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MSI GT780DXR 17.3″ Laptop review

The GT780DXR is certainly a very capable gaming laptop combining excellent processor performance with a first rate gaming experience thanks to the Nvidia GTX570 discrete solution, shipping with a generous 1.5GB of GDDR5 memory.

Even though we received a very early prototype, the build quality didn’t cause concerns, and the understated, yet sturdy chassis design appealed to me. It looks as if it could withstand some long term LAN gaming abuse, and will find a home among demanding mobile gamers.

The Steelseries keyboard is fantastic, and rates as one of the best we have ever tested, falling in behind the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, taking second place. Sadly in the United Kingdom there is no backlighting option, and I dislike the single height return key.

The touchpad is almost as impressive, offering great feedback and responsive buttons. Obviously we prefer a good gaming mouse when possible but for those who travel a lot, it is about as good as you could expect.

The onboard THX DynAudio sound system is almost as powerful as the Alienware M18x implementation, delivering modest bass response and high levels of distortion free volume. Again, adding a set of powerful external speakers or good headphones would enhance the experience, but for mobile duties they are more than up to the task.

As we received an early prototype we have a hard time delivering a ‘final’ score.

We have some concerns with the cooling system, as it is audibly louder than the one built into the Asus G74SX, and it forces hot air underneath the chassis, right into the lap. This was one area of the Asus G74SX which really appealed to me. All the hot air is forced out the rear of this machine, causing little discomfort when used on a lap.

That said, this could very well be a problem with the prototype we received as we were told this machine is not ‘representative of a retail model’. It proves difficult for us to come to a final closing argument however.

When compared directly against the Asus G74SX, MSI are offering a more powerful machine with Core i7 2670QM processor at the heart. The Nvidia GTX570M is noticeably faster than the GTX560M too, so it easily wins in this regard. The MSI panel quality is a little better than the Asus G74SX too, being slightly less reflective with similar levels of sharpness and colour rendition. I wasn’t able to compare viewing angles directly side by side, but the GT780DXR screen is definitely slightly better.

The ASUS G74SX has a great keyboard, although MSI have worked with Steelseries to produce one of the finest gaming laptop keyboards we have reviewed. That said, Asus have incorporated impressive multi strength backlighting and a double height return key, which may swing the balance back a little in their favour.

I would have no hesitation in presenting the GT780DXR with our highest award, but I found the noise levels and system temperatures to be a little higher than expected. I have no way of saying that this is just due to the early prototype status of this review sample or whether the whole range have adopted the same fan implementation and subsequent noise levels.

You can buy the system from Scan for £1,498.99.

Pros:

  • Looks great.
  • Fantastic keyboard.
  • Powerful processor and graphics solution.
  • Sound quality is clear and loud, with some bass response.
  • first rate connectivity.
  • Quality screen.

Cons:

  • Noisy under load.
  • can get hot.
  • no backlit keyboard for UK.

Kitguru says: MSI have created a great gaming machine which is very powerful and packed with quality components. Our sample cooling system struggled a little, and it could get loud.

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Rating: 8.5.

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