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MSI GS70 Stealth review

Is this the perfect gaming notebook?

Our Verdict

The MSI GS70 marries style and substance: plenty of power and a great screen crammed inside a chassis that's thinner, lighter and better-looking than most of its rivals. If you want a machine that's powerful and portable - and you have £1,679 - the MSI GS70 is a contender.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Haswell processor
  • powerful Nvidia graphics
  • bright, high-quality screen
  • great keyboard
  • stunning design

Against

  • Rivals slightly quicker
  • average battery life
  • average colour accuracy
  • no optical drive
  • expensive
Scores
Design   5 out of 5
Features   4 out of 5
Performance   4 out of 5
Usability   4 out of 5
Value   4 out of 5

The MSI GS70 Stealth breaks away from familiar desktop replacement conventions: instead of being bulky, heavy and ugly, it's little thicker than an Ultrabook and half the weight of some rivals - and it's one of the best-looking laptops we've seen for quite some time.

The GS70's vital statistics are backed up by great quality. It's mostly made from brushed aluminium, and the gunmetal-grey finish is paired with slick design. The MSI's lid and base gently contour toward subtle curves at each edge, and we like the little details: milled speaker grilles and air vents, discreet status LEDs on the front edge, and the total absence of garish stickers that usually disturb wrist-rests.

Build quality is excellent, too - impressive when the GS70's dimensions are considered. The base is sturdy and, while there's a little flex in the lid, it's what we expect from machines with a 17-inch screen.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

There's only one concession to the sort of frippery associated with gaming notebooks, and that's the keyboard's backlights.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

The LEDs are divided into three sections, and each can be configured with different colours. Several flashing and glowing patterns can also be chosen. Thankfully, the GS70 looks much classier with these options deactivated.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

The keyboard section is sunken in the base to afford the keys more travel, and the keys themselves are comfortable: light, consistent, and with a solid base.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

We were soon up to speed, and it's no surprise given that the keyboard is made by gaming peripheral specialists, SteelSeries. The touchpad is just as good - wide, smooth, and with support for Windows 8's edge-swipe gestures - handy, as the screen itself doesn't support touch.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

The bottom of the machine includes a couple of speakers. There's a surprising amount of punchy bass and a snappy, clear high-end. There's enough volume to make games sound suitably explosive, although loud sounds elsewhere means the mid-range is sometimes drowned out.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

The MSI GS70 is only 22mm thick, but it includes an Intel Haswell processor, current-generation Nvidia graphics card and two SSDs. The high-end specification and superb design means that the GS70 isn't cheap - this model costs £1,679.

MSI GS70 Stealth review

The powerful components and smart design also means the MSI GS70 straddles the worlds of high-end office notebooks and gaming machines, and that means it's got plenty of competition. In the pure power stakes it's up against the Asus Zenbook U500, which has a high-end processor and a 15.6-inch display.

Those who like to play games could look elsewhere, too: the Razer Blade Pro is a similarly slim gaming notebook that also has a 17-inch screen, and the PC Specialist Vortex III 680 is a traditional desktop replacement: lashings of power in a chunky chassis.

There's another challenger in the form of the Schenker XMG P703 - a 17-inch gaming notebook that also has Haswell.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GTX 765M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
eSATANo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
DisplayPortYes
Product FamilyGS70 2OD
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli7-4700HQ
ColourBrushed Aluminum Gray
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameMSI
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Number of Cells6-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory16 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.60 kg
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS, ErP
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM87 Express
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 2 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
vPro TechnologyNo
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Total Number of USB Ports4
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height21.6 mm
Width418.3 mm
Depth286.8 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product SeriesGS70 2OD
ManufacturerMicro-Star International Co., Ltd
Product ModelGS70 2OD-002US
Product NameGS70 2OD-002US Notebook
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number9S7-177114-002
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.msicomputer.com
Marketing Information

Thinnest & Lightest 17" Gaming Notebook

Introducing the world's thinnest and lightest 17" gaming notebook measuring at less than 0.86 inch and weighing in at a mere 6 lbs.The extremely lightweight, ultra form factor machine is the pinnacle of portable gaming at the palm of your hands. With designs inspired by the F22 Raptor stealth fighter, the simple yet streamlined brush aluminum chassis is a reflection of speed, aggression, and power.

Latest 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor

Packing speed and power under the hood, the GS70 features the latest 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor. Boost your performance and processing speed from 2.4 - 3.4GHz with Intel Boost 2.0

Maximum Memory16 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • GS70 2OD-002US Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter