Amidst the prevalence and success of MSI's Wind netbook, which has graced our pages regularly and in various incarnations, it's sometimes difficult to remember the company also does some very interesting notebooks. Today we're taking a look at the EX620, a 16in entertainment notebook that on paper seems to have it all: an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, discrete ATI video card, Blu-ray drive, Dolby Home Theater audio and a speaker system supported by an inbuilt subwoofer.
First impressions are certainly good, starting off with the above average bundle. Aside from the usual manuals, disks and common enough cleaning cloth, there are two more unusual additions: a laptop mouse and carrying bag. Of course, these might not be that useful for people who have perfectly decent ones already, but for everyone else, let's find out what they're like.
Initially, the ambidextrous optical mouse might look like a Dell rodent, but thankfully it doesn't feel or handle like one. It's quite small and not the most comfortable for bigger hands, but either way beats many bundled mice in that it does the basics and does them right. It's ergonomically curved and its black and grey colour scheme matches the notebook nicely. It is very light, its two buttons give a positive click, the rubberized scroll-wheel has notched feedback and it slides along smoothly on four Teflon feet.
The plain black nylon carrying bag is also better than expected. It has nine pockets and compartments, including three zipped ones and a mesh zipped side-pocket for a bottle or phone. There is some padding to protect your notebook and both the bag's handles and carrying strap pad are covered in fake leather. Our only complaint is that a remote would have perhaps been a more welcome addition than either of the above for what is, after all, a multimedia and entertainment notebook.
Getting onto the notebook itself, the lid is the usual glossy black fingerprint magnet but like competing multimedia notebooks from HP and until recently Toshiba, there is a pattern running across it. In this case, it's a very subtle dark grey wave print that's described in the marketing with some flowery language about "tranquillity" and the "comfort of nature". Lyrical marketing aside, it's a nice effect that gives the EX620 some individuality.