The machine itself is available in two different colour schemes – plain grey or all black, as pictured above. MSI have opted for a brushed metal style appearance but it is in fact plastic, immediately noticeable on first touch.
The CX640 opens up to reveal a rather workmanlike, if slightly dull looking 15.6 inch laptop. It weighs 2.55kg so it is no flyweight. We noticed that in a very short time it gathered a wide array of fingerprints all over it. The lid also groans slightly and we noticed a bit of flex when moving it back and forward. My immediate impression was certainly not positive, it feels like a budget model. There is a web cam and light sensor at the top of the screen.
The rear of the laptop has various vents to help with airflow, and the battery slots into the upper area.
The left side of the CX640 has two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VGA out, GB lan, and the power connector. The right side has the power button, headphone and microphone jacks, two USB 2.0 ports, and a DVD or Bluray optical drive. At the very back is a security locking system.
Just below the screen, there are two speakers with SRS support. The CX640 has actually a rather capable sound system onboard, and it is much better than the majority of laptops we review. It still certainly won’t be replacing a dedicated sound system, but there is a surprisingly good depth from the sound system, with even moderate bass available.