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MSI Readies X320, X340 Laptops To Rival Apple's MacBook Air

MSI is set to become the latest company to unveil a notebook that aims to topple Apple's iconic Macbook Air with a much cheaper price tag (ed: there's actually two of them).

Both the X320 and the X340 share the same chassis which has been described by some as hollow and flimsy although eerily thin - 6.6mm at its thinnest and 19.8mm at its thickest.

The X320 has a 250GB hard disk drive, an Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz while the X340 bumps the capacity to 320GB and uses an Intel Centrino CULV SU3500 1.4GHz processor. The X340 has an HDMI port, which is replaced by an additional USB port in the X320.

They both carry a 13.4-inch LED display capable of showing 1366x768 pixels (much better than the Macbook Air), a four cell battery, Intel's GS45 Chipset, Windows Vista Home Premium, two year warranty, the usual set of connectors and come with 2GB RAM.

The cheaper version will carry a £659 price tag with the X340 going for a whopping £859. That's well beyond netbook price ranges and excludes the £199 external Blu-ray optical drive.

The X320 and X340 will be available in black or white and will be on sale within the next few days. Asus's EEE PC Sea Shell in comparison looks a bargain at less than £370 although it has slightly different features.

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Our Comments

MSI is not Apple and while some reviewers have said that the X340 could rival the Macbook Air, stylewise and based on the material and the finish, Apple's device still holds the upper hand. The Mac Book Air costs £1271 though. MSI will also have a hard time trying to convince customers that this is a proper laptop, not a netbook.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.