- Desktop-like Performance
- Comfortable Keyboard
- Portable Design
- Loud Fan
- Single Touchpad Button Bar
Fantastic performance, but expensive. Users may want to alter Xotic PC's build for added affordability.
The MSI GT60 2OD is a gaming behemoth. This large hulking beast doesn’t offer much in the way of design, but it’s more than happy to make up for that with its impressive specs. The Xotic PC variant of the MSI GT60 further augments the already impressive offering with a few additions, including a 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7-4930MX processor and 1TB HDD secondary storage drive.
With its top of the line processor and NVidia GeForce GTX 780M GPU there’s no question that the MSI GT60 offers premium performance, but it also comes at a premium price. Does the MSI GT60 justify its hefty price tag? Read the full review to find out.
In typical MSI fashion, the MSI GT60 2OD combines black plastic and metal to create its imposing design. The lid is comprised of brushed aluminum with thick plastic running around the frame bordering all sides excluding the top, with “msi” chrome lettering etched into the center of lid. The interior and bottom portion of the chassis mostly consists of plastic, except for the palm rest which is made up of brushed aluminum.
Incorporating plastic into the design likely helped to shave a bit off of the device’s weight, as the MSI GT60 is relatively portable for a gaming notebook weighing in at 7.7 pounds and measuring in at 14.97″ x 10.24″ x 1.77″. While the MSI GT60 is not slim by any stretch of the imagination, it can still fit in larger carrying cases making it far easier to transport than most high-powered gaming rigs.
It should come as no surprise that this gaming behemoth is durable. The thick plastic and metal frame proves stubborn to pressure failing to give when even an extreme force was applied. The display case proves just as tough only giving slightly to pressure with no noticeable rippling occurring on-screen.
The addition of plastic in a high-end device can be disheartening, but the MSI still very much feels like a gaming device, and with its brushed aluminum palmrest it is more than comfortable to use.
As expected from a gaming device the MSI GT60 offers a fair amount of connectivity. The back portion of the device is regulated mostly to ports concerning exterior displays; including an HDMI connector, mini-DisplayPort, a VGA connector, an Ethernet Port, and a power jack. The left-hand side of the device offers the majority of the connectivity for external devices with three USB 3.0 ports and a 3-in-1 card reader. Finally the right-hand side of the chassis focuses on audio with a headphone jack, microphone jack, two Gold Flash audio ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a Blu-ray Drive.
|Back: Power jack, Ethernet Port, VGA connector, mini-DisplayPort connector, HDMI connector|
|Left: three USB 3.0 ports, 3-in-1 card reader||Right:headphone jack, microphone jack, two Gold Flash audio ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a Blu-ray Drive|
Screen and Speakers
The MSI GT60 offers a 15.6″ 1920 x 1080 matte non-glare display. The display reads beautifully providing a clear image with ample real-estate thanks to the 1920 x 1080 resolution. Additionally, the screen boasts excellent color contrast, allowing users to get the most out the MSI GT60’s NVidia GeForce GTX 780M GPU. The notable downside to the display is its lack of touch controls, but as gaming-focused device the lack of touch-enabled controls can easily be conceded.
With its matte finish the display provides generous viewing angles. Image quality holds up well on the horizontal axis with the display becoming slightly distorted at 180 degrees. The screen fares even better on the vertical axis with no noticeable drop in image quality even at extreme angles. The non-glare display also holds up well in direct lighting, with no reflections appearing on screen ensuring a clear easy to read image.
The MSI GT 60 offers two speakers (powered by Dynaudio) located above the keyboard along the right and left edge of the chassis. The speakers equipped with a built-in subwoofer provide boisterous and high-quality audio. The added bass is perfect for gameplay helping to add impact to many sound effects such as explosions and gun shots. The speakers also prove capable of detailing far more subtle ambient noises with the upmost clarity.
The sound quality is further augmented by the inclusion of Sound Blaster which helps to refine the audio, increase the Bass, and create virtual surround sound. Users will be able to customize the sound as they see fit or choose from a number of presets for specific audio experiences, such as music, movies, and games.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The MSI GT60 employs a “SteelSeries” Chiclet style keyboard. The finish atop the rounded keys is softer than most, but the textured feel provides enough friction to create a comfortable typing surface. Key travel is solid and feedback is excellent. Users can rest assured that that each key will respond quickly and snap back into place.
The layout of the keyboard offers a few changes from the standard setup. Some changes are ingenious, such as moving the ‘windows key’ to the right side of the keyboard, so that users won’t disrupt their game by accidently striking it. Others, like the shorted right shift key are merely a product of space constraints. It doesn’t take long to adjust to the altered layout, but knowing where your keys are and being able to access them comfortably is vital when playing games.
Of course this wouldn’t be a gaming notebook without some fancy LED lights and the keyboard is outfitted with an impressive array. It doesn’t quite match up to the offering from Alienware, but MSI’s Keyboard LED Management software allows users to employ wave and breathing effects. Specific regions of the keyboard can also be individually customized as users see fit.
The MSI GT60 offers a small touchpad (with synaptic drivers) located directly below the touchpad. The touchpad itself works as intend easily reading swipes and multi-finger gestures. Users can also double-tap on the pad to left click or click with two fingers to right click. It’s great that MSI adds that functionality because the mouse buttons located on the single silver bar running across the pad are sub-bar. The buttons work, but because they are both located on one single plastic bar there is no give towards the center, making it easy for clicks to not register unless you are at the extreme right or extreme left.
Most gaming enthusiasts will likely opt for a USB enabled mouse anyways, but a larger touchpad with separate mouse buttons would have been welcomed.