The Bottom Line
- Extremely Thin and Portable
- Well Price For Such a Thin Laptop
- Small Battery With Limited Running Time
- Too Much Flex in the Keyboard
- Fewer USB Ports
- Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 Mobile Processor
- 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 320GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 13.4" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, SD Card Slot
- 13" x 8.8" x .8" @ 2.9 lbs.
- Vista Home Premium
Guide Review - MSI X340-021US 13.4-inch Ultraportable Laptop PC
Sep 16 2009 - It is very clear that the sole design goal of the MSI X340 was to make a system as thin and light as a MacBook Air but at a much lower cost. On both of these accounts, MSI was able to achieve their design goals. At just .8 inches thick and under three pounds, it nearly matches the ultra slim profile of the MacBook Air. The roughly $750 price tag also makes it much more affordable.
Much of the cost savings comes from the plastic exterior and the use of the new low cost Intel CULV platform. This includes the Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 single core processor. This provides it with performance that is higher than the Intel Atom netbook processor but falls short of most traditional ultraportables. This is enough for general applications, web browsing and high definition video playback.
One of the key advantages of the CULV platform is the low power consumption that allows for very long running times. Unfortunately, MSI was more focused on the platforms profile and supplied it with a relatively small 4-cell battery. This provides it with a very short 2 hour running time through video playback that is well below the ultraportable class average and far below options from ASUS and Acer that provide up to 8 hours.
Another area of concern is the keyboard. Generally, extremely thin laptops are generally fairly sturdy because they have no space for any flex in the keyboard. For some reason though, the MSI X340 keyboard has a large amount of flex that makes it a less than ideal keyboard to work with.
The net result is that this is the ultraportable for those that want an extremely thin laptop but don't want to spend twice as much for the MacBook Air. If size isn't as much of a issue but price is, there are better alternatives.