MSI X460DX 14" Core i5 Notebook Review

Introduction and Specifications

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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