peripherals. While the keyboard is noisier than we'd like, it is very responsive and boasts a fair few multimedia keys and shortcuts. The mouse in the meanwhile will fit most hands well and features an optical engine that makes it suitable for gaming. The touch-screen LCD is also very responsive and thanks to a purpose built-front end interface, even novices will be able to use this nettop with ease.

The dual-layer DVD writer sits on the left border of the machine and just below it are two USB ports and a memory card reader. This is a smart move on MSI's part as it allows you easy access to any of the aforementioned ports and the optical drive. The only complaint here is that MSI has left the headphones output and microphone input port at the back of the machine, so you'll have to lean over or around the machine if you want to connect or disconnect these devices. We would have preferred it if MSI moved these two ports to near the optical drive for easy access.

Pros: Great design, big-screen size, 802.11n WiFi, well-priced, memory card reader.
Cons: Lacks real video firepower, headphones and microphone ports on the back.
Verdict

As an entertainment machine this Wind Top is a mixed bag. That said, if you aren't after HD playback and gaming, this machine makes an excellent web and e-mail PC and, since it also packs a memory card reader, you can use it to show off photos as well.

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