To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

MSI X340 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £860
inc VAT


13.4 in 1,366×768 display, 1.3kg, 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500, 2.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

The MSI X340 has a 13.4in widescreen display and a new single-core Intel processor.

It weighs only 1.3kg and is less than 20mm thick. Its slender dimensions, combined with its glossy clamshell design, certainly make it rather desirable. This puts it in competition with the MacBook Air and Samsung X360. However, with some great netbooks now available, it has some serious cut-price rivals, too.

The display is impressive. Its 1,366×768 resolution is a little larger than that found on the Air or X360 and is 70 per cent bigger than a 10in netbook display. Image quality is great, with vibrant colours, and the LED backlight is bright and produces a pure white.

The Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 processor, as the name suggests, has only a single processing core. However, it’s very different from the single-core Atom processor found in most netbooks, with a far larger amount of cache and a quicker frontside bus. Its overall benchmark score of 31 revealed that it’s roughly twice as quick as an Atom N270-equipped netbook across a range of tasks. However, it’s still far slower than dual-core ultra-portables such as the X360.

Like a netbook, the X340 doesn’t have an internal optical drive, and there are only two USB ports. Unlike a netbook, it runs Windows Vista quite happily, so you don’t have to use the ageing Windows XP. It also has a decently sized 320GB hard disk. We tested playback of Blu-ray quality video running from the hard disk. Surprisingly, with its Intel graphics chipset, it had no problems playing this demanding footage smoothly.

The X340 doesn’t have the build quality to compete with more expensive ultra-portables such as MSI’s X360. Its case doesn’t feel nearly as sturdy, and the lid flexes under pressure. We’re not sure how it will stand up to day-to-day mobile use. The keyboard is rather spongy, and the touchpad button is a little wobbly. The X360 is far more expensive, of course, with prices from £1,100 including VAT, but this doesn’t excuse the X340, as we’ve seen better input devices on Samsung’s netbooks. Its four-hour battery life is good for such a slim laptop, however, especially given its Vista-capable processor and 13.4in display.

If looks are all that count, the X340 fares well, with its minimalist design and slender profile. Plus, its faster processor and larger display make it far more capable than any netbook, yet it weighs just as little. It’s just about powerful enough to serve as your only PC and the price makes it a good alternative to more costly ultra-portables like the MacBook Air and Samsung X360, but it’s let down by its input devices. If you’re still keen on this desirable laptop, we strongly suggest you try it before you buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Processor Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500
Processor clock speed 1.4GHz
Memory 2.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 20x330x224mm
Weight 1.3kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 15W
Power consumption active 26W


Viewable size 13.4 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 128MB


Total storage capacity 320GB
Optical drive model N/A
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 2
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SD, MMC
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £860