Hardcore gaming can be a pretty solitary activity. Even the most social of MMO games sometimes see players hiding away in front of their computers for weeks on end, only going outside for essential food supplies. For those who like to get out and about while battling strangers online, however, many laptops now exist that are powerful enough to combine gaming with the occasional breath of fresh air or ray of sunlight. MSI’s new contender in this market, the GX60, has just been announced, and is already raising a few eyebrows on gadget and gaming blogs.
• AMD Quad-Core A10-Series processor
• AMD Radeon™ HD 7970M Discrete Class Graphics
• AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display Technology Support
• Super RAID with 2 SSD RAID0 boasting over 1000MB/s (optional)
• Killer Gaming Networking for priority online gaming
• A SteelSeries Keyboard
• THX TruStudio Pro with surround sound effect
• 15.6″ Full HD (1920×1080) anti-glare LCD panel in LED backlight
The core specs are pretty attractive: it features the newest addition to AMD’s mobile CPU range, a 2.3GHz quad-core A10 series chip that should offer impressive performance. AMD’s CPUs can no longer compete with the top Intel equivalents, so it’s just as well that they also provides the GX60’s graphics hardware, with a seriously powerful Radeon 7970M chip doing the heavy lifting. The screen measures 15.6 inches with full 1080p HD display.
On the audio front, an onboard chipset offers THX surround sound for those with an adequate speaker rig. MSI have also announced some kind of ‘audio boost’ function, although details remain thin at the moment. The promised ‘crystal clarity’ would be an advance on most laptops’ rather tinny output, and at least indicates some attention to a much-neglected necessity for gaming PCs, but this writer will believe it only when he hears it.
As far as gaming PCs go, the devil is in the details – you should never overlook the significance of peripherals like gaming keyboards – and the specs look promising here too: a Killer wireless chip for ultra-low lag times should deal with every online warrior’s pet hate, and a pair of SSD drives address low latency on the hard-disk front. A heavy-duty SteelSeries gaming keyboard is built into the unit as well.
As MSI often does, the most important details of all – release date and price-point – are being kept under wraps for now. This could be significant, as MSI will have to price the GX60 aggressively in order to really make a dent in the gaming-laptop market. People on the look-out for a seriously specced gaming PC are hardly ignorant of the current state of technology, and going for an AMD CPU is going to fire off a lot of (admittedly well-founded) prejudices. Putting a powerful GPU in the box will make up for that very significantly, but consumers will go elsewhere if MSI can’t keep this thing south of $1,000 at most.
Still, there’s no doubt that the accessory specs – from the keyboard to the ultra-fast networking – as well as a nice aesthetic design has the potential to be a very attractive purchase. MSI needs to concentrate on keeping the price low and the battery life high to make an impact on this very aggressive market.