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MSI CX640 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £630
inc VAT

A fast processor can't make up for the CX640's poor keyboard and terrible touchpad, and build quality isn't the best either.


15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.6kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The new MSI CX640 is a 15.6in laptop with a new Intel Core i5-2410M processor running at 2.3GHz. It also has a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 520M graphics card and uses Nvidia’s Optimus technology, which can switch between the Nvidia card and the Core i5’s integrated graphics chip depending on whether you need 3D performance or longer battery life.

It’s immediately apparent when looking at our benchmarks that the new Core i5 is not just more powerful, but more efficient than the previous Core i5 generation. An overall result of 55 in our new benchmarks compares well to the score of 45 for the older Core i5-460M. Needless to say, the CX640’s performance is more than enough for most applications, and it won’t slow down as much as older Core i5 laptops with multiple applications working.


We weren’t quite so impressed by the CX640’s graphics performance. A score of 22fps in Call of Duty 4 means that you’ll be able to play some games, but you’ll probably have to disable some effects including anti-aliasing to achieve playable frame rates. Another benefit of fitting such a card is its support for CUDA, Nvidia’s GPU acceleration technology, which can speed up some operations in applications such as Photoshop, but it’s a marginal improvement at best.

The CX640’s case has a brushed-metal effect, but it’s not convincing and the way the lid rattles if you tap it doesn’t inspire confidence in the build quality. The keyboard has flat-topped keys, but their action is spongy, they wobble and the whole keyboard flexes. The layout is standard, thankfully, apart from the numeric keypad on the right which has only three columns.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2410M
Processor clock speed2.3GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
SoundConexant SmartAudio HD
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366×768
Graphics ProcessorNvidia GeForce GT 520M
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory1,024MB


Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g/n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Office 2010 Starter
Optional extrasNone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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