MSI X340 review: MSI X340

The X340 is especially notable for being one of the first laptops to incorporate Intel's CULV single-core 1.4GHz SU3500 CPU. As a step up from the Atom and a cheaper alternative to Intel's previous dual-core ULV processors, we were both impressed and disappointed in the MSI X340's performance. In our multitasking test, the X340 faired about as well as a cheaper Netbook, owing to the SU3500's single-core nature. However, in single applications, such as Photoshop or iTunes, the system was much faster than Atom-powered Netbooks. In either case, a standard Core 2 Duo mainstream laptop will offer significantly better performance. Anecdotally, it's worth noting that the system ran Windows Vista well, with no slowdown or stuttering during normal use.

The MSI X340 ran for 2 hours and 41 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, using the included four-cell battery (an eight-cell battery will be available as an option). That's less than our general baseline preference of 3 hours, and a little disappointing, considering the low-power claims of the Intel CULV line. That said, our battery test is especially grueling, and you can expect longer life from casual Web surfing and office work.

MSI includes an industry-standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Support is accessible through a not-toll-free phone line that's open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST, Monday through Friday, as well as some very basic online FAQs and driver downloads.

Multimedia Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv3-1051
Dell Adamo
MSI X-340

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv3-1051
MSI X-340
Dell Adamo

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv3-1051
MSI X-340
Dell Adamo

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv3-1051
MSI X-340
Dell Adamo

Find out more about how we test laptops.

MSI X340
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo U3500; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 781MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Fujitsu 5400rpm

Acer Aspire 3935-6504
Windows Vista Home Edition SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 1066MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Gateway UC7807u
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

HP Pavilion dv3-1051
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.3GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core ZM-84; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 320MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 320GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm

Dell Adamo
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U9300; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 779MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 128GB Samsung SSD

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

MSI X340 (black)

Part Number: 9S7-135212-021 Released: May. 27, 2009

MSRP: $999.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May. 27, 2009
  • Installed Size 2 GB
  • Color black
  • Weight 2.9 lbs
  • Hard Drive 320 GB HDD
  • Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500MHD
About The Author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.