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MSI throws Blu-ray, Core i3 in a laptop for $699

Mainstream Blu-ray laptops just got a little cheaper, and with a new Intel Core i3 processor to boot.

Budget HD: the MSI CR620 MSI

Introducing Intel Core i3 and i5 processors in a laptop is hardly surprising news anymore, but affordable notebook computing--well, that's another story. MSI tends to be on the bleeding edge of the cheap notebook spectrum, and the company's recent announcement of updated Classic laptops offers a few eye-openers. The entire line of C-Series 15.6-inch Core i3 and i5 laptops starts at $649, and there's even a config that includes Blu-ray and a Core i3 for $699; MSI claims the CR620-033US is $729, but Newegg does that price $30 better.

All MSI CR-620 models include Windows 7 Home Premium, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, have at least 320GB hard drives, and have 15.6-inch screens with 1,366x768-pixel resolution--not full HD, but at this price, close enough.

Does this begin to permanently change the Blu-ray laptop landscape, and expectations for laptop prices in general? To get a closer look at the rather boxy laptop, check out some photos below.