MSI X460DX 14" Core i5 Notebook Review

3 thumbs up
Thin–and–light is back. If you have any doubts whatsoever, just take a look at the notebook landscape as it is today. Outside of those monster gaming laptops and desktop replacements that still demand their own massive amount of real estate, most everything else these days seems to be aiming for thin. MSI's lineup is no different, with the company's new X460 and X460DX aiming for a solid balance of power and portability. MSI's X Series should be no stranger to those reading these pages, and the unit here on our test bed certainly appears to kick things up a notch.



The X460DX straddles two of the more popular form-factors today. It's not an ultraportable, and it's not a mainstream 15 incher. Instead, its 14 inch-form factor gives mobile consumers another choice. It's a platform size that we don't think is used nearly enough, and it doesn't get nearly enough attention. That said, MSI has decided to tickle our fancy here, and the internal specifications are just as intriguing as the outside chassis. Let's take a look at what makes this thing tick:

MSI's 14" X460DX-006US Notebook
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Core i5-2410QM @ 2.30GHz
  • 6GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 14" LCD (1366x768); LED backlight, glossy
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M (1GB) graphics
  • Seagate Momentus 500GB (7200RPM)  Hard Drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • 8x CD/DVD Burner
  • 1.3MP webcam
  • HDMI / VGA outputs
  • USB 3.0 x 2; USB 2.0 x 1
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
  • Headphone / Mic Input Jacks
  • 2-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader
  • Non-Backlit Keyboard
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 4.3 Pounds (with 6-cell battery installed)
  • Removable 6-Cell Li-ion Battery (up to 8 claimed hours)
  • 13.35" (L) x 9.43" (W) x 1.0" (H) - (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Price (as tested): $849.99
  • Price (starting): $799.99
  • 1-Year Warranty





The X460DX starts at just under $800, with our test unit ringing up at $850. For that tally, the specifications list is pretty darn impressive. We're guessing that there's not enough horsepower here for this to be a true gamer's machine, but it's leaps and bounds better than what $850 would buy you at this point last year. In fact, it just might be the back-to-school machine you've been waiting for. Thin, light, powerful, and an impressive claimed battery life. Sure looks good on paper, but does it have enough oomph to stand out in our real world tests? Let's find out in the pages to come.

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I do like this MSI X460DX 14" Core i5 Notebook. I did read the review and think it was very good laoptop. I can go with Intel i5 or i7 mobile Laptopp Either will work for me. Very nice Laptop from MSI.

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800 dollars for a laptop that will play any current game? Thats almost enough to steer me away from desktops, as soon as someone figures out how to replace GPUs dying in laptops I'm in.

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"Not bad, though the keyboard should been backlit. MSI is going FTW with lots of laptops models and different price ranges. This one looks nice, I like its style."

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@Optimus I agree the keyboard should be backlit. But for the price I don't think we can expect those type of features considering this is somewhat of a budget gaming laptop.

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I would expect some compromise in an $850. priced laptop,. Not a fan of glossy screens.but a fan of some of the other offerings from MSI lately.what I appreciate the most about this solid review is that there is enough to evaluate the pr and cons with this particular model.The heat ,battery life and some concern for the thin bezel are enough to look at a dif model.and consider spending a bit more if necessary 'cuz i would miss the lighted keyboard as well. Looks much better without the gaudy stickers too !

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It looks like this notebook can play most games. I mean some games take heavily on your processor whereas some on the graphic card. But judging the size of the notebook, it does not look like a notebook for gaming. More of a notebook for High Definition video editing or something like that. I would rather use a regular desktop with similar specs.

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A couple points for those reading this review:

They have recently refreshed this model, and for the same 850, you now get a 2gb GeForce GT 630M which uses the same cores as the 540m, but with more memory you will be able to push better framerates into higher resolutions.

Along with this refresh, the cpu has been upgraded from the 2410M to the 2450M, granting a .2 GHz boost.

Regarding battery life, one thing that was omitted entirely from this review is the inclusion of the Optimus tech in the graphics card, allowing the machine to switch from the rather quick internal GPU to the discrete card. When they ran their test, the discrete card was working the entire time, but in normal situations, the nvidia card only activates when its absolutely needed, i.e. gaming. This in of itself will give a majority of users much better battery-life scaling with reduced loads.

:)

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