Editor's note: MSI has since informed us that the base of the laptop is powder coated aluminium and not plastic — our review has been updated accordingly.
MSI's X-Slim X340 is the first laptop we've seen with Intel's CULV (consumer ultra-low voltage) processor. This also makes it the first of the "ultrathin" flood that is expected to come in the next six months.
Coming in white, black or silver, it certainly looks the part, with the slim profile sure to grab people's attention as soon as you pull it out of the bag. It's also rather rigid, feeling surprisingly sturdy for its slimness. From thereon in though, it's a series of disappointments.
While light, the X-Slim feels cheap. The interior of the white sample we received was a dull grey, with a large touchpad that featured a single mouse button. Left- and right-click functionality is still there, it's simply moulded into the one piece. Apart from this there's the white keyboard, the power button in the top right, and the white LED status lights below the touchpad — and that's it for the simple and spartan design.
The keyboard is, in three words, cheap, nasty and tacky. Our review sample was misshapen, clacky, and the sluggish response of the keys often ended up with the PC simply not registering the strike. It takes the dubious honour of being the worst keyboard we've used.
MSI has again failed to include mouse drivers for the cheap and nasty Sentelic mousepad it has taken to using of late, meaning that even the tiniest palm brush will send your cursor somewhere you don't want while typing.
This same touchpad has the annoying feature that requires you to tap in the top or bottom right-hand corners of the mousepad to scroll, instead of the usual swiping of the finger. This results in many accidental left-clicks if you have tap to click turned on, as is the case by default. Mind you, scrolling isn't even enabled until you have the driver.
Not only does neither MSI or Windows give a hint at what type of touchpad it is, but when you finally find out, Sentelic's own website requires the user to have an account to download the drivers, of which there's no way to sign up. MSI also fails to provide the driver package on its website.