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MSI Wind Top AE1900 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £502
inc VAT and delivery

An attractive all-in-one PC with Draft-N WiFi. It's expensive, though; unless you really want a touchscreen, better-value nettops are available.


1.6GHz Intel Atom 230, 1.000000 RAM, 19in 1,366×768 display, Windows XP Home Edition

MSI’s Wind Top AE1900 is basically a 19in widescreen display with laptop components built into the rear.

It’s one of the most attractive PCs here, with a clear plastic strip surrounding the white screen bezel and a clear plastic stand at the back. There’s a webcam above the screen and all ports and controls are tucked away behind the screen edges.

On the left there’s a laptop-style DVD writer that pops out vertically, and below that are two USB ports and a memory card reader. The headphone and microphone ports are inconveniently located on the rear, along with two extra USB ports and a network interface. On the right are the power button and volume and brightness controls. The widescreen display is great for watching DVDs thanks to its vibrant colours, but there’s a noticeable graininess due to the touch-sensitive layer. The built-in speakers are slightly better than most laptop speakers, but aren’t very loud and lack bass.

The benefits of a touchscreen with Windows XP are questionable, but MSI has gone to the trouble of installing a program launcher with large icons that runs on startup, and there’s even a touch-aware photo viewer that lets you browse pictures by dragging them with your finger. There’s no stylus, though, and no handwriting-recognition software.

Unlike the similar Shuttle X 5000TA, the AE1900 uses a single-core Atom processor, and its performance is poor compared with standard PCs. Its overall benchmark result of 17 may be adequate for using email, web and office applications, but processor-intensive tasks such as image and video editing may run slowly. You’ll also have to be careful how many applications you run at once, since the measly 1GB of RAM will be quickly eaten up.

Although the AE1900 looks great and takes up less room than a conventional PC, £502 is a lot of money to spend on a computer with similar performance to a netbook. Draft-N wireless is useful, but there are few expansion ports and only 160GB of hard disk space. Unless you really need the touchscreen and have software to take advantage of it, we can’t recommend the AE1900.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Atom 230
Processor external bus 133MHz (533MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x12
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Processor socket Socket 437
Level 1 cache 56
Level 2 cache 512KB
Memory 1.000000
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 2GB
Motherboard MS-7438
Motherboard chipset Intel 945GC + ICH7
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 36W
Power consumption active 46W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/2
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Internal Expansion

Case mini-ITX
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Western Digital Caviar WD1600BEVT-22ZCT0
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 160GB
Spindle speed 5,400rpm


Graphics card(s) Intel GMA 950
Graphics/video ports N/A


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST GT10N
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM


Viewable size 19 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,366×768
Response time N/A
Screen inputs N/A

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard MSI StarType ES300MU(White)
Mouse MSI StarMouse ES130(White)


Software included Cyberlink DVD Suite
Operating system Windows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £502

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