As gaming laptops go, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro is state of the art.
This 15.6-inch laptop comes with the latest advances in PC hardware, such as Intel's new sixth-generation Skylake processors and a solid-state drive (SSD) faster than anything I have seen. Also, many of the components in this laptop were launched only in the past few months.
The only exception to its stellar specifications: the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics chip on board, which is not the latest or greatest.
To be fair, the 970M produces above-average performance for most games - for instance, Crysis 3 was playable at around 43 frames per second at Very High setting. But this graphics chip is not the best.
MSI probably chose the 970M for this laptop because it could function within the notebook's slim 2kg chassis without overheating. Yes, you can carry this gaming laptop on your daily commute without breaking your back.
Battery life is usually the bane of powerful gaming laptops and the MSI, which lasted just 1.5 hours in our video-loop battery test, suffers from this too.
The MSI aced our storage speed test. Its SSD managed a sequential read speed of 1,587MBps. This is the fastest transfer speed I have seen on a laptop, besting the previous mark of 1,345MBps set by the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Besides reducing the amount of time to start up the computer, the speedy SSD also ensured that Windows updates were completed in almost no time at all.
The laptop's matte screen looks great, despite having only the standard 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution. Viewing angles are excellent on this in-plane switching screen.
The display looks fine out of the box. You can switch between various preset display profiles using the MSI True Color app, and even associate a specific profile with an app. For instance, when I start a game, the app can automatically switch to gamer mode, which increases the screen's contrast to make it easier to spot in-game enemies.
I was impressed by its SteelSeries keyboard. Not only do the keys have good travel, the backlight comes in a multitude of colours. An app lets you configure this, along with the ability to create custom key macros.
It has a USB 3.1 port, dubbed Super Port. It uses the new USB Type-C form factor, which is reversible, unlike older USB ports. You can plug a compatible device into this Type-C port without checking the plug's orientation.
Given that USB Type-C is new, there are few devices in the market that use it. There are, however, two other standard USB 3.0 ports on the MSI.
Like many slim gaming laptops, the MSI's internal fans are noisy at full speed, which happens often during a gaming session. A good pair of headphones is handy to block out this noise.
Verdict: Packed with the latest technology, this MSI laptop is slim, capable and priced reasonably.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz)
GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
SCREEN SIZE: 15.6 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
CONNECTIVITY: HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.0, Super Port, SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, microphone and headphone jacks
BATTERY: 47 watt-hour
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
BATTERY LIFE: 1/5
This article was first published on Oct 7, 2015.
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