As a gamer, I’ve avoided laptops and game consoles like the plague. I like my PCs to be flexible and powerful, built without compromise. “Gaming” laptops that I’ve tried in the past have always been an exercise in compromise. They’re usually underpowered, in the name of battery life, or sacrifice thermal performance for slimness and weight.

Most of all, I’ve hated the lack of performance on these machines. I want to play games, why can’t I dial the settings up to maximum?

MSI, however, claim to have a solution to the problem and that solution is this ridiculously priced and ridiculously powerful machine. They assured me that with the GT73VR 7RF, I’d have no such complaints. Were they right? Let’s find out.

Build and Design: 9/10

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The 13-inch MacBook Pro is dwarfed by the sheer size of the MSI machine

It’s the sheer bulk of this beast that hits you. It’s legitimately huge. It is a 17-inch device, and you’d expect it to be big, but it’s easily double the thickness of any gaming laptop I’ve seen in a long time. Only Dell’s Alienware 17 comes close.

That bulk also had me excited however, as this means that thermal performance shouldn’t be an issue. As it turns out, it wasn’t.

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The GT73 is 2-4 times the thickness of the average laptop

The power brick is also a monster in its own right, given that it has to pump 330W of power into this beast. The power connector also looks like something straight out of Frankenstein.

The upper surface of the lid and the area that houses the keyboard and trackpad appears to be made from brushed aluminum. Most of the rest of the device seems to be made from sturdy plastic.

I say sturdy because there’s barely any flex to be found. In fact, the screen is quite solid and I was surprised at the lack of significant flex in a screen this size.

The entire underbody is a single, massive air intake, as is the rear. The sides vent the hot air out, the left from the CPU and the right from the GPU.

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With Gorilla Glass protection, at least you won’t scratch this logo

Interestingly, even the MSI logo on the lid, which glows by the way, is protected by Gorilla Glass. This certainly is a sturdy device.

The hinge does wobble a little every time you adjust it, but that’s just a minor complaint.

Keyboard and Trackpad: 8.5/10

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The keyboard is a pleasure to behold, and use

The keyboard is made by SteelSeries and features RGB lighting. These aren’t mechanical keys, but they’re among the best non-mechanical keys I’ve used. As someone who uses mehcanical keys on a daily basis, I find the keys to be lacking slightly in terms of feedback, but that’s just me.

The keys don’t wobble much, I can press the edge of the space bar and the whole thing goes down with little hesitation and the backlight is rather good.

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The touchpad is also very good

The height of the laptop also means that the laptop is a little easier to type on. Key response was excellent and I never missed a keystroke.

The touchpad is also very good and comes with RGB accents. It’s not the very best trackpad I’ve used — I think it could use a textured surface — but it’s precise, tracks perfectly and responds instantly. Windows’ gestures are also supported.

Publish date: March 15, 2017 11:36 am| Modified date: March 21, 2017 1:53 pm

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