The MSI GT660R is a powerful laptop that comes with a high-performance Intel Quad Core i7 CPU and a GPU from Nvidia that gives excellent performance for both productivity tasks and 3D gaming. For a sound $1600-1800, you'll also get 1TB of hard drive space and 6GB of RAM memory, something you usually only see in higher-end desktop PCs.
The GT660R has a sleek, glossy black body with some cut edges and beveled lid to really make it look rough and tough. Along the edge of the lid, there's glowing orange LEDs that can be turned on or off by means of a button on the keyboard near the buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and audio controls. A MSI LED Manager software that comes with the computer lets you further control the lights, allowing you to pulse them with audio and the like. In total, the laptop is somewhat heavy, weighing in at 7.5 pounds and measures 15.6 x 10.5 x 2.2-inches, which still is small enough to fit into a laptop bag, but it is rather thick.
The keyboard is a full QWERTY with a dedicated number pad on the right side of the keyboard. The keyboard is pretty comfortable to use and the keys feel well designed and work well. The shift key under the enter button on the right side is rather small, so that does lead to errors. The keys also have red accents for gaming keyboard shortcuts, such as WASD and the arrows for character movement typical of most games. The mouse touchpad is fairly large, but could've been made slightly larger if MSI hadn't put the chrome accents around it.
The 16-inch display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels, which is lower than full-resolution 1080p for high-definition playback. The screen does have very good horizontal & vertical viewing angles, as well as good contrast and brightness. The webcam atop the display can capture video at a resolution of 1280 x 720 at 30 frames per second, which qualifies as 720p HD.
The port selection on the MSI GT660R is very generous, including two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, ExpressCard slot, and a memory card reader (SD, xD, MMC, MS) on the left side. The right side has the Blu-ray/Multiformat DVD-RW combo disc drive and another USB ports with the audio in/out, headphone, and microphone ports. The back side ports include the power input, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA, HDMI out, and eSATA for expansion.
Some of the other specifications include an Intel Quad Core i7 Q720 CPU that's clocked at 1.6GHz (w/ TurboBoost: up to 2.93GHz) and 6GB of DDR3 RAM memory. There are two, 7200RPM, 500GB hard drives setup in a RAID 0 configuration, which means you get 1TB of potential storage. The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 285M with 1GB of dedicated memory, which can easily play today's latest 3D games without a hitch. There is also built-in Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth. The 9-cell battery can power the GT660R for around three hours, but if you're doing any gaming, you'll definitely want to plug in the laptop.
The laptop comes running Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and comes with a pre-installed copy of Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, which includes slimmed down, ad-supported editions of Word & Excel. There are also a few MSI utilities for system tweaks and performance adjustments included for more advanced users. Not much software comes pre-installed, which we like because a lot of other PC makers include lots of "bloatware" that just takes up space.
MSI provides a two-year limited warranty on this model with one year of complete coverage. There is also phone support provided on weekdays during limited times during the day.