on May 10, 2012
The beast inside just screams performance! You won't get any similar 15.6" gaming laptop with these specifications and price. You even have to pay almost double if you get another brand with the same specs!
Screen: excellent Full HD matte-type (prevents glares)
CPU: one of the first laptops to carry the 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge Core i7s - great value right there!
GPU: another one of the first few laptops to have NVIDIA GeForce GTX 600M series (670M on this model) - on this, you will be able to run most, if not, all current games on High settings, even the most demanding games to date.
RAM: 12GB with 1600MHz speed is more than enough to have, and on its current OS (Win7 HP), you can already max out its performance to 16GB (still expandable to 32GB but I don't see the point and the use for now)
HDD: 1 TB = 2 500GB in RAID 0 config is a great plus, boosting the performance and speed of your HDDs to almost double compared to a single setting config.
Sound: the sound system on this laptop is already the best out there, period. The clarity and the crispness of the sounds are very noticeable, and I am playing more music now than ever on this machine.
Keyboard: made by Steelseries, a renowned brand for high-quality keyboards - the backlighting is a beaut, and fully-customizable lighting effects to boot!
Battery life: compared to a head-on competitor (one with an 8-cell only) the battery life of this machine lasts around double than the other - the other averaging 1 hr 30mins vs 2 hrs 45mins on this thing... I couldn't be happier!
Overall, again with specs vs price, this laptop is currently the one with the best value out there across all 15"s. I heard they will release models of this and its bigger brother the GT70, with GTX675Ms and GTX680Ms soon, but that's a different story.
A very happy owner right here!
on March 27, 2013
Maybe I just got unlucky. I've never had a laptop with this many problems.
Out of the box I couldn't use any Windows Live clients because the network card blocked access. A few weeks later, a driver update fixed that. Ok. Driver problems happen.
Then trying to get many games to work properly with the Optimus graphics setup is just a giant pain the ass. And anything DX10 has serious problems no matter what I try.
So then RAID array started failing. And then the USB ports. And now the GPU has started hitting 95C.
I contacted MSI through the warranty website. They told me I had to take the laptop apart and replace the thermal compound under the heatsinks before they would consider warranty service. Of course doing that voids the warranty.
Not the quality or the customer service I expect after buying a $1600 laptop. Will never buy another MSI product.
on June 17, 2012
So, i've had this laptop for over a month now. My desktop was 5 years old, and i needed a new work laptop. So, i was looking for a work and play computer which i have to take home every night. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights i have experienced:
I am a dj, and have been extremely happy with this computer for a few reasons. The sound card is 7.1, it is fast enough to run any audio program i have thrown at it, and the speakers and subwoofer sound very good. I also am a gaming junkie, and have enjoyed BF3 and Civ5 perfectly on this (two of the more graphic intensive games i play). I had to manually switch the discrete card on after the first time i booted up Civ5 and watched it perform only on low settings, realizing that was just the IvyBridge doing work. Regardless, i am happy i waited for the IB. I play games like Torchlight on the plane and in between, and the 4000 does great for the lower end stuff. Even DOTA2, which has poor programming considered, will run just fine on the IB. When you do use discrete, there are really only a few games it cant handle. There is a nice turbo button located just above the keyboard if you want to squeeze an extra 4% computing out of the processors, but its really unnecessary unless you are playing something extremely intensive.
When i first went to Fry's electronics, i was debating between MSi and Asus. I have 3 friends who bought the last ROG laptops and they all had great experiences. I was inbetween; MSi had significantly better guts than Asus for about $100 less; 2 raided 500 gig HD's, a better discrete card, and more memory? I didnt understand why Asus was lacking so much. So, i took a chance on the brand name after doing a little poking around. Since i am disconnecting at least 2 or 3 USB ports every day, and the power charger probably 2 times a day, i did buy an extended warranty for 3 years for $200. I did this before even taking the computer home. Even after this past month, i am not sure if it was money well spent or not. The case is very sturdy, it is very thick (which i like), and it is made of metal and hard plastic. I am uncertain on the soldering of the ports, so if anything goes out i believe it will be that as i use them multiple times per day. I upgraded to windows 7 business, and am very happy. i have had no connectivity problems with my business network, and have had an easier time getting on our domain than the company supplied laptops! they were able to fit a very nice numerical pad on this keyboard and i am thankful for that.
