March 6, 2013
- Budget price for a gaming laptop
- Beautiful 1080p display
- Blu-ray drive
- Above average battery life
- No keyboard backlit
- Small touch pad
The MSI GX60 1AC is a mid-sized, affordable gaming laptop that has a 1080p display, a Blu-ray optical drive, above average battery life and solid performance. It does lack a backlit keyboard and the touch pad is rather small for our liking.
The design of the MSI GX60 isn't too much to talk about but it definitely looks like a gaming laptop. The lid is made of glossy black plastic that does show a lot of fingerprints. The top also features a chrome-MSI logo to further add to the aesthetic. The inside keyboard deck has a brushed-aluminum wrist area that provides some durability. The laptop weighs 7.7-pounds, so it's definitely not meant to be carried around too frequently.
The keyboard is designed by SteelSeries and provides a very comfortable typing experience. The keys are flat and have a tactile feel to them. There wasn't much noticeable flexing and the keys had good feedback when clicked. The Windows key is located to the right of the Space bar to keep gamers from accidentally pressing it while gaming, but for normal use, it takes some getting used to. The keyboard also is not backlit, which was really disappointing.
We found the touch pad to be extremely limited in size (less then 3.5-inches diagonal). Because the display is not a touch screen, using the touch pad for Windows 8's gestures can be a little difficult.
Gamers will be pleased with the 15.6-inch LED-backlit display because it has a full 1920 x 1080-pixel HD resolution. The display also has a matte finish to reduce glare for gaming. Viewing angles were very wide, which is atypical for this type of display. Color quality was very good and the brightness levels were also quite good. As we previously said, this is not a touch screen, so you won't be able to utilize the Windows 8 touch-friendly interface as it's meant to be used.
Connectivity includes three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, mini-DisplayPort, VGA-out, Ethernet, the usual audio ports and a 4-in-1 memory card slot. There's also a tray-loading Blu-ray and DVD+/-RW combo drive. Wireless connectivity included 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. We really like the trio of video outputs for multi-monitor gaming.
Our review unit had a configuration that included and AMD A10-4600M Quad-Core (2.3GHz) CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 750GB 7200RPM hard drive and AMD Radeon HD 7970M graphics with 2GB of video memory. While this AMD chip isn't exactly up to par with Intel's Core i5 or i7 CPUs, it does a good job at 3D gaming considering this laptop's price.
In a PCMark 7 benchmark, this laptop earned a score of 1,850. This score does fall behind other gaming laptops that contain much more powerful components (and also costs much more too). In real-world use, we didn't experience any issues streaming HD video (on the beautiful 1080p display). Gaming performance with today's latest 3D games came in about average compared to other high-end gaming laptops. You won't get the best performance out of this laptop, but you won't be left behind either. Graphics settings in games will have to be dialed down to probably medium levels.
Battery life clocked in at around 4-hours, which is about an hour more than the gaming laptop average. This is probably due to the lower-end AMD A10 CPU and the nine-cell battery.