January 7, 2013
- Good value
- 1080p HD matte display
- Strong overall performance
- Well-suited for gaming
- Small touchpad
- Keyboard is not backlit
The MSI GX60 is an affordable Windows 8 gaming notebook that provides excellent graphics performance, surprisingly long battery life and a 1080p HD display. The design could be a little better as it's a little chunky and the keyboard isn't backlit.
For the money, the MSI GX60 is a pretty good value. MSI chose to use an AMD CPU that is still able to compete with Intel Core powered notebooks without that added cost. We really like the inclusion of a Blu-ray player and dual hard drives on such an affordable laptop.
The design of the GX60 is a bit unconventional. It is made of several different materials with a mix of aluminum and matte and glossy black plastic. It measures 15.6 x 10.5 x 2.2-inches (wdh) and weighs 7.7-pounds, which makes it slightly thicker than most other similar laptops. The laptop's lid is glossy black plastic and has four contoured lines that radiate from the company's logo in the middle of the lid.
The 15.6-inch display has a matte finish to reduce glare and has a full 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. We found the display to be brighter than most other gaming laptops in our subjective testing. Image quality was also good while watching streaming HD video as well as Blu-ray DVDs.
The full size keyboard is accompanied by a numeric keypad and has keys that are well-spaced and provide good feedback. Because this laptop is geared towards gaming, MSI chose to omit the Windows key to the left of the Spacebar, which will prevent users from accidentally pressing it while gaming. Overall the typing experience was comfortable but we wished it was backlit.
The touchpad, on the other hand, is very small in size at only 3.3 x 2.8-inches, so you'll most likely want to use an external mouse for most tasks, even for everyday use.
For ports, the MSI GX60 includes three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI-input, DisplayPort-in, VGA-in, Ethernet, four audio jacks and an SD card reader. This is definitely a large assortment of ports and we really liked the array of display inputs as well as three high-speed USB 3.0 ports. Wireless connectivity includes both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is also a Blu-ray reader and DVD+/-RW optical disc drive.
The specifications of the review GX60 that we received includes an AMD A10-4600M Trinity APU (2.3GHz), 8GB of RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7970M graphics with 2GB of video RAM, a 128GB solid-state drive and a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive. Performance with this laptop was really good all-around, including 3D gaming. A PCMark 7 benchmark returned a score of 3,088, which is just below the category average by a few 100 points, but in real-world use, it performs great. Even gaming at 1080p resolution worked well and resulted in more than playable frame rates.
Battery life taps out at about 5-hours of life, which is about an hour more than other similar gaming laptops.
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