A decent desktop-replacement laptop that's capable of playing games. With a large hard disk and powerful components, it's a great choice.
17.3 in 1,600×900 display, 2.7kg, 2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
If you’re looking for a laptop to replace your existing desktop computer, MSI’s CX700 is a good bet.
Its 17.3in screen is significantly larger than the 15.4in displays on most budget laptops. It also has a higher resolution, with 1,600×900 pixels. This gives a fair bit more room on the desktop, which makes working on documents considerably easier.
The screen is very bright, but its viewing angles aren’t perfect and the display had a speckled effect when looked at from an angle. For single-person use, though, it’s fine.
The size of the screen means there’s room for a decent keyboard. The keys are all large and comfortable to type on. They’re a little soft, but you’ll soon get used to them. There’s even space for a full-size number pad.
This laptop has a lot of power. The 2GHz Pentium Dual Core T4200 processor and 4GB of RAM are a decent combination, powering the CX700 to a reasonable score of 49 in our 2D benchmarks. The multitasking test was a little disappointing, due, we believe, to the SiS chipset not supporting dual-channel memory.
While most budget laptops are poor for gaming, the CX700 is actually pretty good thanks to the ATI Mobility Radeon 4330. This managed 14.4fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Turn down the detail settings and resolution a little and playable frame rates are possible.
Situated at the rear of the laptop are both VGA and HDMI outputs. The underside is home to a subwoofer, which adds extra bass to the audio, but not as much as we were hoping for.
MSI includes a massive 500GB hard disk, which is more than plenty for even the largest media collections.
As you’d expect for such a large laptop, it’s quite heavy at 2.7kg. Combined with a battery life of just over two hours, you won’t want to carry this laptop around very often, although it’s fine for occasional use around your home.
The CX700 has a lot going for it, particularly if you’d like some gaming capability on your laptop. With a decent range of components and a large hard disk, it’s our Budget Buy.
|Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
|DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
|optical S/PDIF output
|Windows Vista Home Premium
|Operating system restore option
|Microsoft Works 8.5, Ulead Burn Now 4.5 SE
|two years collect and return