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MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro G (1461UK) G-Sync Gaming Laptop Review

With a fast CPU and GPU combining to drive a 75Hz Full HD G-Sync panel, the MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro G is a gaming powerhouse that delivers an enjoyable usage experience in a variety of scenarios.

Focusing on the gaming experience, the application of a 75Hz G-Sync panel makes a huge amount of sense in a laptop ecosystem. While it is possible to add graphics horsepower until frame rates are playable in a desktop environment, that's not the case for a laptop. The hardware can show its age far quicker and that's why adaptive-syncing technologies are smart moves for a mobile environment.

When next year's AAA titles launch and the GTX 980M is already starting to look old, G-Sync may make it possible to enjoy a smooth, stutter-free gaming experience without needing to turn down eye-candy or invest in new hardware. 60 FPS (or perhaps in this case, 75) is no longer the sole target for enjoyable frame rates. And when the GPU is capable of showing its muscle, the panel's enhanced – 75Hz – refresh rate provides good motion clarity.

But let's not forget about the hardware behind the frame rates. Intel's Broadwell Core i7 5700HQ has shown itself as a strong performer, especially when its 47W TDP is cooled sufficiently to allow for consistent operation at its 3.5GHz turbo limit. The 8GB Maxwell GTX 980M is no slouch, either, and its MXM form factor means that a user can upgrade in the future, perhaps when Pascal arrives.

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It's not all positive for the GT72 2QE Dominator Pro G, though. The 1461UK version that we received ships with a meager 128GB of solid state storage. And I, personally, find the trackpad design that integrates it into the chassis very frustrating. There's also the build quality issue – lifting this laptop in certain orientations releases squeaks and groans from the plastic chassis that don't sound representative of a £2000 unit.

While the trackpad can be irritating, the partnering keyboard and audio peripherals are excellent. Typing on the SteelSeries keyboard is great thanks to the keys' likeable feedback force. Indulging in heavy bass media allows the 2.1 Dynaudio speaker system to show its worth.

Connectivity is another key positive for the MSI GT72 2QE Dominator Pro G. The machine is well-equipped with six USB Gen 3 ports, two of which are USB 3.1, and a strong array of video and fast networking connectivity. Whilst MSI's premise for component upgrades is positive, putting a warranty void if removed sticker above a critical screw feels like a proverbial low blow.

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For the same retail price, Overclockers UK currently stock a slightly upgraded version of the GT72 2QE Dominator Pro G (the 1460 version vs the 1461 we reviewed) that ships with an extra 128GB SSD. With an RRP of £1999.99 and available for just under £2K, MSI's GT72 2QE Dominator Pro G (1461UK) is one of the most costly gaming laptops on the market.

While I think that the well-designed cooling solution, excellent potential for vast hardware upgrades, and enhanced peripherals are key points in favour of MSI's design, I still feel that the price is a little steep. Competing vendors, such as Aorus, have faster hardware for a similar price so the focus is then put on MSI's exclusive features and design, although that's a battle where MSI have every right to feel confident in their offerings.

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Pros:

  • Excellent cooling system with positive acoustic emissions.
  • G-Sync and 75Hz panel make for enjoyable gaming.
  • Fast CPU and GPU hardware.
  • Very good 1920×1080 PLS screen.
  • Extensive upgrade options – room for up to four M.2 SSDs, MXM GPU, free DIMM slots.
  • Excellent SteelSeries keyboard with a good amount of user control.
  • Superb audio quality with especially strong bass.
  • Good connectivity options – both storage (USB 3.1) and display (2x mini-DP and HDMI).

Cons:

  • Build quality needs to be better for a £2000 machine.
  • Switching between the Intel and Nvidia GPU via a button and reboot is inconvenient.
  • Trackpad integrated into the chassis can be annoying to use.
  • Very large and heavy.

KitGuru says: A well-designed, feature-laden laptop that uses smartly-picked hardware to drive games on the 75Hz Full HD G-Sync panel.

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Rating: 8.5.

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2 comments

  1. Whoa, why do I not remember Gsync for laptops being announced.

  2. ->>>
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