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 CX700 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £533
inc VAT

A decent desktop-replacement laptop that's capable of playing games. With a large hard disk and powerful components, it's a great choice.


17.3 in 1,600×900 display, 2.7kg, 2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

If you’re looking for a laptop to replace your existing desktop computer, MSI’s CX700 is a good bet.

Its 17.3in screen is significantly larger than the 15.4in displays on most budget laptops. It also has a higher resolution, with 1,600×900 pixels. This gives a fair bit more room on the desktop, which makes working on documents considerably easier.

The screen is very bright, but its viewing angles aren’t perfect and the display had a speckled effect when looked at from an angle. For single-person use, though, it’s fine.

The size of the screen means there’s room for a decent keyboard. The keys are all large and comfortable to type on. They’re a little soft, but you’ll soon get used to them. There’s even space for a full-size number pad.

This laptop has a lot of power. The 2GHz Pentium Dual Core T4200 processor and 4GB of RAM are a decent combination, powering the CX700 to a reasonable score of 49 in our 2D benchmarks. The multitasking test was a little disappointing, due, we believe, to the SiS chipset not supporting dual-channel memory.

While most budget laptops are poor for gaming, the CX700 is actually pretty good thanks to the ATI Mobility Radeon 4330. This managed 14.4fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Turn down the detail settings and resolution a little and playable frame rates are possible.

Situated at the rear of the laptop are both VGA and HDMI outputs. The underside is home to a subwoofer, which adds extra bass to the audio, but not as much as we were hoping for.

MSI includes a massive 500GB hard disk, which is more than plenty for even the largest media collections.

As you’d expect for such a large laptop, it’s quite heavy at 2.7kg. Combined with a battery life of just over two hours, you won’t want to carry this laptop around very often, although it’s fine for occasional use around your home.

The CX700 has a lot going for it, particularly if you’d like some gaming capability on your laptop. With a decent range of components and a large hard disk, it’s our Budget Buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200
Processor clock speed 2GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 40x414x264
Weight 2.7kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 33W
Power consumption active 47W


Viewable size 17.3 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330
Graphics/video ports VGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory 512MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive model LG GT10N
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports optical S/PDIF output


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Works 8.5, Ulead Burn Now 4.5 SE
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty two years collect and return
Price £533

Read more