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MSI XSlim X600-214UK review

Alan Lu
24 Jan 2010
MSI XSlim X600-214UK
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
799
inc VAT

MSI's X600 is a light and relatively powerful laptop, but its battery life is comparatively short and it has a mediocre screen and keyboard.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.1kg, 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Most ultraportables have comparatively small screens, but MSI's X600 has a large 15.6in widescreen display. Combine this with a weight of 2.1kg and, arguably, it's not an ultraportable at all. However, it's much lighter than the majority of 15in laptops, so could be ideal if you need something with a large screen for travelling.

Despite its size, the X600 doesn't have a built-in DVD writer. It's noticeably more powerful than its rivals, though. The 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo SU9600 processor was relatively quick in our demanding benchmarks, managing an overall score of 54. There's a generous 4GB of RAM (only 3GB of which is usable in 32-bit Windows 7) and a large 500GB hard disk.

The Mobility Radeon HD 4330 scored nearly 13fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Although it's more capable of running 3D games than the integrated Intel graphics chips in other ultraportables, you'd still need to settle for low-detail settings and low screen resolutions in order to get a smooth frame rate.

The X600 lasted just over four and a half hours in our light-use battery test, but we expect longer from a laptop with a CULV processor. The slender black casing feels very creaky and doesn't look particularly elegant, which doesn't inspire confidence when carrying it out and about.

Although the keyboard is large, the keys don't give quite enough feedback when pressed. The Return and right Shift keys are smaller than usual due to the presence of a numeric keypad. Spreadsheet users will appreciate its presence, but we've seen other laptops with numeric keypads that don't compromise at all on the layout or size of any of the keys. The large touchpad is accurate and supports multitouch gestures, but is accompanied by a less-than-ideal pivoting button that feels spongy.

We were also disappointed by the quality of the 1,366x768 display. It's not very bright and images look a bit grainy. Viewing angles are also tight, so colours can change if you move off-centre. At least the lid tilts back quite far, making it easier to use in cramped conditions.

If you want an easy-to-carry laptop that's also quite powerful, then the X600 isn't bad, but the disappointing display and keyboard mean we can't recommend it.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo SU9600
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size20x393x255mm
Weight2.1kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption idle20W
Power consumption active34W

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelnone
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years collect and return
Price£799
Detailswww.msicomputer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk