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MSI M635 AMD Turion 64 Notebook
By Justin Ong
Category : Notebooks/Laptops
Published by Vijay Anand on Tuesday, 15th November, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars  

MSI M635

At the very mention of notebooks, the first image to spring to the mind for many would almost certainly be that of a petite, lightweight, sleek and sexy mobile computing machine. For those with a fat bank account or the lucky few fortunate enough to have been assigned one such notebook by their I.T department, portable notebooks weighing less than 2.0kg are obviously the preferred models to go for. Aided by the current crop of components for the mobile computing segment, these ultra portable notebooks are fantastic not just for work on the go but are also perceived as a symbol of status within the executive class as well. The asking price for these notebooks may be a little on the high side and therefore putting them out of reach for the majority of consumers, but the return of investment from the convenience, ease of use and the prestige of these expensive devices should easily justify the hefty price tags. Realistically speaking however, notebooks that are sold in huge quantities are the more commonplace mainstream flavors. These are primarily notebooks with larger screens, a larger chassis and typically weigh more than 2.0kg, but because the components that go into these notebooks are the humdrum flavors and not the expensive miniaturized versions, the retail prices of these units are much more attractive and affordable.

As far as value and performance are concerned, slightly older and cheaper Intel Centrino Mobile Technology notebooks are the ones topping the shopping list of price conscious consumers hunting for great bargains. Going down the list are even more affordable notebooks powered by Intel Celeron processors, VIA processors and more recently the AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology, which is the latest technology from AMD that's targeting the value segment wedged between the higher end Intel Centrino notebooks and basically everything else. Going by the benchmark figures from our past two reviews of notebooks based on the AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology, models like the MSI M635 that we're looking at today should once again give its Intel equivalent a good run for its money, especially if we were to compare the list of components against a similarly priced Centrino notebook.

The MSI M635 powered by AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology.

The first thing you should learn about the MSI M635 is that it is a rather hefty notebook that requires a sizeable desktop surface area for comfortable usage. At 2.8kg (including the battery), the mass of the MSI notebook is hovering in the region we would expect of a desktop replacement class notebook. The MSI M635 is in fact categorized as such and this should be taken into account when comparing other notebooks. Other obvious giveaways to its desktop replacement nature are the 15-4 inch LCD panel, full-sized keyboard, a 2.5-inch 80GB hard disk drive and the built-in All-format DVD writer, all of which are enclosed in a very sturdy ABS plastic chassis.

Styling wise, the MSI M635 tries to come across as a contemporary desktop replacement notebook with an overall black tone and a silver border framing the topside of the LCD lid, the keyboard and the touch pad. This is a rather safe color combination for the MSI M635 and should blend well with the décor and layout of most desktops or living room setup. One minor design gripe we had to point out was the rather crude perforations for the stereo speakers, which appeared to be a hasty afterthought on the otherwise decently crafted chassis.

Front View – (left to right: IEEE 1394 mini jack, microphone jack, earphone jack and Infrared port.)

Left Face – (left to right: Left speaker port, power jack, 2 x USB 2.0- ports, RJ-45 Ethernet jack, RJ-11 modem phone jack, All-format Dual-layer DVD writer.)

Right Face – (left to right: PCMCIA slot, 4-in-1 memory card reader, ventilation vent, S-Video TV-out port, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, analog D-Sub VGA port.)

Rear View – (Kensington Slot.)

MSI M635 Technical Specifications
Processor and Chipset
  • AMD Turion 64 MT-34 (1.8GHz processor with 1MB L2 cache)
  • ATI Radeon Xpress 200 platform
Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home
System Memory
  • 512MB PC2700 (333MHz) DDR SDRAM module
  • Upgradeable via 2x SODIMM slots
  • 15.4-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 pixels)
  • 128MB VRAM
  • 1 x 15-pin D-Sub VGA Connector
  • 1 x S-Video TV-out jack
  • Samsung Spinpoint 'M' series (MP0804H)
  • 80GB
  • 5,400 RPM
  • 8MB Buffer
Optical Drive
  • LGE GCA-4080N Dual-layer DVD drive
  • CD-R Write: 24x
  • CD-RW Write: 24x
  • DVD-RAM: 3x
  • DVD-R: 8x
  • DVD-RW: 4x
  • DVD+R: 8x
  • DVD+RW: 4x
  • CD-ROM Read: 24x Max.
  • DVD-ROM Read: 8x Max.
  • 2MB Buffer
  • Agere Systems AC'97 Modem v2147DC
  • Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC
  • INPROCOMM IPN2220 Wireless LAN Card
  • Bluetooth PAN Network Adapter
  • AC'97 Audio
  • Stereo Speakers
I/O Port
  • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 x IEEE 1394
  • 1 x PCMCIA slot
  • 1 x Infrared port
  • 1 x 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD / MS / MMC / MS Pro)
  • 1 x RJ11 modem jack
  • 1 x RJ45 Ethernet jack
  • 1 x Headphone-out/SPDIF
  • 1 x Microphone-in
Special Features
  • CyberLink PowerCinema
  • Slim Credit Card Remote Control
  • Standard: 8-cell Li-Ion battery, 63.36Wh
AC Adaptor
  • Standard: 65-watt A/C adapter
Dimension (W x Dx H)
  • 355 x 255 x 30mm (W x D x H)
  • 2.8kg with 8-cell Battery
  • Primary System Password
  • Administrator Password
  • Kensington Slot

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