The world’s thinnest 17 incher.
PRICE $2799 : www.msi.com.tw
Gamers have been promised gaming laptops that are upwardly mobile for several years now, but it’s always been a lie; if a gaming laptop was thin and light, it was slow – if it was fast enough to run games, it was a brute. The MSI GS70 finally brings truth to the promise. With a height of just 22mm at its thickest, this gaming beast actually has the guts to run today’s games. Let’s see what MSI has managed to squeeze inside such an anorexic chassis.
The large 17 inch panel dominates this laptop’s features, and determines the overall size of the rest of the chassis. It’s a good looker, even from wider viewing angles, with colours that pop and solid contrast performance. MSI has wisely stuck with the reliable 1920 x 1080 resolution, yet the pixel structure is very hard to spot. The case is mostly constructed from brushed aluminium, with a very straight, boxy design. The SteelSeries keyboard has programmable RGB backlighting, and feels sturdy yet responsive.
Ditto with the touchpad, though gamers will inevitably use a mouse.
Tucked away inside is a veritable treasure chest of silicon gold. Intel’s i7 4700HQ CPU is a quad-cored, HyperThreaded beast that ramps up to 3.4GHz under load, and it’s been paired with 16GB of DDR3 memory.
Three – yes three – 128GB SSDs have been combined into a single RAID array to deliver a blazing main drive with 384GB of storage space, more than enough for most gamers. Another Terabyte of storage is delivered courtesy of a 7200RPM mechanical drive. 802.11AC WiFi is included, along with Killer’s Ethernet solution. The Realtek audio chip is fronted by SoundBlaster software, and we found performance to be excellent when paired with a decent set of headphones.
The real magic here though is NVIDIA’s new GTX 870M GPU. As our benchmarks show, it’s significantly faster than the 860M, and has the grunt necessary to run today’s games without settling for low detail. However, as it’s based on the older Kepler architecture, it’s not quite as power-friendly as the Maxwell-based 860M, so don’t expect the battery to last for much longer than an hour while gaming. NVIDIA’s new Battery Boost technology can double that, but it’ll
halve your framerate in the process. As a result, the GS70 will need a power outlet for extended gaming sessions, but it’s an issue that is true of all gaming laptops, not just the GS70.
It might be extremely thin, but the GS70 tips the scales at 2.6kg, so it’s still rather heavy. However, it’s exceptionally slim lines make it much easier to carry around, yet gamers needn’t trade performance for portability. MSI is quickly proving itself to be one of the best gaming notebook makers around, and the GS70 is a blazing example of why.
• Still quite heavy
• Plastic chassis
by Binh Phan Duc