MSI X460DX Battery Life, Heat and Noise

September 13, 2011 by Charles P. Jefferies Reads (26,299)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 7
    • Usability
    • 6
    • Design
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 6.71
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Heat and Noise
There is a single large fan and exhaust outlet on the left side of the notebook. This setup will be a definite con for left-handed users as the air coming out is toasty. At idle the notebook produces little heat and noise; the low heat is thanks to the Nvidia Optimus technology; it automatically switches to the low-power Intel integrated graphics card when 3D processing power is not needed. The Intel Core i5 dual-core processor is also very good at energy management and produces only small amounts of heat.

Under the load the left third of the chassis gets noticeably warmer, the bottom especially. This is somewhat understandable given the thinness of the chassis. The fan gets louder but does not develop a whine and can be dismissed as background noise.

Battery Life
The X460DX includes a powerful 65Wh six-cell battery. I achieved an excellent 7.5 hours of battery life during our standard battery run down test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds). The Nvidia Optimus technology helps keep power consumption to a minimum; it allows the notebook to automatically switch to the power-sipping integrated Intel graphics chip when 3D processing power is not needed.

Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):

Conclusion
The MSI X460DX is an all-around solid portable multimedia notebook. It did well throughout our testing: the build quality is above average, the keyboard and touchpad are good, it delivers more than 7.5 hours of battery life and the design looks sleek. Things we didn’t like include the excessive use of glossy plastic and less-than-stellar speakers. A higher resolution screen would have been nice, but that is wishful thinking these days.

We can safely give the MSI X460DX our recommendation for shoppers looking for a portable notebook with plenty of multimedia power.

Pros:

  • Almost 8 hours of battery life
  • Thin and light design
  • Good performance
  • Good keyboard and touchpad

Cons:

  • Overuse of glossy plastic
  • Low screen resolution


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