Wired Review: MSI's MacBook Air Killer Is a Real Gas

Wired: Let's cut to the chase and hit you with the sell: The MSI X340 is a MacBook Air at half the price. Interested? Read on.

Netbook shop MSI has deconstructed Apple's pioneering three-pound wedge and built what is, put simply, an amazingly credible knockoff. Like the Air, the X340 transcends many of the limitations of the netbook world, though it still has a few of its own flaws to contend with.

For starters, the X340 (aka the X Slim) is considerably better muscled than your typical netbook, featuring a glossy 13.4-inch (1366 x 768 pixels) screen, 320-GB hard drive and 2 GB of RAM. Like Apple's ultralight, it's incredibly thin - about 0.8 inches at its thickest -and it actually weighs slightly less than the Air, just 2.9 pounds. The only real departure from the Air's specs is the new 1.4-GHz ultra-low-voltage SU3500 chip, which is based on Intel's Core 2 Solo CPU. The Air offers a full Core 2 Duo, by contrast. Still, the SU3500 ekes a lot of performance out of its mere 5.5 watts of power: The X340's performance wasn't much worse than the MacBook Air's in our testing.

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