A Closer Look
The laptop’s brushed aluminium chassis and sophisticated neutral styling combine in a seamless manner to create a breathtaking aesthetic design. MSI has partnered Portrait Displays to professionally calibrate the machine’s 17.3″ IPS display and obtain the optimal colour reproduction. More specifically, each unit will be geared towards 100% sRGB coverage and should fall within a 1-2% percentile of this target. The colour gamut on this particular unit was excellent and didn’t exhibit any worrying brightness uniformity variation at different values.
Additionally, I couldn’t detect any noticeable backlight bleed or motion blur during frantic competitive games. Of course, the panel’s fairly modest pixels-per-inch rate lacks clarity compared to higher resolution displays. Saying that, the panel’s responsiveness and colour accuracy are worthy of commendation. The laptop also contains an embedded FHD webcam supporting 30fps@1080P. The video quality is good and able to capture footage surprisingly well in low light environments.
Here we can see the laptop’s touchpad which has a large surface area and responds to user input without any latency. Personally, I struggle to use touchpads and usually employ a mouse instead for greater accuracy. Despite this, I didn’t encounter too many problems with the laptop’s touchpad and found it fairly usable for prolonged periods. Another benefit is the matte coating which resists grease remarkably well and helps to keep the touchpad’s finish looking pristine.
The chiclet keyboard is comfortable to type on due to the low actuation force and small travel distance. Also, the spacing between each key encourages you to adopt a more ergonomic seating position which in turn, makes you type at a faster speed. The key lettering is greatly enhanced on this model due to the silver lining print. This allows the RGB illumination to shine through the key caps in a more vibrant way and creates a spectacular appearance. Not only that, it’s useful to improve your vision when typing documents late at night.
Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult to capture the full range of colours which the keyboard is capable of outputting. Rest assured, the lighting is phenomenal and the best I’ve encountered on any laptop.
The laptop’s audio solution is fantastic and able to output a rich, vibrant sound at surprisingly high volumes. MSI has utilised the latest version of DYNAUDIO’s integrated speaker system which produces 50% more volume compared to the previous generation, resulting in an increase over 10dBA. This allows for “authentic fidelity” and is a massive step up from basic laptop speakers you might be accustomed to.
Despite sporting a very power specification, the laptop still manages to maintain a slim profile and is a mere 19.9mm thick. This is almost 9% slimmer than the previous design and greatly improves the unit’s portability. The slim frame creates a more stylish appearance which you’d be proud to show off on a daily basis.
Connectivity-wise, the GS72 6QE Stealth Pro includes an RJ45 port, HDMI 1.4, two Mini-DisplayPorts, two USB 3.1 ports, headphones jack supporting up to 600Ohm devices, line out and mic in.
The opposite side contains two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, DC in, and Kensington lock.
Here we can see the top section which features two distinctive accents on the aluminium finish and the iconic MSI Gaming Dragon logo. Please note, the dragon emblem lights up white once the system is powered on.
The underneath portion is awash with extremely strong rubber feet which prevent the unit from sliding around. Unbelievably, MSI has added a soft, fabric cover to reduce friction and add stability when the laptop is placed on your desk. The felt material is indicative of the laptop’s exceptional build quality and evokes a sense of confidence in the product’s longevity. Please note, removing the bottom cover will invalidate the warranty and shouldn’t be attempted. The laptop can be dismantled by removing 18 screws then gently lifting the back cover and main chassis.
Annoyingly, there’s quite a lot of strong adhesive holding the cover in place and it’s evidently clear that you need a high level of technical expertise to remove the back section. Thankfully, I managed to uncouple the cover after adopting a patient approach. Once again, it isn’t for the faint-hearted and it’s much harder to open than Gigabyte’s competing models.
The laptop adopts a relatively enclosed design philosophy with lots of insulation tape to protect integral components from the elements. As you can see, it’s not a simple process to access the DIMM slots and increase the system’s memory. Clearly, performing any upgrades is tricky and can only be completed by an approved technician. Saying that, the cable routing, shielding, and layout deserve a great deal of praise
The DC power lead is held in position with a cable management clip and velcro tape. This allows for a very clean cable run and you shouldn’t experience any reliability issues even if undue pressure is applied near the socket. Here we can also see the wireless module and SD card reader connected with a strong ribbon cable.
As previously mentioned, the core components are housed behind a strong custom metal plate and impressive shielding.
The Cooler Boost 3 system employs a total of 4 heat pipes and dual fans to actively cool both the CPU and GPU based on thermal loads. I really like the idea of using a foam support next to the heatsinks which hold the bottom cover in position.
Towards the other section of the PCB is an exposed mount for a 2.5″ hard drive. In this unit, MSI decided to opt for an HGST 7200RPM drive to attain good performance numbers.
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