Gamers are always a tough crowd to please – the need for absolute power and uncompromising performance is what distinguishes them. For them, playing games was usually restricted to the desktop computer with no means of portability. Gamers on the go have always wanted something that could give them the performance of a desktop computer, at a size which was compact enough to carry. That is where Gaming Notebooks come in, offering the user comparable performance to the desktop while also having the ability to be portable.
We have reviewed the Asus G53J and the G51J. Both notebooks performed extremely well in our tests and notched up good scores. But today, we've reviewed The MSI GT663R, which packs in a lot of firepower in terms of hardware and looks stunning to boot. But games nowadays are more demanding than they ever were, so does the GT663R rise to the challenge? Let’s take a look.
Design & Build Quality
In one word, the MSI GT663R looks ‘awesome’. The chunky, all black design will remind you of an exotic supercar. The lid is completely bare with a huge MSI logo in the middle which is complimented with a glowing LED strip which also shows up on the sides of the screen and the vents (more on that later). Those who like ‘bling’ will live the metallic red hue around the keyboard and the in-built speakers. Speaking of bling, the GT663R has a row of touch-sensitive buttons which emit a cool orange glow when activated and adding to the cool factor is a large power button which is shaped like a shield.
The keyboard is great with large, spaced out buttons with the WSAD keys having the ability to toggle into arrows keys for our left-handed buddies out there. A separate numpad is also a plus in my book. While the touchpad is big and wide enough for a elephant to use, it’s the unresponsiveness that makes it almost useless.
It could be a glitch with our review piece, but unlike other touchpads which have a very fluid feel to them, the trackpad on the GT663R has a sandpaper-ish quality to it, which just kills it for us. MSI does bundle a mouse in the package, but that doesn’t give them a free pass to pack in a touchpad like this. With regard to build quality, the only downer we saw was that the keyboard had a tendency to flex when typing. So if you are someone who likes to slam the keys during use, go easy.
The MSI GT663R is powered by an Quad-core Intel i7 processor (Q740M @ 1.73 GHz) and has an 1.5GB NVIDIA 460M taking care of the Graphics. While the standard rate of 1.73 GHz won’t raise eyebrows, the Turbo Boost ability allows it to go upto 2.93 GHz as and when the situation demands it. The Notebook also has 8GB of DDR3 memory in a dual-channel configuration. The other hardware packed into the GT663R is a HD 15.6-inch Display (1366×768), which is great, but is also really glossy and does give off a certain amount of glare when you are out and about.
MSI has chosen two 500GB Western Digital hard drives which are set up in RAID 0 to provide a big boost in read/write speeds. Speaking of boosts, MSI’s TDE application aka Turbo Drive Engine overclocks the CPU and GPU via a button and provides a small boost to your performance.When activated(available only when plugged in) the TDE overclocks the GTX 460M's core rate to 709MHz from 675 MHz and the shader rate from 1350MHz to 1417MHz.
On the connectivity side, The GT663R provides four USB ports, two of which are the super fast USB 3.0 variant. It also has an eSATA port, one Express Card slot and a 5-in-1 card reader. Other trappings include your HDMI and VGA outputs as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR and Gigabit Ethernet. For those who like to video chat, MSI also gives you a webcam which record at 720p at 30 FPS which is really really good.
All things said and done, MSI pretty much has you covered when it comes to connectivity and features.
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