The MSI Wind U100 is being utilized by a growing number of blind college students and professionals who require a full-featured computer that is nearly as portable as one of the specialized note taking products on the assistive technology market. A number of special function key commands enable quick access to important features such as the adjustment of audio output volume, screen brightness and wireless networking.

The special function key commands are entered by holding the FN key, the farthest key on the leftmost end of the bottom row of the keyboard, while pressing one of the function keys on the top row. The following is a list of the available function key commands:

  • Enable or disable support for multiple monitors: FN+F2
  • Enable or disable the touchpad: FN+F3
  • Decrease screen brightness: FN+F4
  • Increase screen brightness: FN+F5
  • Enable or disable the built-in web cam: FN+F6
  • Decrease audio volume: FN+F7
  • Increase audio volume: FN+F8
  • Mute audio: FN+F9 (Be very careful!)
  • Switch between slow battery saving and regular CPU speed: FN+F10
  • Switch between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and no wireless support: FN+F11
  • Switch into standby mode: FN+F12

Pay particular attention to the following notes covering the features controlled by the function key commands:

  • Turning off the touch pad remains effective only until the MSI Wind reboots. It is necessary to do this again after a reboot.
  • Decreasing the screen brightness will not completely disable the screen.
  • Exercise care when muting the system audio. The setting applies everywhere, including the screen reader, and lasts through a reboot.
  • When toggling wireless connectivity, observe the following conditions and sounds as you press FN+F11:

    • JAWS says “F24”, Wi-Fi is enabled and Bluetooth is disabled.
    • JAWS says “zoom”, two ascending tones are heard and Bluetooth is enabled.
    • JAWS says “zoom”, two descending tones are heard and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled.
  • After entering standby mode, press the power button to resume normal operation. You may need to select your username to complete the Windows Logon process.

The MSI Wind has been in regular service here at Blind Access Journal as a portable workstation and note taking device for almost two months. We continue to recommend this netbook as a possible substitute for traditional, expensive, specialized note taking products from the assistive technology industry.