MSI CX620

As a budget laptop, the MSI CX620 does a reasonable job. The inclusion of Windows 7 32-bit and the inferior ATI graphics switching are annoyances, but then for AU$1099, we can almost forgive the shortcomings.


7.7
CNET Rating
7.0
User Rating

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If the CX620 were human it would wear a double breasted wool pin stripe suit, pretend to lunch at Rockpool, but then go on to chow down at McDonald's. Yes, it's another budget laptop from MSI, but this time happens to bring looks above its station.

With grey pin stripes on gloss black for the lid, this near inverts for the interior, with the wrist rest displaying black on silver. The rest is gloss black, with a stippled area below the keyboard that seems like a speaker grille running edge to edge. It's not: the speakers are on the lip, one pointing directly down, the other firing at a diagonal towards the floor. While not optimal positioning, they're not as tinny as some speakers we've heard. They're not great either, with audio sounding distant and muffled.

Hardware

The 15.6-inch, 1366x768 display looks larger than it is, courtesy of the glossy black bezel around the equally glossy screen. The display looked great in full sunlight when set to full brightness — assuming you're not worried too much by the glare.

Apart from the power button there are two small, dedicated shortcut keys in the top right. The first switches to an ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics card for performance, the other to Intel graphics to save battery. At a glance it's impossible to tell which GPU is currently active; you'll need to dig deeper into Windows to find out. We'd love at least a light above the switch buttons that keeps us informed.

It also smacks of first generation technology from ATI; while Nvidia's Optimus technology is becoming smart enough to auto-switch graphics when needed, it also does it seamlessly. ATI's software on the other hand demands that applications be closed before the switch takes place.

The keys — matte black islands amidst gloss black — are spaced out far enough that it feels almost awkward to type, and may take a little time to adjust. The wrist rest offers plenty of room but the bottom edge is sloped and may make for slippage when combined with sweaty hands.

There is notable space between the space bar and the track pad which is fantastic — less accidental movement of the cursor, that can cause Hulk smash syndrome. The track pad is of the same colour scheme as its surroundings, its presence marked by a slight indentation and coarser finish. The first few uses sent a shudder over the body, but wasn't an issue after prolonged uses. LED status lights are displayed beneath the touch pad.

The CX620 jams in an a Core i5 M430m @ 2.27 GHz, 4GB RAM, a respectable 640GB HDD, a Mobility Radeon HD 5470 and a combo DVD±RW/Blu-ray reader. MSI makes use of the rear of the laptop for ports, offering VGA, HDMI and dual USB ports (one of which is combined with eSATA), while the right side adds another USB port, and the left gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, an SD card reader and ExpressCard 34 slot. Wireless includes Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11n, although the latter only supports 2.4GHz — you'll need to buy a more expensive laptop or get a different receiver to get access to 5GHz.

Software

MSI has made a huge mistake by bundling the CX620 with Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, meaning the laptop can't access the full 4GB of RAM its has installed. For a consumer laptop, this is unforgivable. It otherwise continues its tradition of bundling Microsoft Works along with an Office 2007 trial. A Norton Internet Security trial is included, as is Windows Live Essentials (and consequently a Windows Live toolbar in IE), and ArcSoft's Print Creations, Magic-i Visual Effects and WebCam Companion are thrown in too.

Performance

Under stress the cooling fan is louder than we've heard for some time, the CX620 blowing hot and hard. Thankfully because of this, it never gets too warm.

With Intel graphics enabled the laptop returned a 3DMark06 score of 1924, and a PCMark05 score of 5536. You won't be playing 3D games with this particular configuration, but web browsing, office work and basic photo and video editing should be more than adequate.

With the Radeon HD 5470 enabled things improved greatly for gamers, with 3DMark06 hitting 3426. This still isn't an amazing score; the CX620 will be capable of some older 3D games, but generally only at modest settings. The PCMark05 score increased too to 5971, however unless your applications benefit from GPU acceleration in some way, this won't see a large impact on your productivity.

The backbreaking battery test — setting display and volume at full ball, turning all power saving features off and playing back an XViD file — pushed the CX620 to extinction after one hour and 27 minutes with the dedicated GPU, and a slightly more respectable one hour and 55 minutes without. The laptop could no doubt squeeze much more than two hours on Eco battery mode with normal usage.

As a budget laptop, the MSI CX620 does a reasonable job. The inclusion of Windows 7 32-bit and the inferior ATI graphics switching are annoyances, but then for AU$1099, we can almost forgive the shortcomings.

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7
Rating
 

"It is the laptop for careful people"

BirsanP posted a review   
Romania

The Good:High enduring performance and electronics

The Bad:Just awful manufacturing and casing quality

Summarising my opinion for those who are "tldr" types:

Pros:
-Yes, it is truly the best price for a low-mid range gaming laptop.
-Yes, performance optimized(will handle almost everything. Just don't launch a NASA Robot Cockpit Server on it)
-Truly amazingly enduring the dust/harsh usage/temperature changes.
-Common hardwares, which eases for you to find their drivers.
-nice looking.

