MSI CX420 Hands-On: Budget System Sports Snazzy Looks, Switchable Graphics

Even on its budget-minded systems, MSI usually brings something unique to the table. Today, we had a chance to look at several of the vendors new notebooks, including its budget-minded CX line. The series is availablein 14, 15, and 16-inch sizes, but the 14-inch CX420 immediately caught our eye, because of the lovely striped bumblebee-like pattern that appears on its lid and deck. The touchpad, which is ever-so-slightly sunken into its own little canyon also adds a unique design element.

While an exact weight and measurements were not available, an MSI rep told us the notebook weighs under 5 pounds. She also said it would probably have a very affordable starting price in the $500 range. The CX420 comes complete with a Core i3 CPU, 320GB hard drive, 14.1-inch 1366x768 display, Windows 7 Home Premium, and switchable graphics that let you move back and forth between a power-efficient Intel integrated GPU and a powerful ATI Radeon HD5470 with 1GB of VRAM.

In addition to the slick touchpad, the MSI CX420 has the new chicklet-style keyboard that MSI has been adding to all its new notebooks. This is a welcome improvement as the keys are much more responsive and easier to type on than those of previous MSI systems.

We had a chance to do a brief hands-on with the MSI CX420 at MSI's CES booth. Check out the video below to see the notebook in action.


Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.