Top positive review
I doubt you can find another gaming laptop this good
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2018
I have now owned this laptop for about a month. I spent a long while looking for that holy trinity of gaming laptops: thin, powerful, and good battery life. I finally narrowed my choices down to this laptop or the GIGABYTE Aero 15X, but I decided on the MSI because I was more wary of the GIGABYTE brand. My last laptop was probably twice as heavy and had been worn out so badly that the moment it was unplugged, it would die, so this is quite a step up. Unboxing the laptop and setting it up, I was very impressed and found myself wanting to figure out all the quirks and features this thing has. After a month or so of use, here are the main things everyone should know about it...
Pros: Extremely thin and light! I was very happy with the size, which is considerably smaller than my previous HP Pavilion, and probably half the weight. However, despite being light, the weight is proportioned perfectly. When using one hand to open the laptop, the bottom is heavy enough to not be lifted up with the screen.
Design! Not going to lie, the gold bezel is pretty snazzy. It's sleek and looks even spiffier than a MacBook. I also prefer the gold MSI dragon emblem to a backlit one.
Specs! This is my first gaming laptop, and it plays all of the titles I want without any issue. I'm not super picky about all the details, but it's a quality setup. You can play probably just about any of your favorite games on standard or even highest settings no problem!
Speed! This is a beast of a laptop. Maybe it's because I haven't gotten a new laptop in a while, but from a complete shutdown to completely on, it's maybe 10-20 seconds. That's quick in my personal experience. Everything goes from black and dead to 100% in a very short amount of time!
Settings! You can easily adjust most of your settings from Dragon Center; fans, color/display, keyboard. FN will also highlight some easy, quick selections like keyboard colors, opening Dragon Center, disable trackpad, screen display, webcam, etc.
Cons: Keyboard! This is just a personal nitpick, but the font of the keys looks like the 2002 Spider-Man Movie font. The backlit RGB keys are a cool feature, but one I haven't used much so far.
Speakers! I'm not sure if it's just mine, but the speakers occasionally don't work without headphones unless I shutdown and restart.
SSD Size! I got the 256GB version. I probably should have looked into it more, but the 256GB is essentially split in half between writeable date (c:) and backup (d:). So you really only have about 150GB at default. I will edit my review if I can figure out how to change the hard drive partitions, or upgrade the SSD.
Throttling! Once you hit about 30% battery life, a AAA title (in my case, Batman: Arkham Knight) on the highest settings will start throttling majorly. Lots of lag and slow response from the computer. However, the moment you plug it back in, your game will be back to its visually stunning, 60fps self. So far, it hasn't been an issue, but just don't expect to be gaming for 5 hours straight on this thing.
Fans and heat! Thankfully you can choose your options for how loud the fans can be, but if running a AAA title, you'll probably want to set it to "Cooler Boost," which is incredibly loud but keeps your laptop at a decent level of heat (65 C on average). Still, it's a little off-putting when you have your game drowned out by the sound of a noticeably loud whirring of laptop fans.
Overall, I am pretty satisfied with my purchase. $1,800 is a good amount of money, but I do believe it will last me a while and I will get plenty of use out of it. Just be wary of the storage, since you'll either want to get the 512GB model for $300 more, or install 1TB SSD yourself for $250. Most of the things I mentioned I can get over, but this is obviously not THE perfect laptop. You're still getting great value for your money!