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MSI GT70 0NC 17.3″ Laptop Review (i7 3610QM / GTX 670M)

The thick styling of MSI’s GT70 0NC may not be quite as good as some of the competing systems that we have recently reviewed, but it is by no means ugly – just chunky.

Instantly evident is the anti-glare feature of the 17.3” LED screen. It gives the screen a less reflective appearance when looking directly at it. This is a highly convenient feature which is worth noting if the anti-glare functionality proves effective.

With a weight of 3.9KG, users can rest assured that they won’t need a forklift to transport this system. That said, we wouldn’t class it as a daily use ‘portable’ system either.

MSI places their logo below the screen on a reflective border. A High-Definition webcam and a microphone are positioned in their ideal location – directly above the screen. A variety of viewing angles can be achieved thanks to the implementation of hinges which allow for a tilt angle of approximately 150°.

A brushed-aluminium panel which is highly susceptible to attack from fingerprints forms the GT70’s lid. In the centre of this rear panel, MSI embeds their logo which is capable of glowing when the system is being used. MSI chooses not to use any type of latch mechanism to hold down the screen when traveling. Personally, I would have opted for a simple latch, but this is down to preference.

Located on the GT70 0NC’s left side is a vent which allows hot air to be exhausted away from the system in addition to a number of inputs. The inputs include three USB 3 ports, a 7-in-1 card reader and the gold-plated audio ports which use MSI’s Audio Boost design. The right side is home to a pair of USB 2 ports and the BluRay writer’s drive tray which is operated by an eject button on the system’s control ‘dashboard’. Distributing the USB 3 ports more evenly by moving one to the right side would have been of greater convenience to some users.

A Gigabit LAN connector is grouped with eSATA, HDMI and VGA ports to form the rear connections. Positioning the power input at the rear ensures that it doesn’t interfere with any of the side-mounted connections. A lock is positioned adjacent to the power input.

SteelSeries designed the GT70’s full-sized keyboard and numpad with gamers in mind. The positioning of the all-important WASD and shift keys will prove effective for most users, but could cause slight issues for those of us with large hands.

Located on the management ‘dashboard’ are touch buttons which allow you to toggle system settings such as the Turbo, full fan speed and keyboard lights modes. The important WiFi and BluRay drive eject buttons are positioned alongside caps and num lock LEDs on this same dashboard.

Dynaudio designed the 2.1 speaker configuration which makes use of THX’s TruStudio PRO technology. 2 speakers are located on opposite sides of the information dashboard at the front of the system, with the single subwoofer positioned on the system’s underside.

A slick trackpad allows quick movement of the cursor around the screen. Both the left and right click buttons are bordered by a highly reflective material which makes them easily-identifiable in low-light conditions. As with the keyboard, those of us with big hands will find it tricky to game with this trackpad.

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