The PowerPro 10:17 is built on the MSI 1727 gaming notebook. It features an Intel Core i7 processor, powerful Nvidia graphics, and a large 17” screen. Read on to see how it fared in our testing.
A special thanks goes to Donald Stratton of PowerNotebooks.com for sending us this review unit.
Our PowerPro 10:17 (MSI 1727) has the following specifications:
- 17.0” WSXGA+ (1680×1080) display
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- Intel Core i7 820QM (1.73GHz/3.06GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB L3 cache)
- Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M 1GB graphics card
- 4GB DDR3-1333 RAM (2x 2GB)
- 320GB 7200RPM hard drive (Seagate Momentus 7200.4/ST9320421AS)
- Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5300AGN
- Built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
- 8X DVD burner
- 1 Year Parts w/2nd Day Ship & 24/7 DOMESTIC Toll Free Support +Lifetime Labor
- 9-cell 7200mAh battery
- Weight: 7.9 lbs
- Dimensions: 15.55” (W) x 10.94” (W) x 1.32~1.56” (H)
- MSRP: $1,926
The 10:17 starts at $1,479; our test unit has a reasonable $400 in options. The core i7 820QM processor was $200 more than the base 720QM and Windows 7 Home Premium was $115. Unlike most mainstream notebooks the 10:17 does not come standard with an operating system which can save customers a few dollars if they already own a copy.
Build and Design
The 10:17 has a nondescript look. It has no outstanding design features; the chassis is a traditional rectangle shape sans radical curves or designs. It is reasonably slim for a 17-inch notebook at about one and a half inches thick at the highest point. The plastic used in the construction is noticeably thicker than what makes up most consumer notebooks. It has a solid feel and does not rattle when tapped. One design characteristic of the 10:17 we appreciate is the use of matte plastic instead of glossy plastic; matte plastic is not only more durable but also far easier to keep clean. The 10:17’s matte surfaces feel very smooth.
The 10:17 has good build quality. The chassis exhibits marginal flex when twisted however nothing significant and less than we are used to seeing. The palmrests hardly flex under pressure. The 17-inch lid has some flex however it is expected on a screen this large. It is anchored to the chassis by two strong hinges. Many notebook manufacturers use thin plastic for the bottom access panels – this is not the case with the 10:17. The access panels are impressively solid and would not budge when pressure was applied.
Fit and finish are good – all parts fit together neatly and with even spacing. The 10:17 overall has consistent quality– no one part of the notebook appears to be of better or worse quality than another. Overall we are satisfied with the build quality; the use of some metal alloys would not hurt but on the whole there is little to complain about.
Screen and Speakers
The PowerPro 10:17 has a 17-inch display available in one resolution: 1680×1050. It has a glossy surface and CCFL backlighting. The display is of average quality. While contrast is acceptable we found it lacking brightness. Additionally the display suffers from not being very clear; it is slightly grainy. One positive aspect of this display is the high screen resolution of 1680×1050. Most 17” notebooks come with 1600×900; 1680×1050 has significantly more screen space and is easier to multitask with. The display also has reasonable viewing angles both vertically and horizontally.
The 10:17 has very reasonable speakers for a notebook. They do not sound tinny and have a surprisingly good mid-range for such small speakers (there are four total speakers). There is measurable bass thanks to the built-in subwoofer. For those wishing to use external speakers/headphones, the 10:17 has many output options including HDMI, S/PDIF, and a headphone jack.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The PowerPro 10:17 has a full-size keyboard with separate numeric keypad. The keyboard is very communicative and is encouraging to type on. It has a rubbery feel and sound, which is a positive mark in our book. It is easy to type quickly and accurately on this keyboard for long periods. The quietness of the keyboard is appreciated. The keyboard exhibits no flex with the exception of the number pad, however it only appears if abnormal pressure is applied. An interesting aspect of the keyboard is its color coding. The W, A, S, and D keys, commonly used for gaming, are highlighted in red. The Function keys (F1 – F12) and the arrow keys are a dark orange. The color coding is a nice touch.
One small nitpick about this keyboard is that the Home and End buttons are integrated as secondary functions into the PgUp and PgDn keys, respectively. This means the Function key must be pressed to access them; anyone who uses these keys frequently will find this annoying.
The touchpad has a matte surface that is easy to track on. It is smaller than we are used to seeing on 17-inch notebooks however the functionality is the same. It is easy to find the touchpad by feel since it is inlaid into the palmrest slightly below the surface. The touchpad buttons, also easy to find by feel, have solid feedback but are somewhat noisy.
Ports and Features
The PowerPro 10:17 has an impressive array of ports including HDMI (for connection to HDTVs) and eSATA (a fast connection to external hard drives).
All picture descriptions are left to right.
Right Side: ExpressCard/54 slot (top), memory card reader (xD, SD, MMC, MS/MS Pro – bottom), USB, eSATA/USB combo port, IEEE 1394 mini-Firewire, headphone, S/PDIF, line-in, microphone jacks, heat vent