In audio, the dedicated subwoofer found on the notebook's underside does make its presence felt. The result is that the EX620 produces more bass than most, but unfortunately this comes at the cost of clarity, since even trebles tend to come across slightly muddy. We were honestly hoping for better, but at least you'll be able to get the full 7.1 experience by hooking up external speakers and Dolby Home Theatre technology means you benefit from things such as Dolby Headphone.
Battery life from the six-cell 4,400mAh unit included with this EX620 configuration is reasonable compared to other 16in multimedia notebooks we've looked at, managing two hours and 43 minutes in the non-intensive reader test. So far then, we have a notebook that's fairly average in most respects, though it's stuffed with every feature a multimedia notebook could want. It's when one notices the relatively low price of £690 that things get really interesting, though.
With the HP HDX16-1005EA having shot up in price to over £1,000 since our review, it can't be considered an alternative. The award-winning Acer Aspire 6935G, on the other hand, has actually come down to only £784, so let's see how they compare.
Both notebooks offer 16in 16:9 screens and are Blu-ray capable, but the Acer offers a good remote instead of a mouse and bag. We prefer the look of the Acer, it sports a better keyboard layout (though no number pad) and it wins on specifications too, including a TV Tuner and slightly better graphics card. Whether this is worth nearly £100 extra really depends on how important these points are for you and whether the current low pricing continues.
MSI has gone to town on its EX620 multimedia notebook in terms of features and has made it very affordable into the bargain. This makes it a sensible option for those looking for good all-rounder, but little flaws like the awkward keyboard layout and only average styling, screen and speakers are worth bearing in mind before you buy.