MSI intros Core i5-powered ultraportable

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. MSI has introduced a new member of its X-Slim series that packs a low-voltage Core i5 processor instead of a Core 2-derived CULV chip like all the other consumer ultraportables out there.

MSI outfits the X-Slim X360 with a 13" 1366x768 display, a Core i5-520UM processor and accompanying Intel H55M chipset, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 500GB of 2.5" mechanical storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, and a choice of four- or eight-cell batteries (the latter being rated for nine hours of run time).The laptop ships with Windows 7 Home Premium as standard, so users will get to enjoy snazzy Aero effects and media-center features.

MSI quotes a weight of around 1.4 grams with the four-cell battery, but one can probably assume that figure is actually in kilograms—so around 3.1 lbs. Thickness-wise, the X360 ranges from 0.24" to 0.89" at its thickest point.

Looking at the processor specifically, the Core i5-520UM runs at 1.06GHz with a top Turbo Boost speed of 1.86GHz. It features 3MB of L3 cache, four threads, an 18W thermal envelope, and a $214 bulk price tag. By contrast, the dual-core Celeron SU2300 we've seen in some of the nicer consumer ultraportables out there runs at 1.2GHz with a 10W power envelope and a $134 bulk price tag.

Considering the higher CPU price (and performance, of course), we would expect MSI to price the X-Slim X360 at a premium over its CULV laptops. The highest-end Core 2-powered, 13-inch X340 currently sells for $699.99, so the new X360 will likely end up north of that.

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