MSI CX640 review: MSI CX640

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MSI has also chucked in a shock-protected 500GB hard drive. Still, you'd be best off not dropping this machine.

Go, go, middle ranger

Under the hood of CX640, you'll find a 2.3GHz, dual-core Intel Core i5-2410M processor, paired with 4GB of DDR3 RAM. To help the laptop along with gaming, MSI has slapped in a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 520M dedicated graphics card.

When we ran the PCMark05 benchmark test, the CX640 returned an impressive score of 7,183. In 3DMark06, which tests a laptop's ability to chew through polygons in 3D games, it managed to rack up 5,095.

These scores aren't top-of-the-line by any means, but they're far from rubbish. We expect the CX640 to be able handle all kinds of office chores, as well as more intensive tasks, like video editing. It should also be able to handle some gaming, although don't expect it to tackle the latest titles with the settings ramped up to the maximum.

Overall, the CX640 offers good performance for the price. But, while it beat the benchmark scores of the similarly specced MSI CX623, the CX640 couldn't match the 3D performance of our version of the Dell Inspiron 15R, which scored 8,098 in 3DMark06. If your budget is strict and you want some gaming grunt, the 15R may prove a better investment.

When we ran the Battery Eater Classic test, which runs the CPU at a constant 100 per cent until the battery dies, the CX640 managed to last for 1 hour and 39 minutes. With normal usage, you'll be able to get more juice out of this machine, but the battery life still won't be great, so you probably won't want to stray too far from a power socket.

Conclusion

If you're after a relatively affordable desktop-replacement laptop, the MSI CX640 is worth considering. Just bear in mind that you'll have to learn to love its appearance.

Edited by Charles Kloet 

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