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MSI X600 thinbook throws in an optical drive

MSI's update to the X340 beefs up the battery and includes an external optical drive in the box.

Does including an external drive make it a better deal?

Despite many Netbooks and thin-and-lights ditching optical drives in favor of more compact computers, corporate folks are apparently still concerned and looking out for us suddenly-DVD-free folk. MSI has announced availability of a new thin-and-light ULV (ultra-low voltage) notebook, the MSI X600, which comes with its own external DVD/CD drive right in the box.

For $899, the X600 comes with a 1.4GHz Intel SU3500 ULV processor, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard drive, ATI HD 4330 graphics, and a 15.6-inch 1366x768 screen. It includes a six-cell battery, an improvement on the X340, which had a somewhat disappointing battery life. It also packs HDMI-out and Bluetooth while being a hair under an inch thin.

This all sounds good, with two exceptions. One: its processor is a single-core ULV. Two: this "thin-and-light" weighs 5.5 pounds. That's a serious chunking up from the X340's 2.9-pound frame.

Will a Core 2 Solo processor--the same that's in the X340--be enough for a 15.6-inch laptop? Time will tell. Until our review, we invite you to check out some images of the external drive, which at least stylishly matches the big sibling it comes packed with. The MSI X600 comes in black and silver.