The keyboard is really the worst part about the computer, unfortunately. Actually, not the whole keyboard, just the space bar. You have to hit it in the middle of the bar, or at least where the color lights are on it. anything to the outside of the two bars will not register the stroke even if the button presses down. it is a very attractive looking keyboard and the color changing options are easy and quick to navigate. I typically have a wave rainbow when at home, filtering across the keyboard through 5 colors, and quickly switch to red or blue while at work. I have gotten a lot of comments about how great it looks, which makes me so angry that this space bar can upset me so much!
The wireless card is top notch. It picks up signal better than my previous external wireless adapter for my desktop, and seems to have a stronger connectivity throughout. Only good things so far. It also worked flawlessly when i went to Germany and Italy.
IT. IS. HEAVY. This is a desktop replacement, make no mistake. This is not something you take everywhere with you; it goes from my home desk to my work desk, and not many other places. Still, its better than the old lan party says of a monitor plus a tower, so it beats that. But i would not recommend this to a student who wants to take it to every class to take notes on. Your back will not be happy with you!
One last reason i picked this MSi over the Asus was future-proofing: a maximum of 32 gigs of RAM can be installed as well as the ability to have both harddrive bays replaced and upgraded. The asus was maxed out at 12, and had one HD. A SSD will significantly improve the speed of your applications, so eventually i will take that plunge. But that it my point; i anticipate having this computer and improving it for the next 4 years. I can see the ASUS getting tired after about 2 years or so.
When i started this review, i had originally put 4 stars. After writing, it became clear to me that my only REAL complaint is about the space bar. At the conclusion, i bumped it up to a five. If you can get over the space bar issue, you will love the dollar for value of this computer. Just remember, this thing is meant for 2 places; it is not as a buddy you take everywhere! I am reservedly optimistic about the quality of hardware; it seems like it will last a long time but who really knows? Ive never had an MSi before, but i feel good about it since i got the extended warranty. Ive heard some horror stories about their customer service, so if you get a lemon i would just take it back to the retail store. If i ever do have a customer service experience, i will come back and update.
If you are a gamer on a budget, looking for a solid upgrade, you can feel confident in this guy. The screen looks pretty good, the webcam is good, and graphics are outstanding. I personally HDMI out to a 27" samsung LED when i game, and everything looks PHENOMENAL on it. For work, the screen does more than the trick. I am very happy with my purchase so far, and think others with the same mindset will feel the same.
on September 22, 2012
This laptop has been great so far. Purchased over Summer 2012, it has been reliable and speedy for me. I did upgrade the RAM to 32gb and intend to get an SSD in the near future, but even the stock configuration is amazing. The configurable LED backlit keyboard is nice and so far I am not having any of the problems other reviewers seem to be having. Ran my games just fine at high resolution.
Had to remove "warranty void if tampered with" sticker covering screw on back plate in order to upgrade the RAM and hard drive. I have a good working knowledge of how to perform these basic upgrades. It's my understanding that they will not void the warranty if the PC wasn't damaged during the upgrades, but it still makes me nervous they will use it as a cop-out down the road.
on November 16, 2012
This computer is a great buy, but beware the chassis is somewhat flimsy. Every time I open my laptop I have to press the plastic piece down at the top (controls volume, wireless, etc) because it pops out. It is quite annoying. The plastic piece at the top is also very prone to scratching. I was cleaning it with a microfiber towel and it left minor scratches. I was able to scratch it very easily with my finger nail. Other than that the computer is very fast and equipped to run most of today's common programs. I would recommend it if the first two problems don't bother you. I also recommend backing up your data because the computer ships in RAID 0 (if you bought the model with two hard drives, not SSD). That means if you lose one of the two hard drives due to some malfunction, then your data is pretty much gone. I am able to run very graphic-intensive programs as well as virtual machines with no issues. You will need to update the BIOS (usually by flashing from DOS since MSI doesn't have a GUI installer for Windows 7 - 64 Bit) if you plan on virtualizing. All-in-all it is a great computer for the price.
on January 12, 2014
When the electricity is flowing, this laptop is a wonder. The problem is, I had to send it back twice to get the port fixed for the AC power cord. It kept coming un-soldered. And at 6 weeks back-and-forth to Hong Kong for each time, it gets tedious. Also, buying a spare battery is a chore as MSI itself is usually out of stock and you have to take your chances with fly-by-night operators (like I did) and get a used, shorted battery that doesn't work. My advice, find a brand that has a bit more presence in the market.
