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MSI GT680 Gaming Laptop Review (SSD/Bluray/i7/Nvidia)

The WASD keys are marked in red lettering, signifying the gaming credentials immediately. The keyboard is chiclet design, and is full sized. It is reasonably responsive and should appeal to a fairly wide audience. I personally prefer a keyboard with an old style IBM’ click’ feel but this style is popular in 2011.

The keyboard has a reasonable amount of flex in the middle, as can be seen in the video above. In this particular case it isn’t a cause for concern as the GT680 feels as if it could withstand some abuse.

Connectivity is good. Video can be delivered over VGA and HDMI 1.4 out which supports resolutions up to 2560×1600 if you have a 30 inch screen handy. Full stereoscopic 3D is supported thanks to the Nvidia solution. There are four 3.5mm audio connectors with full 7.1 surround capabilities. On the front of the machine there is a card reader which supports MMC and SD/HC. There are also two USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA II connector for complete support for hard drives and HD video cameras. Gigabit ethernet, wireless and Bluetooth are also included and can be accessed by touch sensitive buttons under the screen.

Our particular review sample was also supplied with a Bluray drive for all high definition media demands.

The webcam is a new HD version, supporting 720p at up to 30 frames per second, very nice indeed and a perfect partner for the latest Skype.

The screen is supported by a chrome style style support bar which seems very strong, and while it isn’t immediately discernible, the side panels have a lighted strip, which pairs up well with the front and side glowing sections. The lower half of the screen sides also have a lighted strip.

The offset trackpad is very good, and while we tend to avoid them when possible, this particular model would be fine for light use when traveling. The chrome style surround might not appeal to everyone, but we liked it. The inclusion of some handy LED’s at the bottom is an inspired design decision.

Removing the rear panel is straightforward and we are exposed to the internals, a few minutes later. The chassis has room for a dual drive configuration, ideal for RAID 0 or an SSD & storage setup. There is an Intel 120GB SSD used in this build as the OS boot drive alongside a 500GB 2.5 inch mechanical drive which can be used for storage. Our review system also had a bluray optical drive installed.

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