The GT627 is MSI’s latest 15” gaming notebook with a sleek brushed metal finish and an easy overclocking Turbo button. Housed inside its stylish exterior is an NVIDIA 9800M GS graphics card paired up with an Intel P8400 Core 2 Duo to handle any modern game a user can throw at it. This notebook is targeted against other low-cost gaming rigs such as the Gateway P-series that offers high-end gaming performance for less than $1,300. Just how well does the GT627 stack up against the competition? Read our review to find out.
MSI GT627 Specifications:
Build and Design
The GT627 has a sophisticated look with a brushed metal finish and red plastic accents. From the outside you might think it was a business notebook (with a splash of color) and not a portable gaming system. Put this in contrast to some of the gaming machines from Toshiba or Dell and you realize MSI was going for a more subdued everyday-notebook look for this rig. One added benefit is you wont feel embarrassed pulling this notebook out in the middle of a business meeting, which the same couldnt be said about some gaming notebooks.
Build quality is great in most areas with some help from the metal exterior but there are some weak areas that should have received some extra support. The display lid stays rigid and solid enough though it is very thin. The magnets that keep the screen lid closed are super strong, needing two hands to pry the display open. The brushed finish holds up to scratches and fingerprints very well, although an encounter with a heavy object might leave a dent. The palmrest shares the same brushed metal finish, but not the same treatment in rigidity or support. It has an unfortunate amount of flex which in some cases pushes against keyboard tray making a clicking sound.
Users looking to upgrade anything from RAM to hard drive should know that MSI puts a Warranty Void if Broken across both the main access panel and hard drive bay. While I can understand the main area that houses the RAM, video card, and processor could be considered off limits, why prevent users from upgrading their hard drive?
The 15.4 WXGA glossy display is perfect for gaming with fast response times and high backlight brightness. Colors were bright and vibrant, and contrast levels were adequate to view detail in dark settings. At full brightness the GT627 was viewable in a bright office setting without looking washed out. In my home I found the brightness level best set between 30-40% for comfortable viewing since my lighting is nowhere near as bright as our office. Viewing angles were average, with a great horizontal viewing range, but limited vertical range. Colors would quickly distort and invert as you would tilt back the screen, or wash out if you angled it closer to you.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The GT627 has a fullsize "gaming" keyboard with highlighted frequently used game keys and a numberpad squeezed in on the left side. I am generally a fan of numberpads on most notebooks, but they are larger notebooks (usually 16 and up) and dont reduce the size of the standard keys to make room. Most keyboards have square shaped keys, including netbooks that use smaller square keys. This typically makes it easy to adapt switching from machine to machine once you get the size-ratio worked out. This notebook has keys shaped more like rectangles which made it really difficult to type accurately. Even after a few days of using it I still had to type visually instead of just by touch unless I wanted to type out a garbled mess. The keyboard had quite a bit of flex and felt as if it was floating above the support structure. This made it feel like you were typing on a springboard. The keys themselves had a moderate throw with a mild click when pressed, and would slightly wobble.
The large Synaptics touchpad worked great once I installed the latest drivers, as the system came with no Synaptics utility installed. Without the utility you cant adjust scroll bar width, customizable tap zones, and most importantly touch sensitivity. Response times were quick with no perceptible lag, even in games that demanded quick movement. The size was appropriate for a gaming machine with enough space to move around without hitting the edges ... although I would have preferred buttons with a longer throw. The buttons shared the same brushed aluminum surface with the palmrest with small cutouts for flexing movement. They had shallow feedback with a muted click when pressed.
more than 100 focused websites providing quick access to a deep store of
news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and processes crucial
to the jobs of IT pros.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2000 - 2013, TechTarget | Read our Privacy Statement