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MSI CR620 review

Great value for money is on offer here and a real surprise for a budget laptop

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good performance
  • Great screen
  • Decent usability
  • Connectivity

Against

  • Keyboard flex evident
  • Shiny plastic design collects fingerprints

MSI (or Micro-Star International) is a Taiwanese company that's best known for manufacturing components, but it also builds a range of laptops. The CR620-643UK is from its Classic range and provides both great performance and value for money.

As with the Lenovo G560, an Intel Core i3 370M processor provides the power here. Despite this laptop boasting a faster chip, our benchmarking tests provided negligible results between the two.

If you often work with a number of applications open at once and regularly multitask, then you're going to need the power offered by these Intel Core i3 machines, as neither the Acer Aspire 5336-T353G32Mnkk or Dell Inspiron M5030 test provide enough performance.

The integrated Intel GMA HD graphics card provides enough power for basic multimedia tasks, such as photo editing, and you'll have no problem watching DVDs or streaming YouTube videos.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 234 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 225
3DMark 2003: 3197

Considering the power of the components onboard, the 234-minute battery life is excellent. It can't compete with the Dell Inspiron M5030, but will at least allow you a bit of time to work on the move.

MSI cr620

Connectivity is strong. The three USB ports allow you to connect a plethora of peripherals, while it's great to see VGA and HDMI video outs included. This means you'll be able to connect to both analogue and high-definition monitors, and enjoy your content on the big screen.

Excellent screen

We were impressed by the display and, although the Lenovo G560 comes very close, this laptop boasts an excellent screen. It's almost painfully bright on its highest setting and represses reflections from overhead lighting remarkably well, making it ideal for use outdoors in the garden or park.

MSI has used the popular isolated key style here with some success, but there's too much flexibility in the keyboard for it to compete with the Lenovo G560 on this front – which still has the best typing action. Also the Return key has been cut down in size, making it easy to miss.

Build quality is just as impressive, but a shiny finish has been implemented. This looks great until covered in fingerprints and smears, which it quickly attracts. There's also a gold lined pattern on the lid and chassis, which may put some off.

MSI is really starting to impress us with its laptops. The CR620-643UK may not be perfect – the keyboard, for example, is an issue the company would do well to sort out – but the power and portability on offer, combined with the excellent usability of the screen, make this a true bargain at this price, and one that's likely to last you for quite a while.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
eSATANo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboNo
Product FamilyCR620
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli3-370M
ColourBlack, Silver
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameMSI
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.50 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height35 mm
Width374 mm
Depth247 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesCR620
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Product ModelCR620-i3843W7P
Product NameCR620-i3843W7P Notebook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number00168182-SKU15
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.msicomputer.com
Marketing Information

MSI's concise and refined classic cross-hatch design uses high-tech color film print technology for a dazzling look. The sparkling, scratch-resistant enamel provides a high degree of rigidity. Under different light sources, this finish will emit a multitude of color variations that create sparkling visual effects and evoke a minimalist undertone of taste and style.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Package Contents
  • CR620-i3843W7P Notebook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty2 Year