MSI GE62 6QD Apache Pro Gaming Laptop Review
John Williamson / 5 years ago
A Closer Look
The front portion incorporates a beautiful MSI gaming dragon emblem and understated branding. The small gap between these two visual identifiers is done perfectly and looks excellent. MSI utilized textured grooves on the top panel to add some visual flair and make the laptop distinguishable from other plain non-gaming models.
When it comes to connectivity, the GE62 6QD features a Kensington lock, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB 3.0 ports, Mini Display Port, USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI, microphone and headphone jacks. This huge selection allows you to connect a large quantity of peripherals while reaching the highest theoretical transfer speeds possible.
On the opposite side, there is a DVD-RAM drive, USB 2.0 port, SD card reader and power supply socket.
The Dynaudio speakers are positioned on the front and produce exceptional sound quality for such a thin form-factor. Rather surprisingly, the warm audio response offers a balanced mix and excellent mid-range. Honestly, these are the best speakers I’ve encountered on any laptop and recreates the sort of sound you would expect from a set of desktop speakers.
Moving onto the overall construction, we can see a multitude of fan grills to enhance airflow and strong rubber feet. Sadly, there isn’t an easily removable panel to upgrade the memory, and the entire housing cannot be dismantled without voiding the warranty. The decoupling process involves removing 14 rear screws, then you have to eject the optical drive and unscrew 3 hidden screws. Once this is complete, the plastic section has to be pried open extremely carefully to prevent the plastic mounts from snapping. As a result, make sure you purchase the best specification possible as upgrades cannot be performed by the standard end-user.
Once opened, it’s evidently clear that MSI crammed in the largest cooling setup possible which features dual fans, 4 copper heat pipes, and hefty heatsinks to proficiently dissipate heat. This is impressive given the device’s portable size and potent gaming specification. Also, the 6-cell battery is relatively large and should allow for prolonged usage in moderate daily tasks. On the whole, the construction is neatly laid out and easy to perform fault checking.
A close-up image shows the single 8GB DIMM and additional slot for up to 32GB of memory. Please note, this can only be done via 16GB x2 and remember that any memory upgrades performed by yourself, will invalidate the 2-year warranty. This is because there is a screw obscured by a warranty sticker so MSI can tell if you’ve attempted to access the internals. The M.2 slot is held in position with a single screw, and I didn’t detect any evidence of the fitting being too tight. The system utilizes shielding on the WiFi module, audio chipset and other integral features to improve longevity.
The laptop incorporates a 720P front facing camera to easily make Skype calls, but in an ideal world, I would like to see an integrated full-HD camera which could become useful for video creation. In 2015, 720p is pretty ancient but it’s more than enough to use for standard web conferencing. Moving onto the PLS panel which utilizes a 1920×1080 resolution and excellent colour gamut. Thankfully, the resolution selected works well with the GTX 960M’s capabilities and makes the desktop experience enjoyable without any scaling issues. The panel offers excellent viewing angles, sharp colours and great uniformity. Although, when the backlight is turned under 75% brightness, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between shades of black.
Overall, the touchpad and mechanical buttons are responsive while the large surface area makes it relatively easy to use. I’ve never been overly fond of touchpads, but the GE62 6QD’s didn’t make me instantly scurry off to find a spare mouse. The brushed aluminum design is visually pleasing and creates a textured finish.
The Chiclet-designed keyboard features an astonishing array of RGB lighting effects via the SteelSeries Engine software. As you can see, a button has been positioned to open the software package and make your own unique colour scheme. Unlike many other RGB keyboards, the lighting is bright but doesn’t blind you while trying to focus on the display. The typing experience is surprisingly decent too even if you’re used to mechanical keyboards.
As a touch-typist, it felt comfortable and I didn’t make any major errors after adjusting to the key arrangement. Although, MSI did move the Windows key to the right to prevent accidental key presses during gaming. This works perfectly, but I would personally prefer a dedicated Windows lock toggle button.