Take a quick glance at the MSI X600-055UK, and you'd be forgiven for thinking this 15.6in laptop was MSI's 15in-screen homage to the Apple MacBook Air.

But in the process of adding an extra 2in of diagonal screen space, the MSI X600-055UK is actually an altogether bulkier affair, finally tipping the scales at over 2.1kg. And in spite of MSI's ‘X-Slim' moniker, at 1in thick it's no slimmer than laptops available almost a decade ago.

The MSI X600-055UK is such a monster ultraportable, MSI has even found room to include not just a full-size keyboard, but a numeric keypad to its side.

Powering the X600 is a true Intel Core 2 Duo running at 1.8GHz, which helped the MSI X600-055UK along to a good score of 82 points in WorldBench 6. And MSI has also found space to fit a dedicated graphics card, an ATI Mobility Radeon 4330 - the same as found in the HP Envy 13, for instance.

Provided you don't mind the loud fan noise that inevitably interrupts the fun when graphics are being stretched, you can play a variety of games on the MSI X600-055UK. In our FEAR benchmark, it could run at 23fps at Maximum quality, rising to 43fps at High settings.

For storage and memory, the MSI X600-055UK is well equipped with a 500GB hard drive and 3GB of DDR2 RAM.

Following the recent vogue, the MSI X600-055UK omits an onboard optical drive, allowing for a more sharp and sculpted look to the sides that may fool you into believing it's slimmer than it really is. On the right side lie the power inlet, two USB ports, audio jacks and an SD card slot, while the right side supports both VGA and HDMI video out, plus gigabit ethernet and another USB that doubles as an eSATA port.

That wide, stretched-out keyboard takes wide flat-top keys that nearly touch each other. Like the rest of the ensemble, it's a little plasticky but easy enough to type on. And the large trackpad below this sports some multitouch control too.

Admirers of great screen quality may be a little disappointed to find the all-too-glossy screen, a rather low contrast panel in the MSI X600-055UK, with a 1366x768 native resolution.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

MSI X600-055UK: Specs

  • 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600
  • 800MHz FSB
  • 3MB L2 cache
  • 15.6in (1366x768) 16:9 glossy LCD display
  • Microsoft Windows
  • 500GB 2.5in SATA HDD
  • 3GB DDR2-800 RAM
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB RAM
  • HDMI, VGA
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 1x USB 2.0/eSATA
  • SD card slot
  • mic in, headphone out
  • 60Wh Li-ion battery
  • 392x255x25mm
  • 2165g
  • 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600
  • 800MHz FSB
  • 3MB L2 cache
  • 15.6in (1366x768) 16:9 glossy LCD display
  • Microsoft Windows
  • 500GB 2.5in SATA HDD
  • 3GB DDR2-800 RAM
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB RAM
  • HDMI, VGA
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 1x USB 2.0/eSATA
  • SD card slot
  • mic in, headphone out
  • 60Wh Li-ion battery
  • 392x255x25mm
  • 2165g

OUR VERDICT

The MSI X600-055UK is trying hard to style itself as a thin'n'light ultraportable, but its size, weight and actual performance are more in line with traditional 15in designs. It's quite a nippy design with plenty of storage but the premium price eventually makes it less enticing.

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