Not so long ago, Taiwanese journal DigitTimes published a report which classified MSI as the leading gaming laptop manufacturer and forecasted huge growth in the upcoming quarter. Even though ASUS queried the data, it’s clear that MSI’s exceptional range of gaming laptops which caters towards different demographics has become a resounding success. Whether you’re seeking a luxurious ultra-slim laptop with gaming credentials or require something with extra horsepower, there’s a product designed for your specific requirements. MSI’s imperious reputation in this sector is thoroughly deserved because their creations feature extraordinary build quality. Not only that, MSI has pushed the technological boundaries to include higher-fidelity audio solutions and attractive RGB lighting. When you add into the frame, MSI’s unique software package which includes really useful applications such as a 12-month XSplit license, it’s difficult to find many flaws.
Historically, gaming laptops have lingered behind traditional desktops in the performance stakes and required the end-user to make significant concessions. For example, mobile variants of various NVIDIA graphics solutions struggled to offer anywhere near the same frame rates and end-users were punished for selecting a portable form factor. Thankfully, the latest Pascal architecture has transformed the technical capabilities of gaming laptops and narrowed the deficit to discrete GPUs. This is made possible by efficient 16nm TSMC FinFet manufacturing process which can easily be integrated into modern gaming laptops. MSI’s marketing banner of “shatter the desktop performance cliche” is correct and explains the huge change Pascal has enacted rather well.
MSI’s organisational skills in preparing for the Pascal mobile launch has paid dividends and they’ve already compiled a huge range of gaming laptops sporting a number of powerful graphics chips. The first model sent for review purposes is the MSI GE72VR 6RF Apache Pro which utilises an Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor, 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 2133MHz and the GTX 1060 6GB. Also, the unit incorporates a 256GB M.2 SSD from Kingston and a secondary 1TB mechanical disk with a 7200RPM read rate to store games and other large sums of data. The laptop’s display measures 17.3-inches and employs “IPS-Level” technology with superior colour reproduction. Other great additions include the Dynaudio speaker system, Cooler Boost 4 technology and Killer E2400 NIC. Priced at £1499, the MSI GE72VR 6RF Apache Pro is a considered purchase and I’m expecting there to be a good performance boost compared to the previous generation.
Packing and Accessories
The laptop’s box is dominated by the company’s iconic Gaming Dragon emblem which looks spectacular and creates a sense of intrigue. Furthermore, the fiery molten lava background complements the product’s theme and provides a great contrast. As you can see, the packaging also contains awards from various publications and a VR Ready logo. Honestly, the box’s aesthetic design is a work of art and the best I’ve seen by a considerable margin. The finish is bold, unique and features a high-quality print.
On the rear section, the end-user is presented with a huge array of information discussing the laptop’s core features. This ranges from the device’s support for PCI-E Gen 3 SSDs all the way to the low latency Killer networking. Even though the packaging proudly mentions the 120Hz 5ms display, this is an optional extra and clarified with a small disclaimer. Saying that, I’d prefer MSI to remove this addition unless the product in question opts for a high-refresh display to improve transparency. Overall, the thematic categories and attractive images act as a wonderful way of learning more about the laptop’s functionality.
After the top flap has been removed, you can see the laptop is held firmly in place and protected with a soft cover. As per usual for most modern laptops, the power adapter is stored in a dedicated compartment to prevent it from brushing against the unit and causing cosmetic damage. This arrangement also improves the unboxing experience and makes it easier to re-package the power adapter just in case any technical mishaps arise.
In terms of accessories, the laptop is supplied with a warranty card, competition notice, recovery instructions, CE compliance booklet, quick start guide, power adapter and AC cord. Instead of relying on optical media, MSI integrated a simple method of restoring the system’s factory settings via a recovery partition. This is more environmentally-friendly and speeds up the repair time when re-installing the operating system.
The power adapter has an input range of 100-240V and rated at 2.43A, 50-60Hz while the output specification is 19.5V, 9.23A.
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