MSI CX480 Notebook Review

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MSI, the Taiwanese electronics company have steadily edged into the Indian market with their range of computer peripherals, notebooks and all-in-ones. Earlier, they had launched the MSI U270 netbook, which was strictly a decent product. Currently, there is cut-throat competition in the notebook segment, but does the MSI CX480 perform well enough to surpass competition? Read on to find out. 

MSI's CX480 Notebook

MSI's CX480 Notebook



Design and Build Quality

MSI’s CX480 has a shiny blue finish on the exterior, as well as on the interior of the laptop, which does look great, but attracts a lot of fingerprints. The left side of the laptop has a power slot, LAN port, VGA port, heatsink, and a cover that houses the HDMI and USB 3.0 slot. The front consists of four status LEDs and an SD card slot. The DVD writer, two USB slots, microphone and speaker slots are located on the right. MSI’s CX 480 is a 14-incher and hence, a numeric keypad is not present. The layout above the keyboard combines the power on button, along with the speakers and five green LEDs to display the current battery charge left. We’re not too sure if the hidden power button is well placed with the design, but that’s more of a personal preference. Acer’s time stamp button is located above the keyboard. 


Putting the HDMI and USB 3.0 slot in a cover doesn’t make much sense and that seems more like a design anomaly than a feature of the product. As far as the build is concerned, the laptop doesn’t disappoint. The hinges for the screen could have been a little better, but besides that the body does seem fairly sturdy. 

A side view

A side view




The laptop runs on Intel’s Core i5-2410M CPU at 2.3GHz. It has 4GB of RAM and a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. It also has a 640GB hard disk and Nvidia’s GeForce GT 520M graphics card. Apart from the specs, it also has the usual features, which include a multi-card reader, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi and 1.3 MP webcam. The CX480 also features MSI’s integrated software, called the Time Stamp technology, along with added hardware shock protection, that provides two layers of data defence.

Time stamp automatically backs up and restores information. The company has also included a light sensor, which automatically adjusts screen brightness and power expended, in accordance with the lighting in the surroundings.

Keyboard and touchpad tactile feedback is pretty good

Keyboard and touchpad tactile feedback is pretty good




The keyboard responsiveness and feedback is good. The trackpad has a shiny bezel cover and is quite smooth. The tilt angle is around 120 degrees, which is below average and most other laptops have a slightly bigger tilt angle. The heatsink is on the left side and that part does tend to get slightly heated up, but that’s barely noticeable. The screen is bright, but reflections and fingerprints do mess up the viewing experience. Media playback is good. The speakers are loud enough and playing back HD content on the 14-inch screen is decent.

Two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port

Two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port



We’ve run a few synthetic tests and the MSI performs fairly well. We've compared it to the Acer Timeline series and below is a performance chart for the CX480. 


Performance Chart

Performance Chart




Battery Life

Battery Eater Pro gave a total runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes in full performance. Like most other six-cell Lithium-ion laptop batteries, the performance of this one is also pretty average and nothing out-of-the-ordinary. 






MSI’s CX480 is priced at Rs. 33,999 and it comes bundled with Windows 7 Home Premium. It has a smaller screen size at 14 inches and relatively slower graphics card compared to the Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG. The price difference between the two is around Rs. 8,000 and whilst choosing, if you want a smaller laptop with good specs, then MSI’s CX480 is a decent buy. 


Continuing in the tradition of the MSI CSeries of laptop computers, the CX480boasts a classic design. The chic yet unpretentiouschassisis black, white, and blue set off by brush metal trim. When you open the cover, you discover that the power button, LEDindicator lights, SRSspeakers, and the ALS sensor are ingeniously integrated inconspicuously into the overall design. The CX480 feature MSI’s own integrated software (Time Stamp technology) and hardware shock protection, providing two layers of data defense. To safeguard against damage due to drops, the hard drive is placed in the safest place in the laptop and then packed in reinforced protection to form a sort of “air bag,” providing solid protection. The CX480 automatically adjust screen brightness and power expended in accordance with the lighting in the surroundings, making computer use easier on your eyes, while minimizing power expended. Function Smart System The CX480 differ from other laptops in that they sport intuitive function keys to make it easier to turn on/off or make adjustments using frequently used functions. (E.g., adjusting screen brightness or volume, turning on/off the webcam, wireless network, mute, and standby). Press the Fn key twice consecutively to quickly and easily change default wallpaper to go with different use scenarios (work, meeting, personal, home). Now, you can personalize your screen to match the task at hand. Power Witness Four LED indicator lights are located next to the power switch to inform you about battery power levels. The design keeps you informed about how much power you have left—four lights indicatea full charge, fewer lights denote less battery power. Power Saving The super extended 6-cell battery provides more than 7.5 hours* of power. Battery Recharges in Half the Time The CX480 recharges twice as fast as other notebooks, reaching 80% in just one hour.

Processor Description

Processor Intel Core i5-2410M


Type DDR3
Speed 1333 MHz
Expandable upto 8GB DDR3

Hard Drive

Inbuilt HDD 640
Speed (RPM) 5400
Format 2.5 inch
Optical Drive DVD Writer

Display Features

Screen Size 14
Maximum Display Resolution 1366 x 768
Panel Type LCD display


GPU Model NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M
GPU Memory (shared) 1GB DDR3
HDMI Port Yes


Ethernet Port (Nos) 1
WiFi Type 802.11 b/g/n


Channels 2


USB 2.0 ports 2
USB 3.0 ports 1 (Optional)
Bluetooth Yes
Built-in Camera Yes, 1.3M
Microphone Yes
Digital Media Reader SD/SDHC/SDXC, MS/MS Pro/HG


Battery (Type) Li-Ion
Battery Cell 6 Cell

Operating System

OS Windows 7
Version Home Premium


Dimensions (W x D x H) 343 x 240 x 31.2 mm
Weight 2.2

Misc Bundled Software

Other Features Multi-Color Choice|#|Shimmering touchpad|#|High-end recessed speakers|#|Hidden power key|#|Rock-solid hard drive protection|#|Seamless Boot-Up|#|Function Smart System|#|Instant Scenario Change|#|Power Witness|#|Power Saving|#| Battery Recharges in Half the Time|#|Mic-in/Headphone-out

After Sales Service

Warranty Period 1


Warranty Period 1

Published Date: Sep 22, 2011 09:23 am | Updated Date: Sep 22, 2011 09:23 am