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MSI CX600 review: MSI CX600

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The Good Low price; discrete 3D graphics card; solid performance.

The Bad No HDMI output; mouse trackpad gets in the way of the keyboard.

The Bottom Line The MSI CX600 offers fabulous value for money. It's fast, well-equipped and even has a discrete graphics card -- a feature many budget laptops can only dream of. Its only drawbacks, in our opinion, are that it isn't very attractive and lacks an HDMI output

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7.5 Overall

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Last time we checked, the credit crunch had morphed into something of a recession, forcing everyone, tech-hungry geeks included, to re-evaluate what could be considered affordable. MSI, well aware that we're all broke, has attempted to limit the size of the dent in our wallets with the super-affordable, 16-inch CX600, which is available for about £480.

Cheap, surprisingly cheerful
The CX600 offers very good value for money. It uses a nippy Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 CPU clocked at 2.2GHz, plus 4GB of RAM -- specs you'd usually find in laptops retailing for much more money. Our review sample had a relatively modest 250GB hard drive, but MSI positively blessed us with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics card, rather than a rubbish Intel integrated solution.

Who let in the riff-raff?
The 'C' in 'CX600' indicates that the machine is part of MSI's Classic series. It's just as well the company didn't choose the word 'classy', as that's not really a word that's applicable to this laptop. The lid, despite being glossy black, is fairly dull, and the grey-blue interior with contrasting matte black comes across as rather dreary.

The comfortable keyboard has a dedicated number pad

We're also pretty disappointed with the laptop's input devices. Its keyboard is comfortable enough to use and has a dedicated numerical keypad, but the mouse is slightly too large, so it's easy to inadvertently move the cursor or select items with the ball of your right hand as you type. This can be a royal pain in the backside, particularly as there's no shortcut button to temporarily deactivate the trackpad as you type.

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