MSI Wind U100 most satisfying netbook

Written by John Dodge, Contributor

And the winner is the MSI Wind U100 netbook. MSI?? Who? What!?

Yes, a relative unknown beat out netbook market leaders Acer and Asustek as well as PC powerhouses Dell and HP when it comes to satisfaction. In PC Pitstop.com's netbook satisfaction survey, the MSI Wind U100 came out on top with with 3.49 out 4 ranking followed closely by the Asustek Eee PC 1000HE which earned a score of 3.44. In fact, only .14 separates the top eight models of the nine which were published by PC Pitstop. The big four are there although another lesser known model, the Samsung NC10, took third.

MSI WInd U100

My favorite, the HP Mini, came in sixth. I love it for its superior 92% (full) keyboard which many newer models have emulated in one form or another. But the Mini gets dinged for high display glare and the curious positioning of the mouse bars vertically along the sides of the touchpad as opposed to horizontally across the bottom which is customary.

The numbers in the rating system are only meaningful relative to each other which doesn't say a whole lot. More interesting are the results from PC Pitstop's questions about slow performance, rebooting frequency or system crashes. The survey asks three questions:

  • How satisfied are you with this PC?
  • Is this PC running slow?
  • Is this PC hanging or requiring frequent reboots?

For instance, four per cent of the 170 who voted for the MSI Wind U100 reported it freezing while a mere nine per cent said it ran slow. By contrast, 29 per cent of the 171 who completed the survey for the HP Mini said it was pokey and 8 per cent reported that it froze. Only 3 per cent of the 157 reporting back on the Asustek Eee PC1000HE said it froze and 16% said it ran slow.

It's hard to say how much stock buyers should put into this survey, but I like that PC Pitstop tried to get at what irritates users most - system crashes and slow performance.

"We began collecting the basic questions sometime in July 2008.  So the number of total responses is well over a million and probably closer to two million.  Trust me it is a big number," PC Pitstop CEO Rob Cheng said in an e-mail to my specific questions.

The million plus responses are for all PCs overall and netbooks were pulled from that. PC PitStop appends the questions to users subscribing to its OverDrive diagnostic download. The company claims to have run 100 million OverDrive scans.

Cheng admits he did not expect MSI's strong showing and implies that folks were not as kind to other PCs.

"I was surprised that MSI took the top spot.  We are not showing all netbooks, just the ones that we have enough statistical significance.  But if you read the comments, it seems to be a legitimate netbook with a pretty loyal following," he says. "Netbook satisfaction is high because it is a new category.  People with a 4 year old laptop are going to be less satisfied than someone with a 1 year old laptop."

By the way, 23-year-old MSI which stands for Micro Star International is one of those huge computer electronics manufacturers in Taiwan that you don't hear about until a product like the Wind U100 comes along. Sales in 2005 were $2.4 billion (couldn't find anything more recent).

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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