The 2009 budget train continues, as MSI has just announced a back-to-school lineup of 16- and 17-inch additions to the Classic C Series notebook line, promising starting prices as low as $549. What's new and notable here is that the 17.3-inch models all have 1600x900 resolutions, which is a nice upgrade from the 1366x768 we're used to seeing on budget machines. Even more intriguingly, the 16-inch CR600-017 includes a Blu-ray/DVD drive for hi-def movie watching (but sadly and quizzically, only a 1366x768 resolution on that one). But this is the kicker: it only costs $649.
All machines also feature ATI or Nvidia graphics of some sort--the CX600 and CX700 models have ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330 graphics cards with 512MB RAM, while the CR600 and CR700 models have Nvidia GeForce 8200M GPUs.
There is one caveat, however: all these laptops have Pentium Dual Core T4200 and T4300 processors. Therein lies the discount. However, it could be an excellent compromise for those who value some multimedia and screen size over processor speed. In essence, your price options are either $549, $649, or $799. Details below for reference (all 16-inchers are 1366x768, all 17.3-inchers 1600x900):
- CR600-013US ($549): 16-inch, 2.0 GHz T4200, 4GB RAM, GeForce 8200M G, DVD
- CX600-049US ($649): 16-inch, 2.0 GHz T4200, 4GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 4330, DVD
- CR600-017US ($649): 16-inch, 2.1 GHz T4300, 4GB RAM, GeForce 8200M G, Blu-ray
- CR700-012US ($649): 17.3-inch, 2.0 GHz T4200, 4GB RAM, GeForce 8200M G, DVD
- CX700-020US ($799): 17.3-inch, 2.0 GHz T4200, 4GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon 4330, DVD
If you're bargain-hunting, check out the gallery below.