MSI CX600-064UK £487
24th Jan 2010 | 09:30
A decent laptop that should serve most people's needs, but battery life is poor
MSI's C series is targeted at those after an everyday computing solution. The CX600-064UK is a part of that series and provides decent performance, an interesting design and mixed portability.
It doesn't stand out much, but is certainly worth a look. The 16-inch screen is bright and offers crisp colour reproduction. It can't compare with the PC Nextday for detail levels, however, as the latter offers a higher resolution in a smaller size screen.
The widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio is great for watching films on, and the shiny Super-TFT screen coating isn't too distracting.
This laptop is built from tough plastics and has been stylised somewhat, giving it a unique look. As with the Dell Inspiron 1750, the keyboard flexes under minor pressure, and the result is a spongy typing action.
MSI has found room for a dedicated numeric keypad which will be useful for work on spreadsheets, but it is the part of the keyboard that suffers the most in terms of sponginess, reducing usability by quite a margin.
The touchpad is large with stylish metal mouse buttons adding class. A row of lights at the front of the palmrest feeds you information on the status of the laptop's various components.
With an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600, we found everyday performance to fit in well among the other laptops. As such, you'll have no issues running office applications and also more resource-intensive multimedia programs.
The inclusion of an ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics card also makes the laptop suited to photo or video editing. In fact, this GPU provided a quite high 3D score.
The 500GB hard drive is generous at this price and is capable of easily holding a whole family's data, including video, photo and music libraries. You're also well future proofed and won't have to keep upgrading the drive as your requirements grow.
However, portability is a mixed bag and, while the laptop is light for its size, the 124-minute battery life falls well short of the three hours we expect, making the CX600-064UK less suited to travel. The tough plastics mentioned above do help with durability when travelling, however.
802.11n Wi-Fi and 10/100 Ethernet provide capable networking capabilities and there's also three USB ports for attaching peripherals such as a mouse or smartphone, and a VGA-out for connecting the laptop to an external monitor.
Despite a few minor flaws – namely the battery life and keyboard – the MSI CX600- 064UK is a decent machine which should cater for most people's needs.
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