MSI X-Slim X370 Fusion Powered Ultraportable Review
Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: In our SiSoftware Sandra tests, the X-Slim X370 stood up to the other Fusion based competitors, and held its own. But that's to be expected, given that the internal specifications of this year's Fusion ratpack are largely similar. The X370 doesn't deviate too much from the formula shown by companies already this year, but it's just more evidence that the E-350 APU is a solid alternative to the pricier CULV laptops of last year. The machine was plenty capable of handling everyday computing chores, as well as HD multi-media playback, a bit of light-duty gaming and a good bit of multi-tasking. This level of performance is bound to satisfy the vast majority of consumers; power users will need to spend more to get more, but at just $600, there's a good deal of power under the hood here.
We're fans of AMD's Zacate processor. What AMD has been able to accomplish with Fusion is to be applauded, and while it took a while for a legitimate Atom contender to show up, we happy now that it's here. The E-350 is a great APU, and the X370 nicely showcases what AMD has worked so hard for. The exterior here is stylish and eye-catching, and while some of the plastics feel a bit flimsy in spots, there are more pros than cons. The trackpad really is best-in-class, and while the awkward keyboard layout took a bit of getting used to, we still prefer it over some of the cramped chiclet keyboards we've dealt with in the past. We also appreciate the full-size HDMI/VGA outputs, and while there's no optical drive, the ultra-slim nature of this machine is hard not too like.
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The X370 maintains the wildly slim motif of past X-Slim machines, but really steps it up on the performance front. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more mobile, more potent Windows laptop right now for under $599, but we will confess that the $550 - $650 notebook market is getting stacked right now. Fusion-based machines are flying in left, right and center, and MSI's going to have a lot more competition in a month or so as well. Is the X370 worth buying? If you like its jazzy styling, yes, but others may prefer Lenovo's more rigid, subdued ThinkPad X120e, given that both machines have nearly identical specifications and price points. It's hard to go up against that legendary build quality, but MSI deserves credit for bringing good all-around performance to a seriously slim machine. And did we mention its top-of-class 355 minutes of battery life?