MSI is more known for its gaming systems than ultrabooks, so it was a big surprise when the company came out with the Slidebook S20. MSI decided to go with a sliding design for the device, giving it the duality of being both a tablet and an Ultrabook.
However, the question that springs to mind is whether the pricey S20 is good at being both. At first glance, there’s a lot to be excited about the Slidebook S20. For one, it’s a compact 11.6-inch tablet that transforms into an Ultrabook once the display is slid up and the keyboard revealed. Plus, it’s one of the first convertible Ultrabooks that boasts of having both an Ivy Bridge processor and Windows 8, ensuring that the S20 gives users a great touch screen experience. The display screen’s 1920 x 1980p IPS display is wrapped with a high glossed white bezel with the MSI logo emblazoned on it while the back panel is constructed from silver magnesium alloy. Plastic antenna covers for Bluetooth 4, WiDI and WiFi b/g/n are clearly seen.
The S20 also has 4GB of RAM, 128GB mSATA SSD, an Ethernet port, a mini-HDMI output, SD card reader and USB 3.0 connectors. While the design and features of the Slidebook S20 looks good on paper, one develops a different perspective once the device is used. MSI utilized a sliding design for the S20, but it appears that this is a misnomer as the device is quite difficult to slide open and the display screen feels unstable when it’s propped upright. The keyboards on most sliders are quite challenging to use, and the S20 is no exception. One major flaw going against it is the lack of a touchpad or tracking stick.
While this lack might not be noticeable at first, it can easily become a pain once you start working. Of course, this can easily be resolved with a Bluetooth mouse, but it’s hard to imagine that everyone would be amenable to lugging around peripherals like that. Also, the keyboard isn’t backlit and the under panel feels flimsy, so not all key presses are registered. In a nutshell, there are undoubtedly several things to love about MSI’s Slidebook S20. Its exceptional audio and sharp HD display is incomparable.
Price Tag a very expensive $1200 (BHD 455).