It just feels cheap.
I tend to like MSI. They support the overclocking community, make beautiful all-in-ones and laptops, and provide decent wine at their press functions. So I've been looking forward to seeing their new tablet in action. The early leaked images and press shots we had of the WindPad all looked impressive.
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And then I had a chance to hold one.
Let me backtrack a bit here. In addition to every almost major brand and OEM in the tech world, CES is also filled with itty-bitty companies who shovel out heaps of cheap-o tablets for the Chinese market. I've played with about a dozen of these Shenzhen slates over the last couple of days. Most of them are a little buggy or feel a bit cheap.
But almost all of them felt better in my hands than the WindPad. First off, it is really light. And not in a good way. The WindPad feels like someone cut something important out of the internals. It feels flimsy, like I could crack it in half if I just exerted a bit more force. The case feels awful too. Cheap and plasticky.
I asked the MSI rep if this was the final design. He stated that it was a prototype, but that the basic body and frame were unlikely to change. So much for that.
In use, the WindPad was alright. The screen was as responsive as any other decent capacitive slate and the app switching didn't cause any substantial lag. On a purely functional level, there is nothing offensive about the WindPad. But there's nothing at all attractive about it either.
2011 will see the launch of so many wonderful slates. Look towards Motorola, Asus, Acer, and Notion Ink. But don't set your hopes on a WindPad until MSI has some time to get their act together.