MSI Slidebook S20 (11.6-inch) - Slide-out Ultrabook

Launch SRP: S$1599

Performance and Benchmarking

Performance and Benchmarking

As you’d already know by now, the Slidebook S20 is a 11.6-inch Ultrabook that converts into a tablet or notebook form as required. As such, the machine sports components that are found in most top Ultrabooks. There’s a Core i5 consumer-ultra-low-voltage (CULV) processor on board, as well as 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. For the sake of easy reference, we’ve included other similarly sized machines such as the Sony Vaio Duo 11, ASUS Taichi 21, and Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro. Most of these machines are similarly configured and should score about the same (barring the usual variances expected due to slight hardware differences and implementation).

Notebooks Compared
  MSI Slidebook S20 (11.6-inch) Sony Vaio Duo 11 (Core i7-3517U) Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro ASUS Taichi 21
Launch SRP
  • From S$1599
  • From S$2699
  • From S$2199
  • From S$2698
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i5-3337U (1.8GHz)
  • Intel HM77 chipset
  • Intel Core i7-3517U (1.9GHz)
  • HM76
  • Intel Core i5-3317U Processor (1.70GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)
  • Intel HM76 Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-3517U, 4M Cache, 1.9GHz with 3.0GHz Turbo Boost
Operating System
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8
System Memory
  • 4GB DDR3
  • 8GB
  • 4GB DDR3 (1600MHz)
  • 1600MHz DDR3 4GB
Video & Display
  • 11.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS Display (LED backlight)
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS Display
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • 11.6-inch, PLS type, 400 nits
  • Native Resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Tablet Mode (Outside): 11.6-inch, IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080), 10-point touch
  • Notebook Mode (Inside): 11.6-inch, IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080), non-touch
Storage
  • 128GB SSD
  • 256GB SSD
  • 128GB SSD
  • SSD SATA3 256GB
Connectivity
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wireless Lan
  • Gigabit Lan
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wireless Lan
  • Intel WiDi
  • Gigabit Lan
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC support
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • USB-to-Ethernet Dongle
  • 4G/LTE, 3G
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • 802.11a/b/g/n with Intel WiDi support, External cable supports 10/100Mbit/s, Ethernet, Bluetooth v4.0
Audio
  • THX TruStudio Pro surround sound certified
  • Dolby Home Theater technology v4
  • 2 speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1 x mini-HDMI
  • 1 x RJ45 LAN port
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio-out jack
  • 1 x SD card reader
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x RJ-45
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x Multi-card reader
  • 1 x micro-HDMI
  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • microSD card reader
  • 1 x mini VGA port
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x micro-HDMI 1.4 (1080p support)
  • 1 x audio jack combo
Miscellaneous
  • Front Facing HD Webcam (30fps@720p)
  • Front and back 2.4MP Full HD web cameras powered by Exmor R for PC and microphone
  • Digitiser Stylus
  • Symantec Validation and ID Protection Service (VIP)
  • Trusted Platform Module (TCG ver. 1.2 certified)
  • Integrated Camera: 2MP (front) / 5MP (rear)
  • Input Devices: Keyboard (80/81keys), Digitizer Pen, Multi-Touch
  • Camera: Tablet Mode (Outside): 5 Megapixels with auto-focus & 1080p video recording / Notebook Mode (Inside): 720p HD camera
Battery Type
  • 3-Cell, 35Whr
  • 36WHr
  • 49Wh
  • Up to 8 hours battery life (as printed)
  • Li-Polymer 35WH (4800mAh)
Dimensions
  • 302.6 x 196.1 x 19.8mm
  • 320 x 199 x 17.85mm
  • 304.0 x 11.89 x 189.4mm (without keyboard)
  • 304.0 x 21.89 x 189.4mm (with keyboard)
  • 306.6 x 199.3 x 17.4mm
Weight
  • 1.16kg
  • 1.3kg
  • 878g (without keyboard)
  • 1.6kg (with keyboard)
  • 1.25kg (with 6-cell Li-ion battery pack)

 

PCMark 7

PCMark 7 is a benchmark we use to gauge a notebook’s overall performance. The benchmark tests several of the machine's subsystems, especially its CPU, GPU and hard drive. The final score given is a rough indication of how you can expect the machine to perform compared with other similar products. As tabulated above, most of the compared machines here sport similar components, hence the differences are kept to a minimum.

The Slidebook S20 performed to expectations here. The reason why it lags behind the ASUS Taichi 21 and Sony Vaio Duo 11 is due to the processor type used. Both the ASUS and the Sony sport Core i7 processors that are clocked higher and have a larger L2 cache, thus helping them to get the slight edge. The take away here is that while Core i7 CULV processors are slightly faster, most consumers won’t be able to discern the difference during casual use (for which Ultrabooks are designed for) like web browsing, online games, movies or even light photo or video editing. The latter tasks will definitely benefit from a better processor, so it depends if you want to top up a few hundred dollars more for a marginally faster notebook.

 

Benchmarks aside, the MSI Slidebook S20 is one of the fastest notebooks we've encountered in recent times as it's able to start the machine from cold boot in about seven seconds before the system is usable in Windows 8. Wake-up from sleep mode is quicker yet. A system restart is so fast, we actually thought it never even initiated our restart command (when this reviewer turned around to take a sip of water). We got to hand it to the well optimized set of components that come together to make the S20 one of the fastest modern notebooks around - swift and responsive.

 

3DMark 11

3DMark 11 is used to check the graphical performance of the tested devices. The fact that all the notebooks here are using the same Intel HD 4000 onboard graphics makes this benchmark look pretty pointless. Nevertheless, we gave it a go to help readers know that all the tested notebooks are performing similarly. 

Here, the S20 doesn’t perform as well as the Sony Vaio Duo 11 and the Taichi 21, again because of the slight boost they got from their faster CPU clock speeds. This means if you want to squeeze every bit of performance from your Ultrabook, you’d have to go for the Intel Core i7 models. Unfortunately, the S20 only comes in one SKU, and it’s the Intel Core i5 model. However, like PCMark 7, the difference in performance numbers don’t translate to a worse off experience for users. The actual difference is small enough that most users won’t be bothered at all.

In a nutshell, vital performance stats are looking fine for MSI Slidebook S20.

 

 

Far Cry 2

To better translate how the 3DMark numbers churned above relate to most readers, we ran an old but popular title like Far Cry 2 to gauge how these anorexic Ultrabooks are able to handle real world games. We stuck with this old benchmark since their GPUs aren't capable of tackling more intensive titles. Overall, the MSI Slidebook S20's results here mirror that of its 3DMark 11 standing, which is to be expected.

8.0
Design
7.5
Features
8
Performance
8.5
Value
8
Mobility
8.5
The Good
Good build quality
Full HD, IPS display
Battery life
Speedy real-world performer
Most affordable convertible Ultrabook
The Bad
No trackpad or trackpoint inputs
Cramped keyboard
Display vulnerable to damage
Bad placement of power button
Windows button too small