Looking like a prototype from the so far unscreened pilot of Pimp My Laptop, MSI’s M677 Crystal Edition brings the disparate worlds of tech and bling together by embedding 120 Swarovski jewels into the lid of a not too shabby laptop.
Spec-wise it’s not bad with a fast-ish processor, sufficient RAM, oddles of disk space and a large 15.4in screen. But this laptop is more about the outsides, than the innards – finished in gloss black with a circle of glimmering crystals taking centre space on the lid.
Sometimes you’ll need to open it up to do some work, but most of the time you’ll probably want to just gaze at it from afar.
Despite the obvious gimmick factor, MSI hasn’t skimped on the components. The 1.8GHz AMD Turion TL-56 should be more than enough for everyday tasks and although 1GB of RAM isn’t exactly generous it’s still adequate to run Windows Vista smoothly.
The 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics chip has sufficient oomph to run Vista with all the visual bells and whistles turned on and the 15.4in screen is a super shiny model, giving bright and defined colours.
It also runs Vista Home Premium, so you get a few extra goodies thrown in that you won’t find in the Basic edition.
The crystal trim and gloss black lid aside, it’s a fairly basic and bulky design. At nearly three kilos it’s not the sort of model you’ll want to carry about with you all the time.
The keyboard isn’t especially comfortable to type on and the keys feel a little loose. The trackpad is quite close to the keyboard, so you could accidentally more the cursor by brushing it while you’re typing away.
The shiny coating on the display, while improving colours, also increases its reflectivity, which can be annoying if light is falling on it. It also only stretches to a resolution of 1,280×800 pixels making everything appear a bit large on screen.
Battery life only runs to a quoted one and half hours, which isn’t very much time for working on the move.
Processor: 1.8GHz AMD Turion TL-56
RAM: 1GB DDR2
Graphics: 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600
Drives: 120GB hard drive, multi format DVD writer
Ports and connections: 4 x USB, modem, network, 1 x 4-pin Firewire, DVI, S-Video, memory card reader, headphone, line-in, microphone, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
Dimensions and weight: 358x259x33mm, 2.6kg
Battery life: 1 hour 30 minutes
While a Swarovski studded laptop may sound attractive to some, MSI hasn’t really followed the design through on the whole unit. It looks more like a fairly standard machine with a shiny black lid and a ring of crystals bolted on.
Available exclusively from Play.com for £999 inc VAT, it’s not a bad laptop for the money – the specs are reasonable and the performance adequate. It’s let down by poor battery life and it’s a bit on the heavy side for carting around, but if you just want something to do some work on, then it’s a decent option.
Related sites: M677 Crystal Edition at Play.com