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Thread: MSI GS70 Gaming Laptop Review

  1. #1
    rawrnomnom diluzio91's Avatar
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    Jan 2010

    Default MSI GS70 Gaming Laptop Review

    After searching for a new laptop, and almost pulling the trigger on a Razer Blade, I ran across the MSI GS70. This laptop is .85 inches thick, amazingly solidly built, and has the ability to run most games at decent settings.

    My first impression of this computer coming from 13 inch ultrabooks, is that it's gigantic.

    At 17.3 inches (16.5 x 11.3) this laptop will certainly fill your lap and then some. The brushed metal of the lid is a deep grey, nearly black, with a blue tinge. that's difficult to capture with a camera. Along the top there is a strip of plastic that houses the antennas for the laptop.

    Opening the lid of the laptop reveals the aluminium lower chassis, the touch pad, and the SteelSeries keyboard. The deck is sparse, adorned with small holes,and a lone power button.

    Interestingly, the power button has 2 colors, that serve the purpose of informing the user both that laptop is on, as well as informing them of which graphics card is being used.

    When the button is glowing white the laptop is running on the Intel integrated graphics.

    When the power button turns red the laptop is running on its' dedicated Nvidia 765M GPU, which allows it to run most games one would come across.

    The exterior edges of the laptop contains 4 USB 3.0 Ports, 2 Mini Display Ports, 1 Full size HDMI Port, 1 Killer branded Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, a Lock slot, and the power ports.

    The front edge of the laptop contains LED status lights, and a lip to open the lid of the computer. The LED's are extremely bright, and the plastic covering them is resistant to the usual sharpie treatment. To remedy the brightness that would light up my bedroom I placed a dot of black paint on the center of the LED status light, so that just a halo comes out. This is my first of very very few complaints about this laptop, and like most of the others can be solved very simply. You get an idea of how bright these lights are in the picture.

    Finally the back of the edge of the laptop has nothing on it but a very sturdy hinge. The lid lifts on it's own weight, but when it is in the up position it stays put with no wobble. The hinge also conceals 2 speakers, that offer loud clear sound when used in conjunction with the sub woofer in the lower right palm rest.

    Interestingly, the row of holes between the keyboard and the power light aren't for the speaker. They actually allow air to flow through them into the exhaust vents found on either side of the computer. During gaming the laptop gets warm, not hot, when on a flat surface. I don't think it would be comfortable on your lap, but any kind of flat surface would work well.

    The screen has excellent viewing angles, and color, while washed out slightly by default, after adjusting the gamma colors are bright and vibrant.

    I've heard many complaints of the touch pad, and after using the computer on both Windows 8, and Windows 7, the track pad is quite good, I can see people having troubles because of Windows 8's use of a ridiculous amount of side swipe and gestures, but after turning the touch pad to it's basic functionality (which I do with every laptop) and turning on palm check, I haven't had a problem in either OS. The functions I have enabled are : Left and Right click, 1 finger tap, 2 finger tap (acts as right click), and 2 finger scroll.

    The SteelSeries Keyboard is excellent for both typing and gaming, with 1 trouble that I found. The spacebar is very difficult to depress, and sometimes doesn't register unless you press heavily on it. I have noticed that over use the missed key presses have become less frequent, but on a $1700 laptop, even small gripes can be extremely difficult to forgive.

    The colors can be changed, a trick that is old, but still incredibly cool.

    The laptop can be set to a range of colors, and despite having very little difference between blue and violet colors, the effects are interesting. They can be set to swap between 2 colors in a "wave" pattern, attached to the sound output of the laptop, "breathe", or be solid. The keyboard is divided into 3 sections that can be independently set, with a gradient fade between the colors. The back lighting is useful in a dim room, and isn't overwhelming or too bright even in a dark room, which is nice since the brightness isn't adjustable.

    Finally, the real reason to spring for a laptop like this... Gaming performance.


    3d Mark 11 benches below

    And Unigine Heaven benches

    So far I've played Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, Deadpool, Grid 2, and Batman Arkham Asylum, all with settings ranging from medium to ultra (depending on the game), while they ran smoothly, I did notice that settings had to be played with a bit to get the best out of them. The Nvidia Optimus graphics kicked in and out smoothly, without even a flicker on the screen.

    Overall the laptop has done everything I wanted it to do, and the build quality, storage space, and speed is impressive. Windows 8 however gave me several problems, crashing in games, low frame rates, and random fans kicking in. All of these issues mysteriously disappeared when I re installed with Windows 7. I've used this computer for Gaming, Programming, and watching videos, and despite the 3 hour average battery life, this machine has impressed me. The SSD (128GB) is likely responsible, and the 7200 RPM hard drive is large enough to have several games, plus season 8 of Dexter, with tons of room to spare. The best part is that for a 17 inch laptop, the machine is pretty light. You notice it in a backpack, but it isn't a burden, even with the power brick tagging along. For the use that I have for the machine, the full sized keyboard is comfortable, and the 17 inch screen, despite being the same 1920*1080 resolution as my 13 inch Asus Zenbook, the screen is much easier to use due to the larger screen size. I think that if the Gigabyte P35K had been available I likely would have chosen that machine, the same specs with a slightly smaller screen. But with Gigabyte's limited US availability I decided to take a chance on the larger machine. A final note, there is a slight fan noise when they spin up, but in my experience you can barely hear them unless you're at home, in a silent room, with no noise, while working on the machine. Even then the noise is quiet, not detracting from the experience. Finally, the fans angle the hot air up at 45 degrees, allowing external mouse use.

    In my opinion, this laptop fills a niche in the market, and it does extremely well. I have enough faith in this machine that when I travel 3 hours across the state to game with my friends I'm comfortable leaving the desktop at home, and allowing this guy to shine.

    In conclusion, I would purchase this computer again, and in this package and at this price point I can't say I would recommend anything else if you're looking for something portable, but if you're looking for a desktop replacement you can defiantly find more horsepower for the same money, but if you're looking for a thin portable machine with a ton of horsepower, then this is a solid contender.
    Not dead yet

  2. #2
    Water Cooled Stonerboy779's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Re: MSI GS70 Gaming Laptop Review

    Looks like a great laptop and you are a man after my own heart. I cannot stand bright lights on things, I put black electrical tape on things a lot of the time, got a piece on all of my monitors and power strips and I've toyed with doing it to the bloody logo light of my laptop but it does serve a purpose when I use it in the dark.

  3. #3
    Why must hard drives fail together? TheMainMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Re: MSI GS70 Gaming Laptop Review

    Sounds like a great machine! I noticed a lot of similarities in design with MacBook Pros, which is great to see in a Windows package running high-end hardware in my opinion. Little touches like angled vents seem like a small detail until you actually game on a laptop. My biggest complaint with my 17.3" Acer is the thickness so it's good to see all that hardware in a slim package. Thanks for sharing!

  4. #4
    rawrnomnom diluzio91's Avatar
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    Jan 2010

    Default Re: MSI GS70 Gaming Laptop Review

    None of the lights are overwhelming when using the laptop, as the screen is large and very bright, but man... those LEDs were eeeeevil.... black paint and a syringe fixed that.
    Not dead yet

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