Windows-based tablets have not found much love from consumers - can MSI buck the trend with the WindPad?
The WindPad is MSI’s brand new 10-inch Windows 7 tablet. Spec-wise, it’s sporting a multi-touch capacitive screen, it’s got an Intel Atom Z530 processor, 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a 32GB SSD. All seems ok, although maybe a mite underpowered for Windows 7 - but how does it feel?
Light. It’s literally the first thing that springs to mind taking the MSI WindPad out of the box. At 800g it’s not really a featherweight, but considering the size of the screen and the quality look of the black and silver casing, you actually expect something heavier.
On the left side is the USB port (just below the power socket) and a mini-HDMI port sits on the right above the SD card slot and below the headphone jack. On the bottom is room for a standard size SIM card, plus an odd port that we think might be for a docking station.
Once powered on, the landscape to portrait re-orientation is smooth and quick. The WindPad is near silent and barely heats up – a nice change from some of the other Windows tablets we’ve seen.
Other nice touches include a dedicated “OK” key on the left that functions as an enter key – using Windows contextual commands it makes navigation much easier. We also like the slightly angled positioning of the rear camera – it makes it simply and more natural feeling to record and watch the screen at the same time.
Sadly, you’re constantly reminded that Windows 7 has yet to be really optimised for tablet PCs and sometimes can be extremely frustrating. The WindPad also seems a little underpowered for Win7, especially when trying to browse large amounts of images. That said, we found video to be impressive smooth and quick to open.
All in all, at first blush the WindPad seems like a solid machine in terms of hardware and build. We’re just still waiting to be wowed (or even mildly impressed) by Windows 7 running on the tablet form factor.
For more images, try our MSI WindPad Gallery.