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MSI notebook first with Intel's ultra-low voltage processor

The X-Slim X340 beats much larger PC makers to the punch with Intel's CULV.

MSI X340 notebook Intel CULV

The battle over ultrathin, low-voltage laptops has begun in earnest.

MSI announced Wednesday the availability of the X340, the first notebook to hit the market sporting Intel's new CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) processor.

The X340 is the first of many ultrathin notebooks that look a lot like the MacBook Air, but bear significantly lower prices. Intel's CULV processor draws 5.5 watts, or one-sixth the power of other mobile processors, which leads to longer battery life. The X340 has a 13.4-inch screen, and is priced at $900. It weighs 2.86 pounds, measures .78 inches thick and comes with an HDMI port for displaying high-definition video.

There are going to be many more of these cheaper thin and light laptops to come. On Monday, Lenovo announced its U350 notebook, which will also come with the CULV processor, and will be priced at $649. But it won't be available until the end of June. Acer also plans a series to include CULV in its upcoming TimeLine notebooks, which will range from $699 to $899.