MSI X-Slim X460 Notebook Review

By on August 24, 2011, 3:50 AM

MSI recently expanded its ultraportable offerings with the addition of two last generation X-Slim notebooks. Although they're designed to be lightweight and compact, the X460 notebooks also strive to be powerful, courtesy of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The flagship model comes with Intel's Core i7-2630QM, packing the quad-core chip while boasting an 8-hour battery life.

There's also the X460DX, which can come configured with Core i3 or i5 processors and the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU. Both the X460 and X460DX share the same dimensions using a 14" LED backlit screen. While ultraportable laptops generally carry a 12 to 13" display, MSI says the X460 strikes a fine balance between mobility and performance.

With enough power to put the average desktop PC to shame, the MSI X460 flagship model costs roughly $1,100. Even so, that price tag makes the X460 one of the cheapest second-gen Core i7 notebooks money can buy.

Read the complete review.

User Comments: 2

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DeliciousPie said:

An excellent review, as always. Great read!

I'm pretty impressed by how well it performed for how portable it looks. Seems like a pretty good compromise between power and mobility. I like MSI.

Anyone looking to play a lot of games, though, should always look to build a desktop. You can get far better performance for far less cash.

Guest said:

I've had the X460DX for two weeks and its superb. I have done research on comparable models for two months now, and this purchase was my vote.

The build is good, it doesn't throttle, and you can get used to the keyboard under normal use (although I still wish it was bigger). The audio lacks real bass but you can still hear bass lines and effects. Adjusted from default, the display is not bad, although the vertical viewing angle is narrow, and horizontal viewing angles dim quickly. Even 'dead-on', the display is a bit dim, but MSi just released a gamma utility that might help there (haven't tried it yet). The NVidia GPU is a pleasure for DX9 through DX11 and OpenGL 3D, and even under the Intel GPU its still tolerable for older titles. A discrete GPU indicator is handy, and the Optimus switching is easy and usually picks just the right setting on its own. Its fairly quiet for keyboard and trackpad clicks and fan under GPU use. No backlit keyboard though, and the ODD is a bit tricky to open without looking at it with the whole tray in view. The trackpad, after some getting used to, is alright and fairly quick. HDD is pretty fast even for 7200 RPM HDDs, and memory isn't sluggish. Battery life is very nice, even with WiFi and medium brightness settings. Memory and even CPU aren't soldered in. It does get a bit warm along the whole left keyboard top and underside, but its tolerable and shouldn't leave any lasting marks. ;) If you put your hand right beside the left side exhaust, that might be uncomfortable under heavy load, so keep your hand on top or away from the exhaust.

The intake vents along the underside are positioned closer to the front edge than most other notebooks, so if you're going to purchase a cooler pad, make sure the strongest fan placement output mates with the X460DX's intakes.

The biggest detractions are the gloss plastic bezel surfaces and trackpad buttons, which can't be kept immaculate, and the gratuitous use of point-of-sale stickers, but at least they're all affixed to the metallic parts, making removal (somewhat) easy, and the indicator LEDs, which can't be identified to their legend in dim lighting (but otherwise are fine).

While ASUS and Samsung have competitors due out soon in the new 'Thin & Light Media Powerhouse' category, who knows if they will throttle or cost an arm & a leg. At the moment, I believe this is currently the best value for the money in this space, and is a fairly 'sure' thing if you cannot wait to find out about those upcoming releases.

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