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MSI CR620 review: MSI CR620

MSI manages to prove with its CR620 that budget isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to laptops.

Damien Virulhapan
3 min read

Design

With its 15.6-inch widescreen, you'd be mistaken for thinking that MSI's CR620 laptop is inconveniently heavy, like most laptops this size. However, MSI has craftily managed to pack everything in at a relatively lightweight 2.5kg.

8.0

MSI CR620

The Good

Good value for money. HDMI and VGA connectivity. Number pad.

The Bad

Poor battery life. Most ports are at rear of laptop.

The Bottom Line

MSI manages to prove with its CR620 that budget isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to laptops.

We think it's fair to say that the CR620 definitely won't win any awards in the looks department. That's not to say that it's an ugly design, it's the type that just won't stand out from the laptop crowd. Although at this price point, one can't be too picky over something like the exterior paint job.

The CR620 features a chiclet-style keyboard and still manages to make room for a number pad. The trackpad has been centred in the keyboard for ease of use, and for the mouse button, MSI has chosen to go for a single physical button. It has two key switches situated on the left and right of the button which serve as the left and right mouse click.

Underneath the trackpad, along the edge of the laptop, are enough status indicator lights (that display such things as Bluetooth and Caps Lock status, and hard drive activity) to start your own private disco.

Features

Along with the 15.6-inch, 16:9 widescreen LED LCD, the CR620 uses Intel's latest budget i3 330 dual-core processor which runs at 2.13GHz, with 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive and a DVD-RW drive. With integrated Intel GMA HD graphics, it's pretty clear from the specifications that MSI has targeted this laptop towards the budget end of the laptop spectrum.

Featured on this laptop are a slew of connectivity options, ranging from the standard USB ports, an eSATA port, an ExpressCard slot, a multi-card reader, gigabit LAN port and 802.11n Wi-Fi support. We were also pleased to see that MSI has video output options covered with the inclusion of an HDMI and VGA ports, making it convenient for those who want high-definition connectivity but still find themselves needing to use hardware that is not quite up-to-date.

The only downside to having all these ports is that most of them are located at the back of the laptop. So if you happen to find yourself in a situation where you're using the USB, HDMI and VGA ports, then you may have a mess of cables on your hands.

If you're the type that doesn't like fiddling with power management settings all the time, MSI has made things easier with an additional five presets (Gaming, Movie, Presentation, Word Processing and Turbo) that MSI has dubbed Eco Engine Power Saving Technology, which makes it straightforward to switch power settings as required.

Performance

The six-cell battery just managed to limp over the two-hour mark before going flat on maximum battery usage settings. This basically means that while the CR620 is light enough for you to carry around with you, it won't be much good because the battery will be gone in a few hours time.

In 3DMark06, the laptop managed a score of 1721, which is no surprise given the CR620's use of integrated graphics. Unfortunately, no matter what we tried, PCMark05 just refused to run for us. However, we'd estimate you should expect a score around the 5000 points mark as a rough indication of performance.

At a retail price of AU$999, the CR620 is great value for those looking at an entry-level Windows 7-capable laptop with a wide array of connectivity options, although it is a shame to see its portability going to waste as a result of the short battery life.