Many years ago, I heard Husqvarna was going to be bringing out a new 40cc saw, the 543xp. As someone who likes that size class for much of the cutting I do, this really piqued my interest. Despite what many folks on the interwebs would have you believe, the 40cc-class saws do fill a niche that the 50cc saws do not directly fill; a 242xp and a 346xp are not direct competitors, they handle and behave very differently. After many years of hoping that Husqvarna would bring the 543xpg to the US, and vacillating on whether to spend $750-800 to bring one here on my own (I just couldn't do it, knowing I'd be spending on porting, too), I decided to buy a non-G 543xp. In December, I ordered one from Spike60 and sent it directly to mweba for some attention right out the gate.
For some info on mweba's work on this saw platform, here's an older thread: https://www.arboristsite.com/community/threads/inside-the-husqvarna-543xp.260309/
I mounted up a 13" NK bar and some 20-series Oregon chain, and put five tanks through this saw on Saturday; it had seen two tanks in Mitch's hands after he built it. All the cutting was on the log table, blocking hardwood up into firewood lengths. At seven tanks through it, this saw flat out rips and seems to still be loosening up. Throttle response is great. No fines made it through or around the mesh air filter. Though I'm presently without any 242xp or 246 saws to compare it to, it handily outperforms those saws from my recollection. Throttle response seems close to my 238se, but power is way ahead. Handling seems to be on a par with that platform, too. It is unquestionably more nimble than the 346xp or 550 (mk1) platform.
I am planning to get out in the woods for some thinning and limbing work in the coming weeks, cutting buckthorn and honeysuckle (so 2-6" material with the occasional 12" trunk), because this thin-and-limb work is where the handling benefits of this size saw really shines.
For people who have complained about the build quality of the plastics on this saw model, I can see what they are saying. The feel to the plastic definitely not the same as a 3-series Husqvarna, which is also different from the feel of 2-series Husqvarna plastic. But it isn't creaky or brittle and appears robust enough, though time will tell. The choke lever looks a bit like a part off a toy saw, but it feels good in use. The kill button is a bit annoying and I bumped it a few times by accident; apparently I brace my right thumb against the saw body on the left side of the throttle grip sometimes, which is not a problem on a 2- or 3-series Husqvarna. Better saw holding technique addressed that issue.
The easy-start starter is obviously unnecessary, but it is actually not annoying at all. I was surprised by that, as other easy-start systems I have tried were annoying. In actual cutting, its added width was a non-issue.
So, the crucial question: is this saw worth $800? Because that's about what it is gonna cost you between the purchase of the saw new and then doing the porting work. I think the answer is a definite maybe: if your cutting is the sort that favors a 242xp, then I think that this saw in its ported form makes sense - it is new and parts aren't NLA. For my usual woods work, this seems like a great choice thus far and if it holds up over the long haul then I feel like it presents a good value proposition. If anyone is interested in this saw but likes red more than orange, you can get it as a Redmax 4350, also.
If your cutting is not the sort that is a perfect fit for the 242xp's skills, then no, you probably are better served with something else - Makita/Dolmar 421 on the smaller end or a 50cc pro saw on the larger end.