MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
Cambridge Audio Azur 640T
- Easy to set up, easy to use, accurate tuning, attractive and well designed
- LCD screen could have been bigger
A good FM tuner, but DAB support is not yet useful
Price$ 700.00 (AUD)
It seems strange to introduce a digital radio tuner to countries that have yet to fully adopt digital radio.
At the time of writing, there was no full-service digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in Australia or New Zealand. Europe and the US have DAB, but with different standards, broadcast technologies and business models. Consequently, the Azur's strongest feature is yet to be of much use to Australians.
It's otherwise an excellent analog FM tuner, with support for radio data service (RDS; not DAB, but a way of sending messages to enabled receivers). I tested the 640T using our Yamaha 02R96 digital audio production suite through Dynaudio Acoustics BMGA Professional Studio Monitors at the Auckland University of Technology. It was simple to set up and easy to use.
Tuning was extremely accurate, with the excellent sound expected from high-spec digital gear. Naturally, I couldn't find any DAB stations, but the specifications show it will translate DAB signals well, assuming we adopt the standards it was designed for (which looks likely).
It features Natural Contour switching between normal, 'lively' and 'warm' modes to fatten up thin-sounding DAB and for adding depth to FM signals. It has a clean, simple front panel and remote, although for an RDS-capable tuner the LCD screen could have been bigger. There are also inputs for another tuner and coaxial and digital outputs.
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Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
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