MSI GX720 review: MSI GX720

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Very affordable. Good performance. Bundled mouse is reasonably good. Turbo mode lets you squeeze out more performance and value. 1680x1050 resolution screen.

The Bad Keyboard is squashed on the right-hand side. Air vent on right-hand side.

The Bottom Line The GX720 does fine for a gaming laptop. While it doesn't pull the massive punch of its Dell XPS or Alienware competitors thanks to its lower spec graphics card, it comes in a lot cheaper and should cover most gaming needs.

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Design
The GX720 shares its design heritage with the EX720 , essentially being a repainted chassis with a black interior and red racing stripes. The lid has been redone to mimic black brushed aluminium, while the panel underneath the monitor that houses the touch-sensitive buttons has been swapped out, with a car-dash inspired grille covering the speakers and a more edgy design for the buttons themselves. While the usual media buttons are here, as well as the power profile, webcam, Bluetooth and wireless on/off buttons, there's also a "Turbo" button, which overclocks the processor from 2.4GHz to 2.78GHz, by increasing the FSB by 30MHz.

MSI has been rather criminal with air vents again though, positioning it on the right, meaning any right hander with an external mouse may find their digits a little roasted. Considering MSI includes a gaming mouse as part of its bundle, this is an interesting oversight.

The gaming mouse itself is actually of decent quality for something not from Microsoft, Logitech or Razer. It's comfortable for right handers, has a custom weight system (allowing you to modify its heaviness by adding metal slugs one by one to the inside of the mouse), and as an added bonus, the retention mechanism is designed like a six-shooter gun chamber. It's the first time, despite all the gaming advertising otherwise, that we've actually thought of a mouse as a weapon.

There is a DPI switcher on the mouse under the multi-directional scroll wheel, and the buttons on the left can be customised to run macros, with three separate profiles available by pressing the "M" button on the mouse. The profile editor isn't the best, because while it allows recording macros, only delay between mouse and key presses can be edited, with mistakes needing to be deleted rather than edited. You also cannot create a macro manually within the software — you must record your actions. It's a definite step-up from the usual mouse inclusions, but from a software perspective won't be threatening the top three manufacturers any time soon.

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Where to Buy

MSI GX720

Part Number: CNETMSI GX720

Typical Price: $2,049.00

See manufacturer website for availability.