Advent Netbook / MSI Wind Update

As noted in the earlier posts, I’m using an Advent Netbook / MSI Wind during my summer travels. It was my main machine for finishing and presenting the Memphis presentation at Lausanne, and more than a few people checked out the machine there.

Before it seems like this is a perfect machine, some reality checks. For me, while travelling, the form factor is just about perfect. I like the size and weight, and the processing speed seems fine even when I process a 100 new digital pictures in Picasa. I like the screen, but I look forward to the 6 cell battery and 5 to 5.5 hours of battery run time. Right now on the 3 cell, I’m getting about 2.5 hours.

There are downsides, however. The general fit and feel of the laptop is good, but I’m not certain that I would recommend a fleet of them for students to use yet. There appears to be a reliability flaw in the unit I’m using. When on battery power (but not on AC) the video tweaks once in a while on the screen. It’s like the signal skews for a instant and then returns. Worse, the video has failed entirely several times (again, on battery giving me either a blue screen or a dark screen. The OS is running behind it—I just can’t get it to recover until I reboot.

I’m hoping that this video problem on battery is just a driver/firmware problem that will be fixed by an update. Otherwise, my unit may need to go in for repairs. Such is the life of an early adopter, but it does raise questions about buying many of these Rev A000 laptops. Safer bet—let them settle in and be tweaked a bit.

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