One of the first notebooks based on Intel’s (s INTC) new Consumer Ultra Low Voltage platforms has run the review gauntlet over at LAPTOP. It’s that thin-and-light MSI X340 that resembles a MacBook Air (s AAPL), but costs around half as much at $899. The 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo CPU didn’t offer as much of a benchmark punch as the Air, but the notebook offers nearly 50 percent more battery life with the trade-off.
Comparing a PC to a Mac isn’t always apples to apples, though: The new platform powering the X340 is more likely to compete against AMD’s Neo (s AMD) which runs the HP dv2 (s HP). When those two notebooks went head-to-head, the X340 earned 1,658 PCMarks while the dv2 fell short at 1,430. The AMD-powered notebook garnered a little more respect and performance during multitasking tests, however.
Even if you’re not interested in the MSI X340, I’d consider hitting up the review anyway. It’s the first one that focuses on what I think will be the next battlefield in the mobile computing market: thin devices that don’t overly compromise with anemic performance. Expect to see plenty of small, light traditional notebooks that offer more power than netbooks, but start to approach their smaller brethren when it comes to battery life.