MSI FX400 Review

MSI FX400 Review

The MSI FX400 is the first laptop we’ve tried out that features the NVidia Optimus technology which basically features a discreet graphics and an embedded GPU like the Intel HD Graphics. Click the link to see full review after the jump.

With a matte finish on the lid coupled with some kind of textured design (which stretches around the unit up to the palm rest), the FX400 looks a bit classy but nothing too huge fuss about. Still, that fixes up the usual problem with smudges and fingerprints.

The full keyboard features chiclet-style keys although they seem to be cramped a bit in the center when there’s still enough room. It’s still comfortable to use even when you’re touch-typing. There’s an additional column of keys on the right side to include page scrolls (Pg Up, Pg Dwn, etc) which can get confusing since the keyboard layout was altered.

The trackpad is relatively wide and spacious, a bit flushed to the left and with left and right clickers distinctly separated. The trackpad has a pimpled surface to give it a better control and there’s a dedicated button just on the top left side to disable tracking.

The 14-inch display screen is bright and crisp but maxes out at 1366×768 pixels. Why most of the big-sized (14 & up) laptops nowadays settle for that resolution is still open for debate.

MSI collaborated with THX for the engineering of the sound & speakers in this system. Sound quality is great and audio is crips though volume is not a little on the moderate side.


MSI FX400 specs:
14″ display @ 1366×768 pixels
Intel Core i5 450M @ 2.4GHz w/ Turboo Boost
NVidia GeForce GT 325M 1GB
Intel HD Graphics
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1
3 x USB 2.0 ports
eSATA port
HDMI port
1.3MP webcam
GigaBit LAN
6-cell 4400 mAH battery
Windows Home 7 Premium

*The specs sticker on the laptop indicates 4GB of RAM (2x2GB) but Speccy shows only 2GB. Looks like one 2GB stick of RAM was removed from the slot. Probably because this is just an engineering/review unit. The ones available has a slightly different specs.

Performance of the unit is good. Windows Experience Index gives the Core i5 CPU a 6.8 sub-score while the NVidia GeForce GT 325 got a 6.0 sub-score on gaming.

There’s a dedicated button on top of the keyboard to change the mode of the system which optimizes movie viewing or 3D gaming. The Turbo button (P1) sits beside the power button in the middle which cranks up performance of the discrete graphics card.

The inclusion of an eSATA and HDMI port as well as GigaBit Ethernet is great but it lacks support for USB 3.0.

The 6-cell battery can do just around 2.5 hours on a single charge when the NVidia graphics is used. It can extend to well over 3 hours when the integrated graphics is used.

There are two configurations available for this model — a Core i5 450M 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 320HDD retails for Php39,995, and a Core i3 350 2.26GHz, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD sells for Php35,995. The unit prices don’t come with Windows 7 pre-installed.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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29 Responses

  1. Wish I could have one…kahit isa wala pa kong laptop :(

  2. Dante says:

    wooohooooo!!! I like this one… better than MSi CX420 that I wish to have this Christmas… weee… This one rocks!

  3. John says:

    Are MSI laptops good?

  4. gringo says:

    nice laptop…. did you try to run the latest games?

  5. yuga says:

    @gringo – just a couple rounds of Starcraft 2.

    @john – bought a number of MSI laptops before. I’d say average but a few high-end ones are good, like this unit.

  6. Charli3 says:

    i should have waited on this one. I bought my msi cx420 a couple of months ago with almost the same price!

  7. Daniel says:

    looks really nice and at great price. THX? wow :D
    good thing here is that there is no OS included yet. price wise.

  8. MarkMon says:

    kaso i think bitin sya sa battery life. 2.5 hrrs is not enough for me :(

  9. scorer says:

    pwede na for starcraft 2 to!

  10. islacom philippines says:

    I still like what I chose.
    Acer TimelineX 4820TG
    Intel Core i5-460M
    ATI Radeon HD 5650 Graphics 1gb
    14″ HD LED LCD
    640gb HDD
    4gb ddr3 memory
    6cell Li-ion Batt
    upto 8hours battery life.

  11. icarus says:

    Si Sam Tsui ung nasa monitor!!!

    Wala lang. Hahaha.

  12. Bangbang says:

    Planning to buy a laptop, my options are that MSI FX400 i3 or Acer 4553G x3 or 4552G x4, already found where to buy an MSI FX400 pero yung Acer wala pa akong nakikita, will used it for internet browsing, movies and online gaming, budget limited to 35kPhp well 35,995 para sa MSI. Kung brand ang basehan most people I asked told me to pick Acer, for some reason they have issues with MSI. Kung specs naman I think both laptop can play any “online” games naman on average graphics setting, but I’ve been using Intel since then kaya siguro I’m more confident with intel, yeah personally I would choose the one with intel kung specs ang basehan yet still acer is cheaper and specs are almost the same. Unang gadget na bibilin ko mula sa sarili kong sweldo sana may makatulong mag decide or maybe other brand to suggest. And please dont tell me to buy a desktop nalang sakit sa ulo ng monthly bills xD


  13. gg says:

    msi has mediocre built quality. un lang affordable tlga

  14. I got an MSI CX420 i5 last August.
    34,000 sa Gilmore.
    So far, walang problema.

  15. tracking system says:

    Impressive review MSI FX400 the laptop really looks stylish and features i like most in the laptop are

    1.3 M Webcam.
    1 GB internal memory.
    Theater Class Speakers.
    Ethernet LAN.
    HDMI Digital Out Port.

  16. Marc says:

    I bought 3 of these. One for my brother, one for my friend and one for my girlfriend. They all tend to suffer from graphical lag spikes when playing games in my experience. (as in game freezes for 1-3 seconds then resumes) I’m not sure what’s causing this… heat? drivers? MSI recommends to flash the bios… but the bios update is not for this issue lol.

  17. chacha says:

    goOd but the keyboard is cramped…hmm

  18. Nice laptop …. Great review … Thanks for sharing — Kathleen :)

  19. Trick says:

    @Marc – yeah mine too. I think the heat is the cuplrit for this problem. I’m planning to buy a laptop cooler, I hope that it will cure this curse. :(

  20. Mark Villegas says:

    Nice gaming laptop.

    San bang stores may available nito? Wala kong makitang nagbebenta online na brandnew eh.

  21. Joshua Lim says:

    I had mine a week ago FX400x Core i5, everything is great for my laptop except that im annoyed by the windows media player because everytime i press the CINEMA PRO BUTTON it pop’s up and after i close it in a few minutes it pops again, i would its connected with it, but does anyone happen to know how i can disable that function…

  22. Manong says:

    i dont trust msi laptops because they have mediocre built quality. msi is only good in making computer components. no offense to msi users but this is true.

  23. goOd but the keyboard is cramped…hmm

  24. satriani12 says:

    any news on the gaming problems? im having them too in all games except dead space 2, very strange being that dead space 2 is the newest game i have

    • AlphaBoy says:

      ^^ Never had a problem with games so far, I used this laptop for Starcraft 2, Ruse, Civilization 5, Etc. It has been doing good most of the time. Just my 2 cents.

  25. I hate the cooling system of MSI, if I’m not mistaken eto ang counterpart ng ASUS K42JA. ASUS K42JA

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