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MSI PX600 Prestige Collection Notebook review: MSI PX600 Prestige Collection Notebook

Don't be fooled by the "Prestige" label on this otherwise unremarkable laptop.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
3 min read

Giving a notebook a title like "Prestige" does somewhat colour your expectations of what that system will look like. Something prestigious should stand out with a design aesthetic that's both eye-catching, individual (in that not everyone can afford such a "prestigious" item) and classically elegant.


MSI PX600 Prestige Collection Notebook

The Good

Comes with lots of shiny accessories. Leather top. Good PCMark performance.

The Bad

Inconsistent design. Average graphics. Average battery life.

The Bottom Line

Don't be fooled by the "Prestige" label on this otherwise unremarkable laptop.

MSI's PX600 is a little bit of a grab bag of all of those ideas, but the end result, in our view, looks anything but prestigious. When closed all you can see is the lid of the PX600 and the base. The lid is wrapped in leather with deliberately obvious stitching lines across the top in golden thread. That's fine if you like the leather look, but in contrast to the otherwise ordinary plastic-looking notebook base, it just comes off looking tacky. We've got to admit at first we figured MSI had used fake leather, simply because of this. It's less Gucci handbag style, and more leather elbow patches on your university lecturer style, if you follow us.

Opening up the PX600 continues this confused design idea. The base of the palm rest is brushed aluminium, as always a great way to get an idea of what your fingerprints look like, but the touch panel above the keyboard has an inlaid sparkle effect, like you might find in a cheap kid's toy. As always, tastes vary, but we'd say it looks tacky. MSI, on the other hand, hypes it up with the following statement:

"This is the kind of majestic quality that defines your belief in fine taste!"

Take from that what you will.

Inside the glitzy bits of the PX600, you'll find an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz processor, 4GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM running on an Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS with 256MB DDR2 VRAM. The display is 15.4-inch LCD with a top resolution of 1680x1050. Storage was provided via a 250GB hard drive on our review sample — MSI lists a few configuration differences on its local website — with a SuperMulti DVD writer handling optical chores and a 2-megapixel webcam for any video conferencing you might be planning to do. The PX600 offers gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless networking and an option for Bluetooth networking. The PX600 feels a little under-supplied on the ports front, with only three USB 2.0 ports, and one of those a shared USB/eSATA port.

To play into the PX600's supposed prestige, MSI also throws in a lot of extras, including a leather laptop bag which ships inside what looks suspiciously like a shower bag for ill-defined reasons, an optical mouse and a 4GB Flash drive. Apparently, 4GB flash drives are "prestige". Who knew?

While we didn't much care for the PX600's "Prestige" style, in actual use it was a workable, albeit somewhat ordinary notebook. The keyboard features workable travel characteristics, although like most 15-inch notebooks that try to cram in a number pad, it's a touch cramped, with a notably small space bar that was the chief culprit in most of our mis-keying adventures. Likewise, the flat button style of the mouse keys can be tough to get used to at first.

In the performance stakes, the combination of a solid chunk of memory and a decent processor saw the PX600 score well in the PCMark benchmark, with a total score of 5104. The relatively slow GeForce 9300M GS didn't do it quite as many favours, with a 3DMark score of 1625. That's capable, but not enough for anyone looking for a gaming rig.

A 15.4-inch laptop sits in the tricky space between real portability and being a true desktop replacement system, and in the case of the PX600, it's clear that MSI intends you to lug it around a bit, if only to show off your leather case. In our DVD playback test, which disables power-saving measures and sets screen brightness to full, the PX600 lasted one hour and 45 minutes. We've seen worse results for notebooks, but also plenty that were better; this is strictly an average performer.

It's no shock that MSI prices a notebook that it claims as prestigious appropriately — if it were cheap, you'd get suspicious — but at the same time, we can't help feeling that for the AU$2,019 asking price, this is pretty poor value.