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MSI X-Slim X350-408US 13.4-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

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MSI X-Slim X350-408US 13.4-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

MSI X-Slim X350

©MSI Computer Corp

The Bottom Line

Sep 15 2010 - Those looking for an extremely thin and light ultraportable will be pleasantly surprised by the MSI X-Slim X350-408US. Even with its small size, the laptop has the power to run for a very long time making it great for those that travel frequently. The downside to all of this is that it lacks the performance of many larger and newer ultraportables. The reduced dimensions also result in fewer peripheral ports. With prices right around $900, one might struggle to look at larger more powerful laptops or much more affordable netbook alternatives.

Pros

  • Very Slim And Lightweight
  • Long Battery Life
  • Comfortable Keyboard

Cons

  • Performance Lags Behind Newer Core i3 Based ULV Processors
  • Limited Number Of Peripheral Ports

Description

  • Intel Core 2 Duo S7300 Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 13.4-inch WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Two USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 3-in-1 Card Reader
  • 13" x 8.8" x .8" @ 3.3 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium

Guide Review - MSI X-Slim X350-408US 13.4-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC

Sep 15 2010 - MSI's X-Slim X350 very much fits the definition of ultraportable. This svelte laptop features a very thin .8-inch thick profile at the hinge that tapers to an even thinner .3-inch wedge at the front of the keyboard. This combined with its low weight makes it slightly heavier than a netbook but with a larger screen and higher performance.

While the performance of the X-Slim X350-408US is better than that of a netbook, it does fall short of newer Core 2010 based ultraportables. This is due to the system being based around the older Intel Core 2 Duo S7300 ultra-low voltage processor. It works just fine for most productivity and media streaming just fine but it will struggling with more demanding applications. The 4GB of memory help with multitasking but it is slower DDR2 memory as well.

The thin profile of the X-Slim X350 means that the system cannot fit an internal DVD drive at all. This isn't really much of an issue these days with ultraportables though as digital distribution makes it easier to get programs and media onto a system. It does use a fairly large sized 500GB hard drive that is a bit higher than the more typical 320GB hard drive found in ultraportable laptops.

Like many consumer oriented laptops, the MSI X-Slim X350 uses a glossy coated panel that offers bright colors and contrasts. The downside is that this makes it much more difficult to use outdoors and in certain indoor lighting conditions without a large amount of glare and reflections. The 13.4-inch panel offers a standard 1366x768 resolution that is a nice balance for a panel of this size. The graphics are driven the the ubiquitous Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated solution that is fine for basic use and HD media streaming but lacks and 3D performance for even casual PC gaming.

With a very sizable eight cell batter pack the MSI X-Slim X350 should last a fairly long time compared to most ultraportables that use six cell packs. In video streaming playback tests, the laptop was able to run for about five and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is a very impressive running time for the size of the laptop and should yield about seven hours of more traditional usage.

Even with the very thin profile, the laptop deck provides plenty of space for a well designed isolated keyboard design. There is a nice amount of spacing between the keys and feedback that make it very comfortable to use over extended periods of time. The trackpad is also quite large and very responsive. It uses a single rocker bar design that isn't as nice as individual buttons though.

One big downside to the size of the X-Slim X350 is the peripheral ports. While it does feature both a VGA and HDMI port, it only has two USB ports that can make connecting external peripherals difficult without using a portable USB hub.

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