MSI CX623-203UK review

Barry de la Rosa
25 Dec 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

The CX623 isn't the prettiest, but it's a great all-rounder and has an excellent screen.



15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.5kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-370M, 4.00GB RAM, 640GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

MSI's CX623 isn't the prettiest of laptops. In fact, we've seen this chassis a number of times before, and the glossy diagonal pinstripe finish doesn't seem quite as smart as it used to. However if you're serious about buying a laptop, you'd be foolish to avoid the CX623 because of looks alone: it has a new Core i3-370M processor and a massive 640GB hard disk.

MSI CX623-203UK

Its best feature isn't evident until you open it up and turn it on, though. The 15.6in display is one of the best around: its LED backlighting is bright and even, it has great contrast and a wide colour gamut. There's a very slight blue cast, but overall colour accuracy is excellent, and the glossy finish adds vibrancy. As with most laptops, however, vertical viewing angles are fussy, so you'll have to adjust the screen's tilt carefully.

Like many manufacturers currently, MSI has chosen an Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics card rather than use the Core i3's integrated graphics. It's a curious decision as the 310M is barely any faster. Even with 1GB of dedicated memory, it could manage only 15.2fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark. Even with reduced graphics settings, you'll struggle to get a playable frame rate. However, Nvidia's CUDA technology will speed up certain operations in GPU-accelerated applications such as Photoshop.

Performance from the Core i3-370M was good: an overall score of 85 means the CX623 is respectable, as is a score of 98 in the single-threaded image-editing test. A battery life of nearly four and a half hours is also good, helped by Nvidia's Optimus technology which switches to the Core i3's integrated graphics to save power.

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