Let us get started by taking a closer look at the MSI GT640 machine itself.

On the left side, there is a provision for Kensington locks to keep your laptop secure while being left unattended. Beside it we have a RJ-11 port for dial-up connections; built-in 56k modems are becoming pretty rare nowadays though.

The fixed Blu-ray optical drive takes up most of the space on this side of the laptop. Moving more towards the front, there is a single USB port, and four 3.5mm audio jacks.  The pink one is for microphone/line-in connections. What about the other three then? The interesting part is, the other three jacks can be used to set up a 7.1-channel output!

Over on the right side, we have a Gigabit Ethernet port, situated furthest away from the user. The exhaust vent is pretty large; well it has to be large (note the densely-packed heatsink fins inside too) in order to get rid of all the heat from this high-performance laptop.

An eSATA port is present on this laptop. An eSATA connection is especially useful if you have some high-speed external storage such as hard drives connected via the SATA interface on SATA connection capable docks or casings.

A second USB port is found next to the eSATA port.

And finally, we have a 4-in-1 media card reader, an ExpressCard slot, and a mini-Firewire port all clustered together.

 

Popping the tray open, we see two different lenses on the pickup head of the optical drive. 

One of them is for your typical CD and DVD reads and writes, while the the blue-colored lens positioned above that would be for Blu-ray material.

 

Lastly, we move on to the rear of the laptop. It is fairly clean; the power input connector sits beside the HDMI output port and the standard VGA output port.

The protruding ‘object’ on the right would be the high capacity battery. Battery options include a 6-cell and a 9-cell, and this unit we have here comes with the larger 9-cell one. More on battery performance later.