MSI X610 Overview

The MSI X610 is a nice looking system when you get right down to it. Our biggest complaint is that the model we received includes the ubiquitous shiny black exterior. The X610 is also available in white, which would be a better choice if you don't want to see fingerprints all over the system. Thankfully, the Palm rest doesn't have a glossy surface so it's not quite as bad. It's also impressive that MSI was able to make such a relatively large chassis weight just 4.6 pounds. That's still heavier than the MacBook Air, but it's less expensive and larger. Here's our image gallery of the X610, including a profile shot comparing it with the Acer Aspire One 751h - yes, it's thinner than that particular netbook.


Gallery: MSI X610

Based on appearance alone, there's plenty to like with the MSI X610. It really doesn't feel that much heavier than your typical netbook, even though the size is substantially larger. All of the usual features and accessories are naturally present, but they are upgraded relative to what you get with most netbooks. Instead of Fast Ethernet you get Gigabit Ethernet, and likewise you get 802.11n instead of 802.11g. MSI also includes a VGA port, which is standard on all netbooks/notebooks, but they add an HDMI port which is not something you usually find on netbooks. Naturally, the LCD is a lot larger, although MSI sticks with a relatively low 1366x768 resolution.

One aspect of the X610 that we absolutely love is the keyboard. This is not the same springy, cheap feeling keyboard that we found in previous MSI laptops; it has good tactile feedback in the layout is very nice. You get a full size 10-key input, with a layout that matches what you find on desktop keyboards. The only difference is that the 0 key isn't quite as large, due to the encroachment of the nearby cursor keys. It looks like MSI still has an interest all of horizontal space that they could have used around the keyboard, and it would have been nice to have dedicated Home/End/PgUp/PgDn keys on the right similar to other laptops (i.e. ASUS and Dell often use such a layout). Overall, though, we have very few complaints about the keyboard. It even has the control key and the preferred lower left corner (instead of swapping its position with the Fn key).

Another interesting aspect of the MSI X610 is the battery. It's extremely wide and deep as well, occupying a large portion of the bottom of the laptop. However, it's extremely thin -- less than half an inch, not counting the lip that curves up at the rear of the notebook. MSI deserves credit for putting the time and effort into designing a battery casing and chassis that work well together. The battery is a large part of what allows MSI to have such a thin notebook. Rated at 60Whr, it should also provide decent battery life, but as we will see later the discrete graphics (and perhaps the CPU and chipset) appears to diminish the mobility aspect of the X610.

Index X610 Application Performance
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  • araczynski - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    big screen and low resolution = yuck, well, unless of course you wear glasses. Reply
  • Mugur - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    Old 690 chipset? With integrated video disabled and discrete video card? And a weak cpu? Target for this: low power=fail, long battery life=fail, performance=fail (unless compared with an Atom).

    I have an MSI S420 with 14", 1280x800, CeleronM 1.73 Ghz and Radeon Xpress 200m chipset/integrated video. It has only 1.9 kg without the charger (with 3 cell battery - 2h). I can see no difference :-)... I bought it for ~ 400 Euros.





    Reply
  • Equ1n0x - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    Why are manufacturers still making these things with these big screens? Put this in a 12.1" or even better an 11.6" factor with these specs, and it will sell. People aren't going to buy big laptops with lower end specs no matter how light they are - if you are in the market for a large screen PC, you most likely want something performance oriented.

    The 11.6 and 12.1 market desperately needs some PC's with decent hardware (read, decent graphics chips). The last thing we need on the market is another Atom/GMA950 and the last thing we need is a large, slow laptop. We need small and decent for a change, without paying an arm and a leg.
    Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    you mean something like the msi u210?

    i do believe i just blew your mind.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    The MSI U210 has the same MV-40 CPU, but it uses the RS690E IGP, which is an X1270 (or X1250). Needless to say, GPU power is quite a bit lower than the HD 4330, but it's probably a better match for the MV-40. Battery life is reported as around 4 hours - nowhere near the Atom netbook level, but probably 50-100% better performance. Reply
  • Mugur - Monday, October 12, 2009 - link

    Not to mention the lack of 1080p video acceleration (just 720p is working and not always).

    Also the drivers for 690 platforms are not updated anymore at AMD...

    It should have a 780 chipset.
    Reply
  • Mugur - Friday, October 09, 2009 - link

    ...bought it 4 years ago. Reply
  • vlado08 - Thursday, October 08, 2009 - link

    Hi Jarred,
    I'm glad that you've mentioned the POST times.
    For me it just does not make any sense. To have such fast SSDs made form flash chips and OS to load faster than the POST which is a small program written also on a flash chip.
    Something should be done here. I hope that Intel is going again to lead the way and probably every body else will follow. If they want Moblin to load for less than 10 seconds.
    But until then you should ask these questions again and again - Why so slow? How are you going to make people buy?
    And if you give information to us which system has faster POST we will make our choice (our vote)!
    Reply
  • juampavalverde - Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - link

    This people still dont get that OLD CHIPSETS + DEDICATED VIDEO eat more power than NEW CHIPSETS (780/785g or lower speed variants)... This kind of garbage could be an easier sell on a nettop, but a netbook is about low power and mobility, if they can get good enough performance with less power, why keep choosing this kind of junk? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, October 07, 2009 - link

    My personal thought is that MSI made the X600 and people said, "cool but it costs $800 and that's too much." So they took the design and said, "let's do it with an AMD CPU instead to cut costs." What they needed to do was go with an AMD CPU and IGP and ditch the HD 4330. Even then, I'm not sure if they could keep it close to 5+ hours of battery, which is what you really want if you're going for this sort of thin and light design. Reply

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