MSI's X-Slim X340 Sees 8-Cell Battery, Better Keyboard, Lower Price

Back in the day, it was somewhat unusual for a company to issue revamped versions of popular machines. Instead, they'd simply pop out another model so it was quite clear that an update had taken place. These days, consumers seem to "get" that technology changes frequently, and that models are updated from time to time with new hardware.

Such is the case with MSI's drop-dead gorgeous X-Slim X340. The ultraportable's name hasn't changed, its design is the same and even that attitude is still in place, but a newer edition definitely brings a few twists to the table. As of now, MSI is offering the X340 with an extended 8-cell battery, which is said to more than double its battery life to a reported 8 hours and 48 minutes. Better still, the updated version rings up for even less than the original (it's now $799 versus $899 to start), though we get the feeling that early adopters are probably upset.

Of course, the extended cell does increase the overall weight from 3.4 pounds to 2.9 pounds, but when you're talking about a notebook that lasts for over one-third of a day, that's a compromise we're willing to accept. Oh, and if you'd like to join in on the fun, MSI is offering owners of the original X340 an 8-cell upgrade for $99. Pair that with the original 4-cell, and you've got around half a day of life on two battery packs--not too shabby!

The only other change to the "new" X340 is one that's small yet significant. The keyboard has added rigidity, meaning that key presses won't sink down as far and the whole typing feel just seems more sturdy. We're all for improvements, but getting improvements for less is what it's really about. Kudos, MSI.