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Christmas Gift Guide

Breaking news! We interrupt our regular schedule of netbook coverage to bring you word of two new laptops from MSI. Yes, laptops. Remember those? No? Well, they're kinda like giant Eee PCs that went extinct back in the pre-Twitter period.

According to MSI, the X320 and X340 laptops are "the world's lightest and slimmest" laptops. They measure 19.8mm at their thickest point and are just 6mm at their thinnest, which would be pretty impressive if it weren't for the MacBook Air clocking in at 19.4mm and 4mm.

The MSI machines are both lighter than the Air, however (1.3kg vs 1.36kg) and accommodate more IO ports, so we'll let that one slide. The X320 gets three USB ports and a VGA video output, while the X340 sports two USBs and HDMI. Both machines have Ethernet, headphone and mic ports.

The X320 is the baby of the duo. It uses an Intel Atom Z530 clocked at 1.6GHz, but is pretty grown up otherwise. It accomodates a 250GB hard drive, 2GB of DDR2 memory, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n, Bluetooth and, most crucially, a 13.4-inch 16:9 LED-backlit display.

The high-end X340 is even more impressive. It packs the brand-new Intel CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) Core 2 Solo SU3500 chip, which despite running at 1.4GHz, is quicker than the Atom. These chips are based on the Intel Core 2 architecture found in many mainstream laptops, but whereas equivalent Core 2s consume in the region of 17W of power, CULVs only gulp down 5.5W, which isn't too far from the Atom Z530s 2.5W rating.

The X320 will retail for £659, while the X340 will set you back £849. Maybe netbooks aren't so bad after all. Have a look at the sexy pics in our gallery, then come back for a full review in a few days.

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The MSI logo at the rear lights up, just like the Apple logo on the MacBook Air.
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It's hella slim, as this picture illustrates. It still packs a good number of IO ports, though, including HDMI on the X340.
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Both laptops are available in black, which, in case you hadn't heard, is the new black.
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Here's the old black, which by proxy is now the new black. It's all very confusing, we know, but there's an easy way of remembering these things: if it's black and it's new, it's probably the new black.
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