MSI's Svelte X-Slim Laptops to Get More Powerful

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After turning heads at CES with its X-Slim laptops Micro-Star International (MSI) is using the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, this week to unveil new versions with a more powerful processor.

From the outside the new X340 machines share the same style and overall slimness as the X320 that debuted at CES but within the computer beats a more powerful processor.

The X340 Pro laptop is based on Intel's new 1.4GHz ultra-low voltage Core2 Solo processor, which should make it more suited to multimedia applications than its predecessor. A second new laptop, the X340, has a 1.3GHz chip. Both have a 13-inch wide-screen display with 1,366 pixel by 768 pixel (WXGA) resolution.

Other features include HDMI and monitor ports, Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional Wimax modules.

At first glance the X-Slim machines bear a resemblance to Apple's MacBook Air -- the slim laptop launched just over a year ago. It's a similarity that MSI admits to but how do they compare in terms of physical specifications?

The MacBook Air measures between 0.4 centimeters and 1.94 cms while MSI's X340 Pro measures between 0.6 cms and 1.98 cms, according to the companies. It's also close in terms of weight but here the MSI machines tips the scales slightly lighter at 1.3 kilograms to 1.36 kgs.

The laptop will be at the forefront of MSI's push to literally make a name for itself. Having spent years making laptops for other companies MSI will attempt from this year to follow in the footsteps of fellow Taiwanese vendors such as Acer and Asustek and sell PCs directly to consumers under its own brand name.

Launch dates for the X340 have not yet been fixed. It is expected to retail for between US$700 and $1,000.

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