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MSI X600-055UK review

Highly portable laptop, with a large screen, good battery life and impressive performance

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Our Verdict

For

  • Good performance
  • Battery life
  • Build quality

Against

  • No DVD drive
  • Can get hot

The X600-055UK is the second machine we've seen from MSI's ultra-slim X-series range, following on from the smaller X340.

With a 15.6-inch screen, this machine is a more rounded package, while still providing excellent mobility. The 15.6-inch screen features a glossy Super-TFT coating, which is reflective in direct sunlight.

With LED backlighting, it's also a bright panel, however, and so is easy to view in most conditions. There's enough space onscreen for comfortable multi-tasking and the 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio prove ideal for watching films.

You'll find a mid-range ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics card supporting the display. It provides the X600 with enough performance to handle basic graphics tasks with ease and you'll even be able to play older games.

Photo and video editing tasks are carried out with aplomb, making this lightweight laptop a surprisingly adept multimedia choice. The widescreen display creates plenty of space for the user interface, with a decent keyboard that proves comfortable even over longer periods of use. Unlike the X340, there's no sign of flex when typing and the keys move with a reassuringly accurate action.

A numeric keypad is crammed in alongside and, although it's not the largest we've seen, it aids data entry nonetheless.

Despite measuring just 25mm at its thickest point, the chassis is remarkably tough. The plastics are strong and the screen remains free from vibrations when typing, but the left-hand side of the palm rest heats up after prolonged use, and the display flexes slightly in the centre.

CULV processor

As with the smaller X340, this machine uses an Intel CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processor, but this is the first system we've seen to feature a CULV Core 2 Duo chip.

Running at 1.6GHz, and backed by 4096MB of DDR2 memory, performance is akin to regular Core 2 Duo processors, proving easily able to carry out intensive tasks and run multiple programs smoothly. Battery life is also good, letting you work for 248 minutes.

There's no optical drive, but there is plenty of storage space on offer, thanks to the 500GB hard drive. There's also a 2-in-1 flash memory card reader, making it easy to access photographs from most digital cameras.

Networking features come in the form of 802.11n Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet.

Providing excellent performance in a large yet thin and light chassis, the X600- 055UK offers a great compromise between size and power. As with much more expensive systems, you'll be able to work on the move without resorting to a smaller and slower form factor.

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