MSI, the Taiwanese electronics company have steadily edged into the Indian market with their range of computer peripherals, notebooks and all-in-ones. Earlier, they had launched the MSI U270 netbook, which was strictly a decent product. Currently, there is cut-throat competition in the notebook segment, but does the MSI CX480 perform well enough to surpass competition? Read on to find out. 

MSI's CX480 Notebook

MSI's CX480 Notebook

Design and Build Quality

MSI’s CX480 has a shiny blue finish on the exterior, as well as on the interior of the laptop, which does look great, but attracts a lot of fingerprints. The left side of the laptop has a power slot, LAN port, VGA port, heatsink, and a cover that houses the HDMI and USB 3.0 slot. The front consists of four status LEDs and an SD card slot. The DVD writer, two USB slots, microphone and speaker slots are located on the right. MSI’s CX 480 is a 14-incher and hence, a numeric keypad is not present. The layout above the keyboard combines the power on button, along with the speakers and five green LEDs to display the current battery charge left. We’re not too sure if the hidden power button is well placed with the design, but that’s more of a personal preference. Acer’s time stamp button is located above the keyboard. 

Putting the HDMI and USB 3.0 slot in a cover doesn’t make much sense and that seems more like a design anomaly than a feature of the product. As far as the build is concerned, the laptop doesn’t disappoint. The hinges for the screen could have been a little better, but besides that the body does seem fairly sturdy. 

A side view

A side view

Features

The laptop runs on Intel’s Core i5-2410M CPU at 2.3GHz. It has 4GB of RAM and a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. It also has a 640GB hard disk and Nvidia’s GeForce GT 520M graphics card. Apart from the specs, it also has the usual features, which include a multi-card reader, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and 1.3 MP webcam. The CX480 also features MSI’s integrated software, called the Time Stamp technology, along with added hardware shock protection, that provides two layers of data defence.

Time stamp automatically backs up and restores information. The company has also included a light sensor, which automatically adjusts screen brightness and power expended, in accordance with the lighting in the surroundings.

Keyboard and touchpad tactile feedback is pretty good

Keyboard and touchpad tactile feedback is pretty good

Performance

The keyboard responsiveness and feedback is good. The trackpad has a shiny bezel cover and is quite smooth. The tilt angle is around 120 degrees, which is below average and most other laptops have a slightly bigger tilt angle. The heatsink is on the left side and that part does tend to get slightly heated up, but that’s barely noticeable. The screen is bright, but reflections and fingerprints do mess up the viewing experience. Media playback is good. The speakers are loud enough and playing back HD content on the 14-inch screen is decent.

Two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port

Two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port

We’ve run a few synthetic tests and the MSI performs fairly well. We've compared it to the Acer Timeline series and below is a performance chart for the CX480. 

Performance Chart

Performance Chart

Battery Life

Battery Eater Pro gave a total runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes in full performance. Like most other six-cell Lithium-ion laptop batteries, the performance of this one is also pretty average and nothing out-of-the-ordinary. 

Gallery

Gallery

Verdict

MSI’s CX480 is priced at Rs. 33,999 and it comes bundled with Windows 7 Home Premium. It has a smaller screen size at 14 inches and relatively slower graphics card compared to the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG. The price difference between the two is around Rs. 8,000 and whilst choosing, if you want a smaller laptop with good specs, then MSI’s CX480 is a decent buy. 

Publish date: September 22, 2011 9:23 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:32 pm

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