Air-Esque MSI’s X-Slim X340 is an inch-thick notebook PC, sports a fantastic design (MacBook Air-esque), is ultra-thin (0.78-inch) and costs a penny under US$900. Graphics is powered by Intel’s GMA 4500MHD. The X340 comes with 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard disk, gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, a 4-cell battery with an integrated 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI & VGA connections and a SD/MMC media reader.
The X340 sports a Adamo-sized 13.4-inch LCD featuring a 1366 x 768 pixel format. The MacBook Air is just a bit smaller at 13.3-inch and a 16:10 aspect ratio’ed 1280 x 800 pixel format.
HD Viewing If you were thinking that the 16:9 LCDs on the X340 and Adamo are better than the MacBook Air when watching 720p HD content, you’d be wrong. The 1366 x 768 requires the 1280 x 720 pixel HD content to be scaled up both horizontally and vertically. There are no black bars but scaled HD video is never a good idea if you want quality. On the MacBook Air you will get horizontal black bars on top and on the bottom but the 1280 x 720 pixel HD content will look much better as it will not need to be scaled to fit the LCD width wise.
Not Sexy Enough? I think MSI has done a decent job with its X-Slim X340 bringing together a solid design and a great price. But there are some quibbles. I don’t like how the USB and audio ports, even though they are nicely polished, are exposed on the right. The left side is even uglier. Since aesthetics will be one major reason to get the X-Slim X340 I would have thought MSI would at least try to cover these ports. Although the MacBook Air’s connectivity is too limited, I like the seemless design on the MacBook Air much better. Dell does a really good job here too but at the expense of getting to most of the connections a bit more difficult (they are on the back).
If you’re okay with a bit of less-than-ultimate sexiness, the X-Slim X340 brings to the table a thin and sexy design for quite a bargain. Although the MSRP is US$899.99 you can already get it for just $799.99.