MSI X340 Slim Core 2 Solo Notebook ReviewMon, Sep 28, 2009 - 12:00 AM
A Closer Look
Here it is, the MSI X340 Slim Notebook! Until we look a bit closer, everything looks pretty standard from here. At the top of the 13″ monitor on the X340 is the Internal Microphone and Webcam with LED. Below the monitor is the standard keyboard with a full-sized touchpad below it.
From this angle you can get more of a feel for how slim this notebook really is. In the front corners we have the ventilators for air flow, and in the front are the status LEDs.
Moving around to the left side of the X340 we have the VGA Port, RJ-45 Connector, and the HDMI connector. To the right and out of the picture is the card reader.
On the opposite side of the MSI X340 you can see the 2 USB ports, the Audio Port Connectors, and the Power Connector. Only 2 USB ports seems a little unusual, but you have to make sacrifices when trying to make a notebook that is this thin. However, as a right-handed person, I would have liked to have seen the USB Ports and the Power Connector on the left side rather than on the right. The power cord interferes with my mouse, depending on where my electrical outlet is, and the same goes for any thumb drives I might use. I may be in a minority on this, but it is a gripe that I have with most laptops.
Speaking of the mouse, here is the one that comes with the X340. I have one word for MSI on this: “Why??” This mouse is sort of neat – it has a retractable cord that is completely hidden inside the optical mouse, but that’s just it – a cord. I can’t say that I know of anyone who doesn’t use a wireless mouse anymore. Even my not-so-computer-savvy parents are using wireless mice, so why not either save the $2 it probably cost to throw the mouse in, or spend a couple of more bucks on the bundle and put in a wireless one? This mouse seems completely pointless to me.
Here, you can see the layout of the keyboard and touchpad. The last MSI computer I had my hands on was a netbook, and the Fn key was in the bottom left corner where the Ctrl key should be. Kudos to MSI for getting it right on this one! In the upper right corner is the power button, and the keyboard is full-size and pretty standard. The keys are softer than I’m used to, and I must say that I really like how it feels to type on the X340. I have one praise and one gripe. Fn+F3 turns off the touchpad. This function is a necessity in my book! I am so clumsy with my palms when I type that I really need a way to turn off the touchpad so I’m not suddenly typing in the wrong spot on the page. My problem with this layout is notice the location of the touchpad. It’s not centered. Not with the notebook, not with the spacebar. Actually, it’s off to the left a bit. For the majority of us who are right handed, this is a little bit of a nuisance. When I am typing and I’m ready to move the mouse, I usually reach down with my right thumb to move it – I often don’t move my entire hand to use the touchpad. With the touchpad being so far off to the left, my thumb won’t even reach the majority of it, much less the buttons. This is a fairly significant design flaw in my book.
On the bottom of the MSI X340 Slim Notebook you can see the ventilators in the front corners again, and here you can get a glimpse of the card reader. I will say that the card reader is tucked in pretty far underneath the notebook, and it is not the easiest reader to use. At the top of the picture you can see the 4-cell battery and the lock/unlock and release buttons.
When you take the battery out, you can see the Sim Card Slot, which is very convenient and practical for mobility internet purposes.