on March 27, 2013
Specs don't matter when their hardware is horrible quality, and their customer service is non-existent. I made the mistake of buying an MSI laptop, and I couldn't regret it more. I have to replace it after owning it for less than 8 months because they refuse to honor their warranty. Already the battery needs to be replaced, the webcam and screen were damaged right out of the box, and the keyboard sticks on a number of keys. I asked for help after I first purchased it, and after ignoring me completely for 4 months, they now tell me that I have to pay to fix my computer that is under warranty, and send it away for a month (after I explained that I need it for work, and can't send it away). For this charged repair (despite the warranty), I also have to pay shipping and handling for their poor quality product to be repaired over the course of a month. I can see why they are so poorly reviewed for customer service (they got a 3/10 or "terrible" on a rating site for customer satisfaction). Never giving this company another cent of my money.
on December 2, 2012
I got this computer because my old computer (a Toshiba satellite) couldn't play Star Wars: The Old Republic on it (most likely because it was a fairly cheap $650 laptop that didn't even have a graphics card). This computer, I am happy to say, WILL play SWTOR (and most likely most other new PC games out there, though the only other more graphics intensive PC game I've downloaded is Guild Wars 2).
Both the MSI and my old Toshiba are 15.6" laptops, but the MSI is definitely quite a bit bigger. It seems sturdy for the most part, except I am sometimes worried the mouse pad clickers might break (luckily, I have a wireless mouse I can connect). The MSI also has an extra fan you can turn on (the button is 2 spots to the left of the silver power button on top), which is nice when I'm playing graphics-intensive games like SWTOR. The extra fan really does keep the laptop cool when it is on (though some may find it exceptionally noisy). Also, the backlight is decent, but not nearly as cool as is shown in the pictures (and while they have a bunch of colors, they don't even have white). Another cool lighting feature is that when the laptop is on, the "msi" letters on the cover glow white (not sure if you can turn it off - I doubt it though I haven't really tried).
In the end, this laptop does what I wanted it to do - play graphics-intensive PC games. I highly recommend this laptop to anyone who wants to be able to play graphics-intensive games like SWTOR, but does not want to spend a fortune on a $2,000+ laptop and is not able to carry around a large desktop with them.
on November 29, 2012
So far I absolutely Love this machine!!!
It's exactly what I expected, it's big, bulky' and a bit heavy, but all that processing power more than makes up for it. The built-in speakers and sub sound rich and are amazingly loud and clear for laptop speakers. The keyboard is comfortable and very nearly resembles a PC keyboard in layout, so I don't have to "adjust" my writing when switching between desktop and laptop.
1. 12 GB RAM means I can open Anything and not worry about it getting stuck.
2. 1 TB is plenty for files, upgradable if you need more.
3. The sound is rich and loud.
4. Build quality feels good and solid. Robust enough for hours of gaming sessions at at time
5. Colorful keyboard is a nice perk, plus dedicated buttons for toggling on and off light, over clock, WiFi, etc.
6. When working on office stuff (word, excel, etc. It's totally quiet and battery last a long time for such a big machine.
1. It comes pre-loaded with too much stuff (demo programs), some might like it, I particularly don't.
2. I wish the touch pad was centered, instead of to the side. Again this is just my preference. My old laptop had the pad at the center, I'm probably just used to it.
I'll probably update this review in a few weeks, after I have time to really try it out, but so far, it's more than I was hoping for.
Update on 9/3/2013:
My house got broken into and the computer stolen :(
There is one or two things I can say about it though...
1. I Wish there could be a way to track it. Does anyone know of a way to track a computer with the MAC Address?
2. It got quite hot when playing very graphics-demanding games.
3. The fan would become quite loud, and even the keyboard would get warm after playing for a few hours.
I hear this is because the thermal paste it comes with is not very good, and one can replace it with aftermarket paste for better heat evacuation, but this seems to be a design flaw, since the fan sucks in air from one side and blows it out in another. sometimes the computer is sucking in the warm air it just blew out.
on July 20, 2014
Disappointing service and a failed motherboard make for a frustrating experience. Do not recommend because of major part failure in first few months