The Second Wind
The Second Wind
The netbook's lure has proven to be irresistible to manufacturers since the ASUS Eee PC started the avalanche and local namesake Axioo proved to be one of the new enlistees for the netbook movement with the launch of its Axioo PICO DJM 616, a 10.2-inch netbook entrée with the usual Intel Atom N270 processor at its heart.
You may be forgiven for confusing the MSI Wind with Axioo's recent poster boy since the PICO looks unabashedly like the breezy Taiwanese netbook. Besides their similar hoary white demeanor, the two also feature similar specs like a 1.3MP camera and a SATA-based hard disk. On this note itself, the Axioo PICO edges out the Wind with its larger 160GB hard disk.
Resemblances aside, the PICO isn't too shabby in its construction although it does have its share of quirks. For one, we spotted a Bluetooth indicator amongst the row of LEDs sitting on the unit's front lip. While Axioo could be planning for future upgrades, it should be noted that this particular model does not provide any Bluetooth connectivity. So buyers, take heed.
In some cases, going big can be attractive if executed in a tasteful manner but the huge logo emblazoned on its lid is rather unappetizing with the netbook's small frame.
Clones 'R Us
Connectivity wise, there's almost nothing to tell the Wind and PICO apart. Both are armed with three USB ports, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and a 3-in-1 card reader (4-in-1 if you factor in MS Pro support). But if Bluetooth gizmos are your thing, then the Windows edition of the MSI Wind should be a wiser choice.
Like many netbook models, don't expect unreserved comfort where typing is concerned, but being a 10-incher, Axioo has the luxury of offering marginally better pitched keys compared to other 8.9-inch adversaries. The glidepad is a tad restrictive on top of its rather stiff key, but it's fortunately responsive to say the least. Bug-eyed gawkers who love to watch videos on their netbooks should be pleased to know that its 1024 by 600 pixel display is comfortably sharp with exacting colors.
Battery and Benchmarks
Based on our customary video loopback test reserved for netbooks, the 3-celled PICO manage to hold out for 2 hours and 45 minutes, riding on Atom's conservative power appetite. That's about half of what the MSI Wind managed but do note that the Wind was tested on a beefier 6-cell battery.
PCMark05's final system score of 1497 marks meant that the PICO finished a notch higher than ASUS Eee PC 901's of 1238 marks - Axioo's netbook nemesis which uses a similar processor and system memory. In retrospect, the Atom's performance is still marginally better than the Celeron-M workhorse carried by the ASUS Eee PC 900 (1086 marks).
We believe the PICO has the potential of making an impact in the local netbook scene, given its inexpensive price tag and relatively generous hard disk space. Unfortunately, its lack of Bluetooth connectivity will remain as a palpable shortcoming for the Singaporean market.