|Name||Ultraportable laptop: MSI U270|
|At a glance:||DX11 support,Second-lightest model on test,Impressive advertised battery life|
|Summary:||A brilliant option for travellers if the battery life claims are accurate.|
MSI’s U270 is based on the same AMD Fusion E-450 APU as Sony’s VAIO Y (VPCYB36KG/B), includes the same 2GB of RAM, and 500GB, 5400RPM hard drive. That means it offers virtually identical processing and graphical performance – good for web browsing and light productivity work, but unsuited to heavy design or creative work.
The body has a bit of a cheap-plastic look to it, perhaps due to the overly-glossy lid. However, construction feels solid and I could find absolutely no issues with build quality. Those with a penchant for piano-black may well find the lid more appealing than I did.
Though the same 11.6-inch form factor as the MacBook Air, the MSI U270 is over twice the volume, and it's the second-thickest model in our 2011 ultraportable laptops roundup at 31mm. On the upside, it’s the second lightest machine in that roundup at just 1.3kg – just 200 grams more than the Air, and 200 grams less than its closest competitors in the weight stakes, the Sony VAIO Y and Acer TravelMate 8481g.
Unfortunately our U270 test model came sans-battery, thanks to trans-Tasman shipping issues and the status of Lithium-based batteries as dangerous goods. Battery life is advertised as an impressive 7 hours. That’s totally conceivable, given the excellent battery life we’ve seen from AMD Fusion APUs in the 2011 roundup, but until we can get our hands on a battery we’ve simply no way to test that. As battery life is such an important issue in the world of ultra-portable PCs, we won’t be assigning the U270 a score until testing is complete.