16 in 1,366×768 display, 2.7kg, 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
MSI’s EX620 is the same size and shape as the cheaper VR630, although its case has some neat design touches that make it look more expensive.
It also has the same 16in 1,366×768-pixel widescreen display. Internally, however, the two models are worlds apart – the EX620 has an Intel processor, an ATI graphics card and a Blu-ray drive.
Although the Intel T5800 processor in the EX620 runs at the same speed (2GHz) as the AMD processor in the VR630, the EX620’s overall PCMark score was 28 per cent higher. The EX620’s 3D performance is also better, although its 7.6fps in Call of Duty 4 isn’t high enough to appeal to gamers. This laptop will struggle with new games, even at lower detail settings. Battery life is also longer than that of MSI’s budget laptop, but at two hours and 10 minutes it’s still poor and only good enough for use in the garden or on short trips.
The keyboard is the same as that of the cheaper model, which is a real disappointment. It flexes on either side, and although the keys are large and comfortable, the flex takes the bite out of each keystroke, making feedback poor. The touchpad is large and smooth, with raised buttons close to the edge of the case where your thumb naturally rests.
The screen is also the same as the VR630’s, with bright backlighting and vibrant colours. The glossy finish will reflect nearby light sources, but it improves the colours and contrast of images. The colours may be a bit too vibrant, but that’s preferable to the dull colours on the two Asus models here.
Like all the other £650 laptops, the EX620 has a 320GB hard disk, which should provide plenty of space for your files.
Aside from the poor battery life, MSI’s EX620 is another decent Blu-ray-capable laptop. Again, its main problem is that it’s outclassed by Acer’s laptops. If you’re not interested in games, Acer’s £500 6530G is much better value; if gaming is important to you, buy Acer’s 6920G instead.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T5800|
|Processor clock speed||2GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Realtek High Definition Audio|
|Power consumption standby||2W|
|Power consumption idle||27W|
|Power consumption active||55W|
|Viewable size||16 in|
|Graphics Processor||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||320GB|
|Optical drive model||Optiarc BC-5500S|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL BD-ROM|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11b/g|
|PC Card slots||1x ExpressCard/54|
|Supported memory cards||SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro|
|Other ports||eSATA (shared with USB socket), 2x minijack audio input, 2x minijack audio output, mini-RF port|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Operating system restore option||restore partition, restore disc|
|Warranty||two years collect and return|