Cons:
-Bad quiet speakers (worst I ever heard)
-Holds maximum 100 min (of course, it can hold 2 hours if you just sit there and watch it like a fish)
-No other words for it: SH*tty casing and manufacturing. Too elastic(for my friend, melted down in a warm sunny day near the front window)
-Not shock resistant. There are no such measures to prevent damage from falling/impact.
-Very few affordable spare parts available on market.
-DVD player not the best type (sweating with most of the CDs).

MY ESSAY ABOUT THIS PRODUCT:

I use this laptop for 2 years now. I will use very plain language so anybody will understand it. Yes, there are many out there whose english is...not competitive, should I say.

I used it in a really harsh environment. Harsh environment in my vocabulary is not a jungle, or the north pole, fighting with bears. An environment is considered harsh like a college bedroom, combined with the users inability to care about his fine gadgets (me). Never bought a single plus cooler for it. Instead, I played Call of Duty 4 MW2 in bed, on a suffocating blanket for 6 hours in a row.Mr. Laptop Didn't gave a hinch about it. Of course, my legs were sweating, but the laptop was doing pretty fine.


If, in any case those much dust ,and dirt what crusted in it gave a high CPU temperature, I just had to blow into its cooler, suffocate from the dust 2 minutes, and the temperature was back at normal 50-60 celsius.
Throwed it in bags, used it like a rock, typed my homeworks on it like a maniac, never-ever gave a complaint. Bluetooth was working fine, webcam is pretty nice, but SPEAKERS, in the other hand...Well, lets just say, that indisputably the weakest and the most quiet speakers in the planet for a laptop was put in this model. Compared with a whole college arsenal of laptops, definately the worst is this one, regarding to speaker performance. Even my nokia 5630 had cleaner and louder volume than this. So use the speakers only if you don't have earphones or other sound emitting devices, like a horn with a jack plug.

In the other hand, what I hate mostly in it, that this is not a "solid as a rock" machinery. Not even close to solid. In fact, its casing is made of some flexible plastic. Like it would protect a sinkpipe, or something. Just to demonstrate for you, I ask you to try out the following: open the lid, and grip the laptop from either side with only one hand. Practically it will flow through your fingers.

Speaking about durability. Well, for normal use, it is extraordinary. Portable, enduring, reliable and so on. BUT, not shock resistant. At all. It doesn't have velocity sensors like Lenovo Thinkpads -which sense the falling, and shut down every mechanical drive to prevent damages-. I had to send it to service 2 times because of this. It fall out of my hand/bed and the HDD died. Simply gave it up. My only option was to say a prayer over the data on it, burry the HDD in the back of the garden and buy/replace it with a new one.

About abundance and spare parts: Don't expect a huge list of spare parts which will overload your browser to crash upon search for them. In fact, you won't find essential spare parts if you broke it somehow.
For example, i broke my screen (fall out of my hand. Surprisingly, HDD was fine. Display, was not.). That is replaceable for 50 bucks minimum on amazon. BUT, the hinges/brackets supporting it, are not. They are known just for costy services. And as I mentioned before, its material quality is simpy sh*t. These hinges are made from the weakest galvanised iron on the planet. They break instantly.
That's why I don't advise you to use this laptop as a rock.

 

ValyA posted a comment   

MSI laptop service centers in mumbai santacruz (Digi care service center) is not competent to rectify the complete problem. There was an issue with my laptop connector, they have rectified it and i have taken the laptop but after reaching home when i was operating the keyboard it was not functioning, so called the Digicare service center but unable to connect and today i was connected and i explain the issues to Mr Yogesh and he said that we have checked it and then given to you this error might occur then after at your place. How a MSI keyboard stop working after 2 hrs from the time of rectification suprising. I wish there are competent people to rectify the issues or else we have to stop purchasing MSI laptop.

Suggest to have more service center in Mumbai especially in Borivali and competent engineer

Unsatisfied customer
Valentine
9819903582

 

yograj accel posted a comment   

The Good:you are doing a goodwork

The Bad:you are not showing a tips of how to use dual display use?

I WANT TO FIND HOW TO USE DUAL DIPLAY IN MSI CX620 I HAVE ALREADY USE NSI CX620 LAPTOP. IT IS GOOD LAPTOP. PLS PUT THE TIPS OF HOW TO USE DUAL DISPLAY ? ON YOUR WEBSITE PAGE. PLS...........................




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User Reviews / Comments  MSI CX620

  • BirsanP

    BirsanP

    Rating7

    "Summarising my opinion for those who are "tldr" types:

    Pros:
    -Yes, it is truly the best price for a low-mid range gaming laptop.
    -Yes, performance optimized(will handle al..."

  • ValyA

    ValyA

    "MSI laptop service centers in mumbai santacruz (Digi care service center) is not competent to rectify the complete problem. There was an issue with my laptop connector, they have rectified it and ..."

  • yograj accel

    yograj accel

    "I WANT TO FIND HOW TO USE DUAL DIPLAY IN MSI CX620 I HAVE ALREADY USE NSI CX620 LAPTOP. IT IS GOOD LAPTOP. PLS PUT THE TIPS OF HOW TO USE DUAL DISPLAY ? ON YOUR WEBSITE PAGE. PLS......................"

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