MSI X340 Hands-on

Hugo gets his mitts on the MSI X340 at the UK launch.

We had our first glimpse of the MSI X-Slim laptops at CES, but it’s taken until today for the UK public to be able to get its hands on them. Having managed to do just that at the UK launch, I thought you might all be interested in my initial impressions of the X340 – as well as a few nice pictures of a production unit.

Bearing in mind the importance of first impressions, MSI has done well with the styling of the X340. It’s not exactly a MacBook Air, but in a shop, with its £859 price tag this new MSI will probably attract more glances that the nigh-on £1,300 Apple laptop. Pick up the X340 and its 1.3kg weight, which is hardly more than many netbooks, is also impressive.

The single-core, 1.4GHz SU3500 CULV processor isn’t going to blow anyone away with its performance, but it’s a damn sight better than even a singe-core Atom CPU. Importantly, however, its power consumption – and that of the entire platform surrounding it – is significantly lower than that of a standard Intel notebook.

The 13.4in screen has an LED-backlit 1,366 x 768 pixel panel – yet again besting the Air – which is nicely crisp and bright. I’d still prefer a higher resolution, but for most I think that should be about right. 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive aren’t what you could call stingy.

Connectivity is pretty good, with a pair of USB ports (double that of the infamous Air), both HDMI and D-Sub video outputs, an SDHC card reader and an Ethernet jack. If I have one criticism from the short time I had with an X340 it’s that the keyboard is a little ‘squishy’ but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

We should be getting an X340 in for a full review in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.