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MSI GX60 Gaming Laptop Review (A10-4600M/HD7970M)

The MSI GX60 ships in a thick brown cardboard box with the MSI logo clearly seen on both sides.

Inside is the main box featuring a nicely designed logo. ‘SteelSeries' get a high profile mention top right as they design the keyboard for the GX60.

The bundle is barebones, with the power supply, battery and literature on the product, along with a software disc. A full copy of Windows 7 Home Premium is supplied.

The power supply is a hefty brick, made by DELTA Electronics – model ADP-180HB. It is rated 19V – 9.5A – 100-240V.

The battery is a powerful 9 cell Lithium ION 87Wh 7800mAh model. We will rate life later in the review.

The MSI GX60 ships between two cardboard protective inserts and is wrapped inside protective film.

The GX60 is a plain black ‘gloss' finish although the lid is not smooth but beveled in the middle. The MSI logo is positioned slightly above center and glows when powered on. There are many vents underneath the chassis to help with airflow across the components.

Above, we took some photographs of the lid to highlight the circular raised bevel that MSI have adopted. The dimensions of the laptop are 395 x 267 x 55mm and it weighs 3.5kg with the battery installed.

The left side of the GX60 has two USB 2.0 ports, a multicard reader and a superspeed USB 3.0 port at the front. There is a large vent close to the rear which is used to expel heat.

The right side of the GX60 has another USB port and several headphone, audio and microphone jacks (7.1 THX sound is offered). A DVD optical drive is also available here.

The rear of the GX60 has another very large exhaust vent for cooling support. Next to this is an HDMI port (v1.4), a mini DisplayPort, VGA port, Gigabit Lan connector (Killer E2200) and power connector. The far left side has a position for another vent, although it is sealed. Next to this is a Kensington lock for security.

At the top of the screen is a 720p High Definition Web Camera which offers 30 frames per second at 720p resolution, ideal for chatting with friends and family.

The lower side of the GX60 is crowded with stickers. As this is a review sample we didn't want to remove the main GX60 sticker next to the touchpad, but we would if we owned it. Next to this is a THX audio and Windows 7 sticker.

The trackpad is a reasonable quality unit although I wasn't particularly impressed with the button feedback. It needs a lot of pressure to actuate. Underneath the trackpad are various indicators for Bluetooth, Wireless, battery and hard drive status/activity.

Steelseries make the keyboard for the GX60 and as expected the quality is excellent. I don't think it is quite in the same league as the keyboard found on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 series, but it comes a close second.

The keyboard (102 key) has a numpad situated at the right and delivers fantastic tactile feedback, however I have one huge problem with the design. The return key is only single height and I found myself pressing the # key on a regular basis.

Perhaps not a huge issue for some people, but I would have a serious problem living with this as my main machine. Along the top of the keyboard are several pressure sensitive buttons which eject optical media and turn off and on various settings.

At the edges of the keyboard area are two speakers which produce a reasonable level of sound before distortion occurs. Obviously we would recommend high grade headphones or speakers if you wanted to get the best experience from the THX audio.

The lid is attached to a substantial chrome coloured locking bar which holds the screen tightly in place, regardless of the position.

The screen can be opened to a full 180 degrees which will prove useful in certain situations. Not many mainstream laptop computers have this feature.

The quality of the 15.6 inch LED backlit 1920×1080 panel is definitely very good, with an anti glare coating to ensure legibility even with a strong light behind the user. It is not usable in direct sunlight however.

The colour rendition is very good and panel backlighting is consistent across the full width of the panel. Vertical and Horizontal viewing performance is also well above average.

The underside panel is held in place with 7 screws and easily removed to give access to all the components. A dual heatpipe cooling system is attached to both AMD A10-4600M and HD7970M. At the other end of the rear of the laptop is the 750GB hard drive.

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