The MSI GS70 2OD-Stealth is a very thin laptop from front to back, and the chassis reminded me a little of the excellent Apple 17 inch MacBook Pro, which was recently discontinued.
It has elegant lines and uniform width – being constructed carefully from aluminum. It measures 41.8 x 28.6 x 2.1cm.
The finish is first class and the svelte appearance is immediately endearing. MSI pay homage to the aviation industry with this model, naming it after the F22 Raptor Stealth Fighter. This is an elegant, streamlined design and appealed to me right out of the box. The white dragon in the logo lights up when the machine is powered on, ready for use.
There are certainly no shortage of ports on the GS70. Along one side we have two USB 3.0 ports, a card reader, power adapter connector and security connector. The other side has a GB lan connector, HDMI port, two mini DisplayPorts, and two more USB 3.0 ports. At the front is a headphone, speaker and microphone connector. Two large vents are visible at the back of both sides of the GS70.
The battery is built into the GS70 and is rated 58.8Wh, 5300mAh. We test battery life later in the review. There are small vents all over the chassis to help improve airflow. Interestingly, the back of the underside has a felt covering – to help with grip and comfort.
The MSI GS70 is an attractive laptop from all angles and maintains its slim profile right to the very back. The keyboard is by Steelseries and is certainly head and shoulders above every other we have tested in recent years, although my favourite is still the Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard.
This keyboard is backlit and looks great from an angled viewpoint as shown above. The 17.3 inch 1080p display is reasonably capable, but not class leading. Colours are bright and dynamic range is good even factoring in the anti glare matt finish. The panel is able to resolve a decent level of detail from small text and you can pinpoint fine details in high resolution images viewed in Photoshop. There is also minimal artifacting and screen lag when gaming – ideal for such a machine – I had no problems playing a handful of Direct X 11 titles. This is pretty much as good as it gets.
The multicoloured backlighting is controllable with the KLM utility. The software lets the end user tweak from over 1,000 colours and five effects (Normal, Gaming, Dual Color, Breathing, Wave).
1080p bluray movies look stunning on this screen, although the matte finish does have a slightly negative impact on high contrast scenes – a necessary tradeoff however. Viewing angles are average.
Above the middle of the keyboard is the power button which glows when the machine is on and in standby. Close by is the speaker system. Onboard audio is no better than average – slightly hollow with limited impact. The volume level is decent, but you will want to partner this machine up with good headphones or speakers to get the most from the experience.
The trackpad is large and the buttons are registered along the bottom, both left and right. The appearance is attractive and as far as trackpads go, this is excellent. I still wouldn’t want to be using it in all but the most confined situations however as I have a particular aversion against trackpads.
The hinges on the laptop are very good and the screen takes a little force to move. This also means it won’t shake uncontrollably with a minor vibration – ideal for gamers who play in less than ideal situations.
The last time we reviewed an MSI laptop they were using a painfully slow 5,400 rpm 2.5 inch hard drive. Not surprisingly this destroyed the review score for us. Thankfully this time around MSI have gotten it right – they are using two mSATA drives in RAID 0 – paired up with a large 750GB 7,200 rpm mechanical drive for storage duties. We check out drive performance shortly.