MSI X-Slim X340 reviewed: $899 bargain Air-alternative

May 13, 2009
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MSI X-Slim X340 reviewed: $899 bargain Air-alternative

MSI's X-Slim X340 ultraportable may be all about the skinny glamor, but once you've succumbed to its slender charms you want a machine that can handle at least the minimum of mobile processing tasks.  According to LaptopMag's X340 review, as long as you're not looking to game or edit video, that shouldn't be too much of an issue: the 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo CULV chip may rack up only half the PCMark Vantage points as a ThinkPad X200, but it's good enough to run Vista, Office 2007, crank up tabs in Firefox or play 720p video.

Multitasking, unsurprisingly, isn't the X340's forté, with a transcoding task taking almost double the time when the processor was occupied zipping up a folder in the background.  Graphics, too, came in underpar for an ultraportable (though above netbook performance), but 1080p from the HDMI port played without a stutter.  The keyboard was spongy and showed flex, but MSI claim production models will have been tinkered with to improve matters.

Runtime from the 4-cell battery came in at 3hrs 38 minutes, when the X340 was occupied with web surfing over WiFi, besting both the MacBook Air (2:08) and HP Pavilion dv2 (2:31).  Really, though, it's the style and price that will draw in the buyers, and with LaptopMag claiming the X340 system will come in at $899 (compared to the $1,099.99 it was originally listed at) that seems like a bargain versus a MacBook Air at roughly twice that amount.


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