|MSI WindBox 6667BB-004US Barebones-PC Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Notebook | Compact PC|
|Written by Dan Ferguson - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 13 April 2010|
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Closer Look: MSI Wind Box
The internet images for the MSI Wind Top PC can be misleading. Some images give the impression it is the size of a thick novel while others make it seem only slightly smaller than a form-factor tower. In reality, the MSI Wind Box is actually almost a foot long by nine inches tall.
When the retail box arrived it had the heft and size as though it contained a full-size laptop. Once the machine is out of the packaging it is about the size a netbook but lighter.
The entire kit includes the Wind Box PC, an external power supply, one S/PDIF adapter, a driver CD, manuals, a mounting bracket of very sturdy metal and all the necessary screws. The case has a unique, sloped style and is obviously meant to sit vertically.
There are several variety of nettop platforms. They are typically oriented towards specific applications and optimized for that purpose. This also means that something is left out to improve performance, power and space while driving down costs compared to an all-purpose machine. In the case of the 6667BB-004US Wind Box the first thing missing is an optical drive. The front of the unit is simple with only a flash card reader, two USB ports and a power button. It seems ironic to provide a CD with drivers and software but no CD drive. Perhaps it makes more sense in this era, given cheap NAND prices, to supply a USB drive instead of a CD. The cost may be slightly higher, but the customer response might be worth the expense.
The back of the Wind Box PC contains the rest of what little business is available on the Wind Box. The audio output jack serves as both the stereo and S/PDIF port. There is also a microphone input at the top. Two more USB jack on the back provide room for additional peripherals. For video output there is a choice between VGA and HDMI. Finally the requisite power and gigabit LAN to truly make this a nettop.
The bottom and top are flat and simple, and they contain the input and output cooling vents. There is also one screw hole for the mounting bracket and three screws that hold the two halves of the case together. It will be necessary to remove these to access any internal hardware.