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MSI Turbobook GX600: Bringing turbo back

We've just been having a look at the MSI Turbobook GX600 -- the first laptop we're aware of that sports an instant overclocking turbo button

Remember the days of the humble 486 PC? They all had a few things in common, such as being beige, being enormous, and having a button labelled 'turbo'. Those days are back, thanks to the MSI Turbobook GX600 -- the first laptop we can remember to sport a turbo button.

First impressions aren't great, aesthetically at least. Okay, it's not beige, but it is all 'gamey', which means it's festooned with unnecessary bling that would only appeal to 14-year-old kids. What's with the pointless red vents at the top right and left of the keyboard? Why is there a random piece of metalwork surrounding the power and turbo buttons? It looks like something out of Max Power magazine.

There are other, more important questions to answer. Why, if it's a gaming laptop, does it have such a low resolution? We'd expect 1,280x800 pixels on a 12-inch machine, not a 15.4-inch one. It's probably something to do with the mediocre GeForce Go 8600 graphics card, which would struggle to run games at anything higher.

Anyhoo, back to the turbo button. MSI says pressing it will instantly overclock the Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 CPU by approximately 20 per cent, taking it from 2.4GHz to around 2.8GHz. It also says if you hit it while the laptop is booting, it'll decrease boot time from 1 minute or longer to around 40 seconds.

We've only played with it for a short time, but with the turbo button enabled, it scored a very decent 6,070 in PCMark 2005. With the turbo button disabled, it scored 5,409. That's better than we expected, but why not just have it overclocked by default and get rid of the turbo button? When would you not want to go turbo? It's not like you'd actually take it out of your parents' basement and want to save battery.

We'll have all the answers in a full review shortly. In the meantime, you can buy one online for around £1,120. -Rory Reid

Update: Read our full MSI Turbobook GX600 review