MSI has created a fantastic laptop, with an overall emphasis on balanced all round capabilities. While it is marketed as a ‘gaming machine’ there is no doubt in my mind that it can be comfortably put to use as an all round workhorse and even as a mobile rendering station thanks to Intel’s powerful Core i7 2630QM processor. This is one of the finest processors available on the market today and is a huge step up from the Core i3 and i5 models we have tested in the past.
The build quality of the GT680 is excellent and while the looks will not appeal to everyone it certainly is borrowing some ideas from the Alienware camp – the lit edges and glowing corners are eye catching and will attract an audience who like a ‘blinged’ out machine. The keyboard and trackpad are both comfortable to use for many hours a day, although we noticed a fair amount of flex in the middle of the board. Not a major concern, but very noticeable.
Battery life is quite good, and being able to use a powerhouse laptop for over 3 hours under general conditions is a selling point, thanks to the high power output battery MSI have included.
Gaming performance is strong, although the GTX460M is no powerhouse when compared against today’s leading solutions. Some of the latest Direct X 11 engines put quite a toll on the Nvidia hardware and settings or resolutions would need to be dropped in order to maintain playable frame rates. This is a common problem with a laptop under £1,500 and you will need to spend more if you want state of the art gaming performance.
MSI are selling three models of this machine right now on Scan, and the one we received was the top of the pile, featuring 8GB of ram, a Bluray drive and an Intel SSD configured as the boot drive. You can check out the configurations over here. We would have loved an option for an orange backlit keyboard as it really would have improved the overall appearance.
- great all round performance
- striking looks
- good screen quality
- full sized keyboard
- competitively priced
- graphics power is limited when dealing with the latest Direct X 11 engines
- can get a little loud under load
- no backlit keyboard
KitGuru says: A very fine laptop from MSI and worth looking into, especially if you are limited to £1,500 or less.