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MSI CX600-049US 16-inch Budget Laptop PC

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MSI CX600-049US 16-inch Budget Laptop PC

MSI CX600

©MSI Computer Corp.

The Bottom Line

Oct 13 2009 - For those wanting a larger screen on a budget laptop but not the weight or bulk, the MSI CX600-049US is a surprisingly strong package. In addition to its relatively small size, the system does manage to include a dedicated graphics processor that many laptops in the $600 and less price range lack. Even with these great features, the system is held back somewhat with the inclusion of a 32-bit version of the OS and a number of useful peripheral ports.

Pros

  • Dedicated Graphics Processor
  • Relatively Thin and Light For Screen Size
  • Full Sized Keyboard Including Numeric Pad

Cons

  • Ships With 32-bit Version of Vista
  • Missing a Number of Peripheral Ports

Description

  • Intel Pentium Dual-Core T4200 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
  • 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
  • 16" WXGA (1366x768) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 Graphics With 512MB Memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
  • 14.8" x 9.7" x 1.2" @ 5.5 lbs.
  • Vista Home Premium 32-bit

Guide Review - MSI CX600-049US 16-inch Budget Laptop PC

Oct 13 2009 - MSI has managed to put together a surprising package in the $600 CX600-049US laptop. Even with its low price tag, the laptop manages to include a dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics processor that helps it manage HD video and PC gaming better than many laptops in the same price range. Don't expect extremely high resolutions or detail with this graphics solution but it does make PC gaming at least possible. The feature is a bit diminished by the fact that MSI does not include a digital graphics output such as HDMI for use with digital monitors or HDTVs.

Many of the laptops that feature 16-inch display panels tend to be fairy heavy and quite thick. MSI has managed to keep the overall size of the CX600 to a relatively svelte 1.2-inches thick and a 5.5 pound weight. This puts it a good quarter inch or more thinner and at least half a pound lighter than most budget laptops featuring 16 and even 15 inch panels.

With the larger LCD panel, the CX600 has additional width that allows it to handle a larger keyboard layout that includes a numeric keypad. One downside to the layout is that the right shift, control and enter keys are a reduced size in order to make space for the arrow keys and keypad.

For some reason, MSI decided to install a 32-bit version of the Vista operating system. This has two major problems. First, it doesn't really take full advantage of the 4GB of installed memory. Second, users will be limited to the 32-bit version of Windows 7 if they use an upgrade version.

With the added graphics capabilities and the reduced bulk, the MSI CX600-049US is a good overall budget laptop for those that need a bit more than the average budget laptop. It would have just been a bit better if they had included a few more ports.

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