Thursday, 28 May 2009

MSI X340 gets mixed review at

MSI X340 | Product Reviews

Let's cut to the chase and hit you with the sell: The MSI X340 is a MacBook Air at half the price. Interested? R ead on.

Netbook shop MSI has deconstructed Apple's pioneering three-pound
wedge and built what is, put simply, an amazingly credible knockoff.
Like the Air, the X340 transcends many of the limitations of the
netbook world, though it still has a few of its own flaws to contend

For starters, the X340 (aka the X Slim) is considerably better
muscled than your typical netbook, featuring a glossy 13.4-inch (1366 x
768 pixels) screen, 320-GB hard drive and 2 GB of RAM. Like Apple's
ultralight, it's incredibly thin — about 0.8 inches at its thickest
—and it actually weighs slightly less than the Air, just 2.9 pounds.
The only real departure from the Air's specs is the new 1.4-GHz
ultra-low-voltage SU3500 chip, which is based on Intel's Core 2 Solo
CPU. The Air offers a full Core 2 Duo, by contrast. Still, the SU3500
ekes a lot of performance out of its mere 5.5 watts of power: The
X340's performance wasn't much worse than the MacBook Air's in our

Foes of Apple's non-replaceable battery design decision will
appreciate that the super-slim cell in the X340 can indeed be removed.
You also get two USB ports instead of just one, an SD card slot, and
both VGA and HDMI output ports. As with the Air, there's no optical
drive, but more than anything else, that's the price that must be paid
to achieve such weight and thinness.

Before you start salivating over the prospects of a half-price Air,
note that Apple's laptop does trump the X340 in a few significant ways.
The Air includes Nvidia graphics, while the X340 is stuck with Intel's
integrated chipset. The screens are night and day: The Air is renowned
for having one of the brightest LCDs available, while the X340 is
merely average in this department. And then there's battery life. The
Air will run for more than three hours before dying, while the X340
sputters out before it hits two. For a machine with no optical drive,
that's a little disappointing. Of course, the X340 doesn't run MacOS,

Still, it's hard not to be enchanted with the X340, and that $900
price tag looks like a typo when it's put side by side with a $1,800
Air. Put simply: This laptop is a true head-turner, and if squeezing
every last ounce out of your bankroll is your game, this is — by a wide
margin — the best value going in the world of ultralights.

WIRED Gorgeous design; slap an Apple sticker over
the MSI logo and no one will ever know. Performance bests most
netbooks, though it's hardly top-notch. Surprisingly good graphics and
responsiveness. Includes the usual goodies: 1.3-MP webcam, Bluetooth,

TIRED Flaky touchpad. Disappointing battery life.

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