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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.