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MSI X370 review

Barry de la Rosa
31 May 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
443
inc VAT

The X370 has a decent keyboard, is light and has decent battery life, but you can get faster ultra-portables for only a fraction more.

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Specifications

13.4 in 1,366x768 display, 1.7kg, 1.6GHz AMD E-350, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

MSI's new ultra-portable, the X370, uses AMD's E-350 Vision platform, a combination of an AMD chip and graphics processor that's designed to reduce power consumption and therefore prolong battery life. Along with the 1.6GHz dual-core processor comes 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard disk. These are all normal specifications for a general purpose laptop, but the X370 only weighs 1.7kg and lasts for over seven hours away from a power socket.

MSI X370

At a glance, the X370 looks slim and smart, with its lid decked out in a glossy black honeycomb pattern. A chrome strip around the edge of the case adds a bit of class, and all the ports around the edge are also surrounded by chrome. Opening the lid reveals a textured keyboard panel, but the overall effect feels a little dated.

MSI X370 right

Aesthetics aside, the X370 is a step up from an Intel Atom-based netbook. With a score of 12 in our benchmarks, it's fine for general office and internet tasks, and is around twice as fast as a regular netbook. Modern games are out, as the AMD Radeon HD 6310 managed just 10.5fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Even turning the detail settings down we couldn't get a much faster score. More usefully, the graphics chip can decode HD video.

Battery life of seven hours and 21 minutes is impressive and means that you can carry around the 1.7kg laptop for most of a working day without having to charge it. However, this impressive battery life is achieved by using a bulbous eight-cell battery that protrudes some way from the bottom of the laptop. While it conveniently angles the keyboard, it also adds weight and depth. With the optional 4-cell battery, the X370 would be easier to carry, but battery life would be halved.