Users looking to replace the obsolete 17-inch MacBook Pro may consider the MSI GS70 Stealth, which claims to be the thinnest 17-inch gaming laptop in the market. It has an aluminium chassis that weighs just 2.66kg. The GS70 is lighter than the Razer Blade Pro, a rival which appears to have heavily influenced the design of this MSI laptop.
Its island-style keyboard is designed by gaming peripheral company SteelSeries and its key travel (how much a key needs to be depressed before an action is registered) is very good. However, the keys feel bunched together and the ones on the numeric keypad are narrower than the others. The keyboard LED lights can be configured to display a number of colours and varying patterns.
The LED backlight appears dim as the light escapes from underneath and not around each key. Meanwhile, the white LEDs for the power button and status indicators are too bright.
The matte screen is not an IPS (in-plane switching) type. Horizontal viewing angles are decent, but the viewing experience deteriorates the more you tilt the screen forward or backward. However, you can connect the GS70 to an additional three displays via its HDMI and dual mini-DisplayPorts.
There is no optical drive on the GS70, a casualty of its slim design. It adds some inconvenience for gamers who have not switched to buying their PC games online.
The GS70 feels fast when opening applications. The reason: its two 64GB (total storage of 128GB) solid-state drives (SSD) in Raid 0 is twice the average speed of a single SSD. A secondary 750GB hard drive is also included.
The Nvidia GTX 765M in the GS70 runs new games without a hitch if you lower the graphics settings.
More importantly, the GS70 runs quite quietly and manages to stay fairly cool when it is in use.
This affordable gaming laptop shows that you can have both performance and portability.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4700HQ (2.4GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M 2GB GDDR5
RAM: 12GB (expandable to 16GB)
Screen size: 17.3 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: HDMI, 2 x mini-DisplayPort, 4 x USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, microphone and headphone jacks
Value for money: 8/10
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