The GX610-019UK (£699 inc. VAT) is part of MSI's latest laptop range. It uses an AMD rather than Intel chipset, but it provides strong gaming performance and mobility.
The glossy chassis adds style, but quickly attracts fingerprints. A microfibre cleaning cloth is included for buffing away smudges. Its 2.8kg weight and 189-minute battery life provide strong mobility, making for an effective travel partner.
The keyboard is well made and comfortable to use. However, keys on the right side of the board have been cramped to make room for a full numeric keypad for data input use. As a result, the smaller keys can be fiddly to access and cause typing errors when working quickly.
The 15.4-inch screen is both bright and colourful. Office work, photos and DVDs look great, and make the MSI suitable for mobile entertainment. An integrated camera above the screen also makes it easy to take photos or record video for online instant messaging.
Graphics power is strong, and ideal for gaming and media editing. High-definition (HD) video can be played directly through the graphics card rather than the CPU for smoother playback. An HDMI port also allows you to easily connect to external HD screens.
The AMD processor means far lower performance than its rivals. While it is a dual-core CPU, we saw noticeable lag when running multiple applications. This won't affect basic use, but is best avoided if high-performance is desired.
Storage is average, but ample for home use. The 120GB hard drive will store all your work files, music and photos, and won't be quickly filled. The built-in DVD rewriter and 4-in-1 media card reader can be used to back up files and share data with cameras and PDAs.
Strong network connectivity when on the move or at home is provided by integrated 802.11g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet. Bluetooth also lets you wirelessly connect external peripherals.
A real benefit here is the two-year warranty MSI includes as standard. Protecting you when travelling abroad, the laptop will be collected and returned within the first year and all parts and labour cover is included for both years.
Despite low office performance, the HD compatibility, 3D power and strong mobility of the MSI GX610-019UK set it apart from its peers. Add its international warranty cover and you've got a laptop that is a good choice for multimedia users and travellers.