Traditional gamers still cringe when I prefer to use a laptop for gaming. The tides are changing, albeit slowly. MSI are one of the few laptop makers pioneering this change with their latest slew of gaming laptops. We’ve been playing with the MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro and it still baffles me how light it is considering its specs, and it’s ability to produce eye-popping graphics of this generation’s demanding video games.
Design & Form
The exterior contrasts well with the laptop’s powerful interior. It’s wrapped in a mostly plastic shell with a thin display lid that can feel fragile at times when compared to its firm base. I’ve had the pleasure of using multiple MSI laptops and they make great keyboards. I’m generally bias towards mechanical keyboards but this one feels nice under my fingers. The keys are appropriately spaced, you feel like you’ve been using it far longer than you have almost as soon as you start typing. The keyboard’s manufactured by SteelSeries and allows you to customize the backlit coloring of the keyboard. If you prefer it sans lighting, a dedicated button to switching it off has been built in.
It comes with a bevy of ports on either side as well as the back. Expect to find 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C port, mini DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, Headphone jack, Microphone jack, Line-In, Line-Out, Ethernet and the battery charging port. As sleek as the laptop may be in comparison to gaming laptops of the old, it still needs to be powered by a brick charger unfortunately.
Specs & Performance
MSI packs in Nvidia’s groundbreaking Pascal graphic cards in the form of a GeForce GTX 1070. You can easily crank up any game that’s out there today or on its way in the near future, to its maximum settings without the slightest hesitation. The screen weighs in at 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1,080 FHD Matte Display. A 1080p display may feel a little short of what a GTX 1070 is capable of producing, but it wows nonetheless.
The laptop isn’t meant to play games on battery power alone. While in-game, it won’t give you more than half an hour. When plugged in though, you’re ready to game all night and day without it giving you the slightest hiccup. Noise from laptops having to run at maximum capacity were concerns of the previous generations, MSI’s GT62VR Dominator Pro keeps the noise level lower than expected.
Aside for the beastly Nvidia graphic card you’ve got a 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512MB SSD and a 1TB HDD. The laptop weighs in at just below 3kgs, which may sound heavy to MacBook trotting hipsters but feels light as a breeze to hardcore gamers who enjoy being on the move.
Playing Gears of War for the first time on a PC, the 4th edition in one of my all-time favorite FPS games, was an absolute delight. The Dominator Pro practically shrugged when I switched every visual setting to Ultra. Maintaining a steady 50+fps, the game was beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable. Another favorite game of mine I tested with was GTA V. An old game but still visually intensive. The laptop had no trouble throughout my exploits. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare came in next and once again, was nothing short of a delight.
MSI and Nvidia have worked wonders in bringing what was once reserved to bulky, over-clocked desktops to a sleek laptop. Virtual Reality gaming is undoubtedly the future which is why Nvidia wanted to ensure its Pascal series were capable of VR on a laptop. Buying a VR-ready laptop today ensures you’ll be ready when you’ve saved up enough for a Vive or Rift (Vive all the way). I can’t stress how amazing it was to be able to carry a desktop-rivaling gaming laptop and play with friends.