For those who don't know, it's a 17" WSXGA with 256mb x700, Turion model from MSI.
(see pics at http://www.notebookforums.com/showth...46#post1536846)
Config: MT-40, 2gb ram @333mhz, 60gb 5400rpm, 6855 bt/wireless
first up - overall feel.
Excellent build - very solid, no creaking. Solid hinges, great feel to the body and very solid for the weight. Palmrest is plastic but feels just right, smooth but has just enough texture to be comfortable without slipping.
Weight - Good news - lighter even than advertised. Used a digital scale to measure, came in fully built (battery, HD, cpu, dvd) at 7lbs, 11oz, under even the 8.1lbs advertised. Awesome weight for a 17" laptop like this.
Build is the normal alloy-mixture, mostly plastic body with the LCD-backing an alloy for strength. You can push through the LCD backing but it's much stronger than any other MSI model (compared to the 1013, 1029 and 1022)
Heat - the right palmrest does get warm but not uncomfortable, even after windows installation it's not that warm. The bottom of the laptop DOES get very warm and can be uncomfortable on the lap. Fan output does go out the right side but is towards the back, leaving plenty of room for right-handed mouse users to move around without the hot air blowing on them like the 1029 has.
It's a fullsize keyboard with numpad, so it's quite different from other laptops I've had. I keep hitting the wrong keys when typing due to the numpad, but i'll get used to it. The arrow keys are VERY small, and the right SHIFT is also tiny. You can use the arrow keys on the numpad, though, if that works for you. Oh, not a hint of flex on the keyboard, very solid and responsive, no clickety-clack either, absolutely great keyboard for typing.
The touchpad (Elantech) is almost perfection. Very responsive and has a nice scroller. Not perfect to me because the left mouse button is a little too easy to push down - might be just this system but on mine, it's too easy to press down. Right mouse button is fine.
Full 1680x1050 of glossy goodness - not that Sony Xbrite, but the nice glossy MSI screen without the over-glare in the light. NO evidence of any light leakage, uniform lighting all around the screen. Best I've seen. Monstrous amount of screen space after the 12 and 14" screens i'm used to. I hate looking for dead pixels because once i see them, i always see them, but on this system there were none. sweeeet.
I hate to repeat, but this is the best sound I've heard out of a laptop - plenty of volume, plus 4 separate speakers (two above keyboard, two just underneath the front lip) and a subwoofer. Just with the 3dmark sound test, you can get a feeling for the stereo sound and the thumping sub from the Realtek HD Audio driver.
Wow, i almost forgot battery life. This is a huge 7200mah battery (9-cell) and comes in at 3:20 at 100% battery. Of course that would be max life, so a DVD will probably cut that down by 20 minutes or so. But still very impressive for a 17" system with a big video card. Will do some battery testing soon.
Haven't messed with the webcam much, but it works ("BisonCam"). It's a 1.3megapixel camera for you cammers, and records video too.
I've seen a few places advertising wireless and bluetooth as included, but only with the 6855 card - once that's in, no problems. Great wireless connectivity, strong signal. Bluetooth is still the BlueSoleil stuff that MSI bundles, but it works fine.
Same ol' repeat-press dealio for MSI, once for wireless, twice for bluetooth, three times for both, four times for neither.
Again, haven't tested yet. (Agere Modem and Lan drivers) But it does show as gigabit LAN and i never use a modem, so it sounds good to me. Both modem and lan are in the back of the laptop by the battery, which is great. Power plug also goes in the back, not the side, another plus.
So far, the fan has continued to run, so I'm assuming it will keep running. It's not loud at all, but some of you have really sensitive ears, so I'll just say that I didn't notice it. Maybe in a very quiet room it would be noticeable, but not for me.
I know you all need benchmarks, but right now you only get stock with the 256mb X700 (mem@400 and core@351).
3dmark03 comes in at 6507, about what was expected, a decent bump up from the x700 128mb card.
3dmark05 at 2867, again a bump up from the x700 128mb version.
RAM - the 1029 had issues with memory downclocking (just ask Unleaded), but at least my 2gb of 333mhz RAM (2x1gb sticks) did run both at 333mhz, so I'm reasoning that the 400mhz would work also, but unfortunately I didn't have 2gb of 400 laying around.
USB ports - Two on the left side near the DVD for you lefties, and one on the right side.
DVI-Out - well, it's DVI out with a VGA adapter - great for external LCDs. Also has s-video out.
PCMCIA and ExpressCard slots - both there, both untested.
I didn't test the memory card reader, mic or headphones. Also has a speaker-out port in addition to the headphones, which is cool. PCMCIA and ExpressCard slots not tested.
Great HD audio, absolutely amazing, built-in speakers are great.
Surprisingly light at 7lbs, 11oz.
Great LCD screen, WSXGA with no light leakage.
Strong keyboard with no flex, plus a numpad.
Elantech Touchpad is outstanding.
Teeny tiny arrow keys and right shift.
Right palmrest gets a touch heated after heavy HD use.
Right side fan output and constant fan on.
No badge for top of LCD, big ugly hole without badge.
Battery sticks out the back about 3/4 of an inch.
Well, that's it for now. questions are great, i usually miss a few things so speak up. I can't recommend any laptop more than this one, and i've had quite a few, including a few high end Asus models.