MSI GT70-2PE ‘Dominator Pro’ Gaming Notebook Review

/ 5 years ago

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A Closer Look – Outside

Sliding the GT70 firstly out if its plastic bag and then the black cloth sleeve, we find yet another cloth cover covering the lid of the notebook. In addition to yet another piece of cloth which sits on top of the keyboard, there is no mistaking the fact that MSI have taken the time to ensure that the notebook arrives with you in exactly the same condition that it left the factory.


Removing all of the protective packaging, we can see instantly that the looks are identical to that of the older generation GT70 and not only that, it is that same as the GT60-2OK workstation that I looked at earlier this year.


Sat at the top of the display between two rubber stops we have a 720p web cam with a pair of small microphones just to the left to give stereo recording capability.


Just like the other two notebooks that we saw previously, the GT70 also comes with a FHD Anti-Glare panel. Beside the 1920 x 1080 display, at this moment in time the option to upgrade to a 3K panel is not around, like it is with the older GT60. That said though and having used the 3K panel on the workstation notebook that I reviewed not that long ago, it is worth the cost, especially if you use the system for more than just gaming.


Once again we find the audio taken card of by Dynaudio with a 2.1 speaker system integrated into this notebook .


Running off to the left of the power button (which once again turns orange to indicate that the NVIDIA GPU is currently being used) we have a line of three hot keys to open up the default media player, enable Cooler Boost where the blower fan runs at full speed to maximise the cooling efficiency and closest to the power button an LED switch to turn the keyboard backlight on / off.


To the right of the power button we have three more hot keys to enable airplane mode, turn the display off (ideal if using an external monitor or when using the system to render a video for example) and finally to open the G-Panel software where you can configure a number of system settings. Two small LEDs follow to the far right for Caps and Num Lock status.


At the heart of the GT70’s controls is a full 102 key Steelseries keyboard with RGB backlighting, giving you the freedom to have the keys lit in whatever colour you like.


Dimming the lights and looking at the lighting, I have to once again say that I love the effect that it has on the GT70 (same as it did on the GT60-3Ok) where its lights up both around the keys and through them with a soft glow.


The touch pad has a nice smooth feel to it with two distinct left and right keys with a nice and large area to work within. Just above the top left-hand corner of the pad (and just out of shot) is a button to disable the touch pad when using an external mouse to stop any unwanted movements occurring whilst you’re playing a game with your palm close to the touch pad. Below the pad and along the front edge of the notebook is a line of five LEDs for the Bluetooth, WLAN, charging, sleep status and also drive activity.


Looking at the left hand side of the system we have three SuperSpeed USB3.0 ports, an SDXC/MS card reader, four 3.5mm jacks for line-in/line-out, headphone and microphone whilst towards the rear of the chassis is a grill behind which sits the cooling system.


At the rear of the notebook we get a second grill for the other half of the cooling setup, three display outputs for VGA, HDMI and mini DisplayPort (which can all be used at once in MSI’s Matrix setup), Gigabit LAN, power and most importantly if you’re at a LAN event – a Kensington lock point.


Along the right hand side things are a lot more simple, with two USB2.0 ports and an optical drive – in this case a Blu-Ray/DVD-RW combo (although this can vary between regions).


Another trend that runs right through the Gaming Series range is the badge that is set into the rear of the screen. Like the Ghost Pro, the dragon lights up in a soft white glow when the system is one adding just that little bit of contrast to the brushed metal effect finish.


On the underside, four feet lift the GT70 up to allow a smooth flow of air to be drawn in through a number of grills that are positioned near key components. A large cover on the underside can be removed (although take note that this will void the warranty) to gain access to the internals where some upgrading is possible.


Power wise the GT70 comes with a 7800mAh, 9-cell battery which should see the notebook through around 3-4 hours of running time whilst browsing the internet or running light workloads. Later on we will see how well this battery does perform during a number of test scenarios.


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