MSI has unveiled a new value-minded notebook for media fiends. Billed as a "high-end multimedia machine," the CR430 is packing fresh Fusion silicon from AMD, courtesy of the company's E-450 APU. That model may be unfamiliar to you considering it isn't available yet. It's due sometime this quarter and features two 1.65GHz processing cores, 2 x 512KB of L2 cache, a 508-600MHz Radeon HD 6320 graphics core, and support for DDR3 1333MHz RAM
That's up from the HD 6310 and 1066MHz RAM support in the E-240, E-300 and E-350 -- the latter of which we reviewed in February and found it to be more powerful than the Intel Atom CPU and Nvidia Ion GPU. Accompanying the new Zacate chip will be a 14-inch 1366x768 LED-backlit display, 320GB to 640GB of storage, a DVD burner, HDMI and VGA outputs, a multi-card reader, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi, a 720p webcam, and a six-cell battery.
Although MSI hasn't shared the CR430's pricing or release date yet, such details are available for the company's X460 and X460DX. Launched today, the sub-inch-thick ultraportables are available in three configurations ranging from $800 to $1,200. Although the systems share common features like a 14-inch 1366x768 display, Wi-Fi, HDMI and USB 3.0 connectivity and an eight-hour battery life, the core specifications change between models:
|Processor||Core i3-2310QM 2.1GHz||Core i5-2410QM 2.3-2.9GHz||Core i7-2630QM 2.0-2.9GHz|
|Memory||4GB DDR3||6GB DDR3||6GB DDR3|
|Graphics||GeForce GT 540M||GeForce GT 540M||Intel HD 3000 Graphics|
|Storage||500GB 7200RPM HDD||500GB 7200RPM HDD||750GB 7200RPM HDD|
If you intend to purchase a laptop for anything graphically demanding, you'll likely want to opt for the base or mid-range configuration. The $1,200 machine loses Nvidia's GeForce GT 540M graphics chip and Optimus graphics-switching functionality, but gains double the processor cache (6MB) and supports Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. As a side note, MSI is also preparing a Windows tablet that we plan to review in the near future.