Gaming laptops have evolved in an unprecedented scale over the past year, incorporating more and more features, while becoming slimmer and slimmer. Now, with the rise of the Pascal-based graphics cards from NVIDIA, companies like MSI are taking advantage of the technology to provide gamers with machine which are more powerful and power-efficient than ever.

Such a beast is the MSI GE72VR 6RF, which has a 120Hz 17.3-inch Full HD display, a 6th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a Solid State Drive + HDD Combo, and a GTX 1060 graphics card. This machine is set to redefine the gaming laptop with pure performance combined with portability.

So can this really bring your gaming experience to the next level? Or is it another device that’s just good on paper? Let’s find out in this review.

Design and Build Quality

Being one of the premium models, the GE72VR isn’t the prettiest laptop you’ll see. If anything, it’s actually a bit subtle on the design. The machine consists of a black metallic finish, with the familiar branding on the lid. There are no illuminated logos or lines here.

The GE72VR has a 17.3-inch display along with the MSI Logo upfront. The RGB Steelseries keyboard looks great with its lighting effects and fits very well. You’ll notice that the panel it’s placed on isn’t exactly flat, but with slightly elevated edges on both sides.

There are three LED indicators at the bottom, which adds to the overall look and feel. The wristpad also feels sturdy and comfortable.

Ports: 

  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-C
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • 1 x RJ45
  • 1 x SD (XC/HC)
  • 1 x HDMI (4K at 30fps)
  • 1 x Mini-Display Port
  • 1 x Optical Drive
  • 1 x Microphone Jack
  • 1 x Headphone Jack

As you can see, this machine has all the basic ports that you’ll need. It’s versatile in such a way that it can connect to almost any type of external monitor, thanks to an HDMI and a Mini-Display Port. A LAN port ensures that you can connect to any type of network, and best of all, it has something you don’t see a lot these days: an optical drive.

Display

The GE72VR has a 17.3-inch 120Hz Full HD display with a 5ms response time. Compared to a 60Hz monitor, motion, menus, everything is just much smoother and more fluid. Text is sharper, color accuracy is on point, and brightness is more than enough. Not only is it ideal for gaming, but also for productivity and media consumption.

Software

Windows 10 Home runs silky smooth in the GE72VR, though i wished that MSI didn’t include so many pre-loaded software, as these may cause slowdown at some point. You do have an option of uninstalling them, but it would’ve been better if they weren’t there from the get go.

There’s MSI Dragon Center, which is basically a control panel wherein you can monitor your system temperatures, backup your system, change the keyboard’s LED color and lighting effects, install apps, change the audio profile and fan speed to your preference, and many more.

Performance

MSI GE72VR 6RF Apache Pro Specs:

Operating System Windows 10 Home
Processor 2.60GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ
RAM 1G6B DDR4 2133MHz
Storage 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Graphics (Dedicated) NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5
Network Killer Gb LAN – 802.11 ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth v4.0
Keyboard Steelseries Backlit
Audio 4 x 2W Speakers, 1 x 3W Woofer
AC Adapter 180W
Dimensions 419.9 x 287.8 x 29.8~32 mm
Weight 2.7 kg

 

I tested four games on the GE72VR: Dirt 3, Battlefield 4, Dota 2, and Overwatch.



As you’ve noticed, framerates for Overwatch and Dirt 3 are consistently above 60 which is good, while there are some points in Dota 2 and Battlefield 4 wherein the framerate drops below 60, which is odd considering that I have the same card in my desktop, and i don’t experience such issues.

Another cause for concern are the temperatures, which can get quite high to the point that it’s almost uncomfortable to place your hand on the wristpad.

Now, there’s a scenario to consider here: I tested this machine on top of a gaming mat, in a room with no Air Conditioning with the ambient temperature at around 30° to 33°C, which may have been a factor for the high temperature readings.

Of course, you probably won’t be using the touchpad in the GE72VR if you’re always gaming with it. But for those who will, the good news is that it’s very responsive.

The keyboard also has a good tactile feel to it. Key sizes are just about right, and so is spacing, which was a problem I ran into with other laptops wherein I accidentally press Num Lock every so often when pressing Backspace.

One of the things I like is the way they made the arrow keys, which in some laptops are too compressed and small. Here, they’re just about the same size as a regular desktop keyboard.

Audio

The speakers on the GE72VR sound better than most laptops that i’ve listened to. Clarity is excellent, and there’s no distortion at high volume. Bassheads would be left wanting for more though.
Plug in a good pair of headphones, and things become even better. You get a sound that has a more balanced signature, and can be tweaked with the Nahimic app. If you’re not a fan of presets, there’s an equalizer that you can adjust to your ear’s content.

Battery Life

Gaming laptops aren’t really known for good battery life. And unfortunately, the same is true for the GE72VR, as it only managed to yield a horrible 3 hours of up time in our test. Charging took around 3 hours from around 10% to full, which is also quite the wait. This means that you’ll have to stay plugged in most of the time.

Verdict

The GE72VR 6RF Apache Pro is a beast of a gaming machine. The build and audio quality is excellent, the design is simple, the display is eye-candy and the performance is just about what you would expect for the hardware it has inside.

Still, it uses a processor from the previous generation, which is kind of disappointing given that Kaby Lake CPU’s are already out. There’s tons of pre-loaded apps which could’ve been just optional, the battery life is plain horrible, and high temperatures during gaming are a cause for concern. Though of course, readings may vary on different conditions and are affected by several factors such as ambient and surface temperatures, so it will run cooler when used in a more suitable environment.

Regardless, I’d say this machine isn’t for everyone, especially given the steep price tag of PhP114,995. But if you’re one of those people who are looking for great gaming performance on the go, and don’t mind having their laptop plugged in for most of the time, then this is a fairly good buy.

The Good

  • Build Quality
  • Display
  • Gaming Performance
  • Audio Quality
  • Keyboard

The Not So Good

  • Too Many Pre-loaded Apps
  • Temperatures During Gaming (Runs cooler in more suitable environments)
  • Battery Life is a bit of concern

 

 

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Author

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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