We were impressed by the MSI PR210 ultraportable laptop we reviewed a month ago and so we were pleased to see that MSI has brought out a new version offering slightly different specifications in a greater variety of colours. And at a much cheaper price.

Now available in blue, pink and green, the MSI PR210 certainly looks more exciting (although we're not completely sold on the garishness of the green model). The updated MSI PR210 features a TK-55 Sempron processor, where the original had a Turion. It also has an onboard graphics setup instead of the discrete graphics card in the original black model.

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With a hard drive that's physically smaller, and a less bulky four-cell battery, the new version of the MSI PR210 is also slightly more compact. However it still fits in a lot of impressive specifications: chief among them a 120GB hard drive and 1GB of DDR2 RAM.

And here's the big upgrade: the all-new MSI PR210 is £100 cheaper than its predecessor. And if you buy it from Morgan you get an extra battery and free USB TV Tuner thrown in for good measure.

We would not advise using the MSI PR210 as a gaming machine - in our tests it achieved a rather low FEAR framerate of 4 frames per second (fps). The original MSI PR210 coughed up an improved (but still measly) 5fps, but then, few ultraportable PCs are much cop at games. The 12in screen does offer a remarkably good quality of display however, so the MSI PR210 will be suitable for watching movies on the move.

The 1.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 processor offers enough power for the MSI PR210 to tackle most everyday tasks, but we weren't overwhelmed by its WorldBench real-world speed benchmarking score of 43 - the original MSI PR210 managed a still ropey 55.

The pay off for such sluggish portable performance is that battery life is very good. In our tests the MSI PR210 operated at full throttle for 125 minutes, making it a good candidate for long journeys.

The MSI PR210 also includes such added features as a 1.3Mp camera, USB mouse, fingerprint reader and Hih-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI).

There's an easy-to-use trackpad with several useful buttons underneath it. The MSI PR210's keyboard is surprisingly easy to type with considering the laptop's tiny frame.

The MSI PR210 also manages to fit in two quick launch buttons and one to activate wireless LAN.

With its slim build the MSI PR210 is attractive and fits into small laptop bags, but it is not the lightest ultraportable PC we have tested.

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Verdict


The MSI PR210 is a neat little number, which doesn’t fall far short on performance or usability. It is enjoyable to use and with the enhancement of a web cam, HDMI output and optional USB TV Tuner it a good multimedia all-rounder. As with all ultraportable PCs, the MSI PR210 can't offer the best gaming scores or raw speed, but we were won over by its compact design, high quality screen and lengthy battery life.

Manufacturer's specifications

We were impressed by the MSI PR210 ultraportable laptop we reviewed a month ago and so we were pleased to see that MSI has brought out a new version offering slightly different specifications in a greater variety of colours. And at a much cheaper price.

Processor & Cache: AMD Turion®64 X2 Processor

Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium

Chipsets: ATI RS690T+SB600

System Memory: 512MB/1GB (DDR2 400/533/667) - Max: 2GB

LCD Display: 12in WXGA ACV (Amazing Crystal Vision) Display

Graphics & Video Module: ATI Radeon Xpress 1270

Audio: SoundBlaster compatible

HDD: 80GB/100G/120GB/160GB/250GB SATA (5400RPM)

Optical Drive: DVD Super Multi/Combo

Webcam: 1.3Mp

Card Reader: 4-in-1 Card Reader, SD/MMC/MS/MSpro

Communication Port: Built-in Gigabit Ethernet LAN and Modem Module; Built-in 802.11b/g WLAN Card / Bluetooth Supported (Bluetooth is optional)

I/O Port: VGA out (15-pin, D-Sub) X 1; USB 2.0 Port X 3; Mic-in Port X 1; Line-in Port x 1/Headphone Output X 1; Modem Port X 1; LAN Port X 1; PCI Express Card X 1; HDMI-out X 1

AC Adaptor: Output: 19V DC, 90W / Input: 100~ 240V AC, 50/60Hz universal

Battery Pack & Life: Li-Ion 4/8 cells

Dimension & Weight: 303X231.5X16-29.5mm; 1.8KG

MSI PR210 v2: Specs

  • 1.8 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Processor TK55
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB
  • 12in WXGA display
  • 802.11 b/g
  • FEAR gaming framerate: 4fps
  • battery life on test: 125 minutes
  • WorldBench 6 real-world speed benchmarking score: 43
  • power consumption: normal- 66W, sleep- 54W
  • 2-year international warranty
  • 303x231x22mm
  • 1.8kg
  • 1.8 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Processor TK55
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB
  • 12in WXGA display
  • 802.11 b/g
  • FEAR gaming framerate: 4fps
  • battery life on test: 125 minutes
  • WorldBench 6 real-world speed benchmarking score: 43
  • power consumption: normal- 66W, sleep- 54W
  • 2-year international warranty
  • 303x231x22mm
  • 1.8kg

OUR VERDICT

The MSI PR210 is a neat little number, which doesn’t fall far short on performance or usability. It is enjoyable to use and with the enhancement of a web cam, HDMI output and optional USB TV Tuner it a good multimedia all-rounder. As with all ultraportable PCs, the MSI PR210 can't offer the best gaming scores or raw speed, but we were won over by its compact design, high quality screen and lengthy battery life.

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