Technology isn’t just about being innovative at times, you may have the best hardware features that does the coolest stuff out there, but that doesn’t mean that it delivers the best capabilities that it is meant to be. In MSI’s case, focusing on gaming notebooks have brought the company to new heights with the help of many of its proprietary technology under the hood. In our experience, most of its notebooks have exceeded our expectations in terms of offering the best performance at a reasonable price tag. The MSI GT72 is the superstar back in COMPUTEX this year, which the company continues to add new hardware features such as NVIDIA’s G-SYNC display technology and eye-tracking technology, and now, it is the first OEM to ever bring Intel’s Skylake platform to the GT72, known as the GT72s-6QE Dominator Pro G.
The MSI GT72s is technically a speedier GT72 which is obviously understood with its ‘s’ moniker, while its overall design remain unchanged, MSI has given the notebook’s keyboard a new transparent edge which makes its colorful LED lights stand out. The GT72s build material uses the familiar adonized aluminium material that easily attracts fingerprints, a common case on most recent MSI laptops that we’ve been using recently and I find myself wiping those greasy marks every time after finish using it.
Judging from its huge and bulky form, the notebook is clearly not meant for carrying it around however if you happen to come by one, try lifting it up and your muscle trained arms will probably feel easy with its reasonable 3.78kg weight, hence I won’t call it a heavy machine overall, as it definitely feels much lighter than carrying a DSLR with a couple of lenses in your bag if you were to compare, the notebook’s charger however, is the one that you’ll probably complain about taking some amount of weight to the total package.
I’m particularly satisfied with MSI’s generous offer of USB 3.0 ports when you consider the machine to be your desktop replacement, there’s four on the left and two on the right, which is actually perfect for a variety of desktop USB devices already. On the back, you find a Killer Gigabit RJ45 port, a new but yet to be useful Type-C USB 3.1 that outputs dual 4K monitors and delivers 3A of max power to your USB devices, HDMI v1.4 and a MiniDisplay v1.2 port, and as a bonus, this flagship comes with a writable Bluray optical drive which you can start copying PS4 games if you can afford a Bluray-R disc.
While its exterior features are impressive enough, cracking open the bottom case of the GT72s shows a very clean hardware layout with no poorly screwed hardware, while MSI has two slots of RAM taken up and we assume that it is secured or soldered onto the motherboard itself, there’s two more empty RAM slots that allows you to get the machine up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. There are two PCI-E slots for accepting NVM.e M2.SSDs which is configurable with MSI’s faster MSI Super RAID 4 technology, one slot is already taken up by a blazing fast Toshiba 128GB flash module and a 1TB 7200 Hitachi made hard drive is installed on our review unit, there’s two cooling fans on each side that ventilates heat out of the machine efficiently as well.
Our GT72s comes with an overclock-able Intel Core i7 6820HK processor, which consists of four physical cores and eight processing threads, and has a Turbo Boost speed of up to 3.6GHz. On a day-to-day usage, you might find the entire user experience a little more responsive than Haswell machines desipte not being too significant, however what’s really different this time is that the GT72s tends to be very quiet when I’m working on it, gaming merely cranks up the fan noise a little, I fortunately had a very comfortable and uninterrupted experience with the notebook.
One of the things I loved about MSI’s notebook display since the P series is that they are very properly calibrated with sRGB color profiles, which MSI calls it MSI True Color which you can use it app to properly configure its display settings to suit your eyes, its default color profile isn’t too saturated and doesn’t strain my eyes when working for long hours. The GT72s display also supports NVIDIA’s G-SYNC tear-free display technology with a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz, while not as high as desktop monitors, I actually find it a joy to game on the notebook with that smooth and lag free gaming experience on games like Batman: Arkham Knight, Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain and GTA V, all thanks to the powerful GeForce GTX980M GPU onboard that comes with 8GB of GDDR5 memory.
As a long time DYNAUDIO adopter, the GT72s is fitted with a 4.1 speaker system that easily fills up your room with its boomy and loud characteristic, especially when you watch movies on it, you don’t even find the need to attach an external speaker as it actually sounds better than your sub RM200 2.1-speaker system, if you want more realistic effects on headphones do remember to check out its Nahimic sound enhancer software.
Last but not the least, the GT72s has impressed me a lot in terms of its power efficiency with all its firepower, I ran a Full HD video drain test and streamed the video over our office’s 5GHz WiFi network, maintaining a reasonable 50% brightness and 30% of volume while having the notebook’s GTX980M remain as the active GPU, the notebook’s 9-cell battery lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes and switching to Intel’s HD graphics increased additional 30 minutes of playback time, which demonstrates how efficient Skylake can be when compared to its predecessor.