The MSI GE60 is part of MSI’s Gaming Series of laptops, although looking at it you wouldn’t guess that’s the case. The simple reason is that after looking at “gaming laptops” I’ve come to expect bulky desktop replacement machines which are expensive, and very flashy. The GE60 is the opposite of that – reasonably priced in a (relatively) slim chassis, without an extravagant design.
The MSI GE60 packs some serious hardware inside, with an Intel Core i7-3610QM quad-core processor running at 2.30GHz. There’s an unfortunately small amount of memory, with just 4GB packed in, although there is another empty slot for easy expansion. On the storage front everything is covered with a 128GB SSD for the OS and a 750GB hard drive for data. Last but not least is the Nvidia GTX 660M graphics card with 2GB of dedicated memory.
For the price, the MSI GE60 is pretty much unbeatable in terms of specs; sadly the payoff comes from the limited amount of pre-installed memory and the completely plastic body which feels slightly flimsy. It doesn’t really inspire confidence if the MSI GE60 was manhandled.
In another way the light body does pay off with a weight of just 2.4kgs, making it rather portable compared to their GT and GX series of gaming laptops that weigh in a massive 3.9 kilos.
With a glossy top and rear panels that can be easily opened for upgrading the memory and hard drive, the MSI GE60 is very sensibly made. You have the power connector, HDMI, a USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports and gold-plated audio jacks on the left. Meanwhile on the right side the LAN, VGA and another USB 2.0 port are housed, along with the multi-DVD drive.
Open up and you see a very pleasant palm-rest area with a grooved mousepad, along with a Chiclet styled SteelSeries keyboard. The keyboard itself isn’t as sturdy as the one’s found in MSI’s GT and GX series laptops, however.
The power button, including the Turbo boost button and the fan speed increase buttons are at the top of the keyboard, flanked by the speakers that actually sound pretty decent. And the 15.6-inch screen itself runs a resolution of 1920 x 1080, with very good viewing angles and a matt finish screen.
Overall the MSI GE60 has a very good finish to it, with not only sensible components inside but also a very practical design approach.
Obviously the one thing you’d buy the MSI GE60 for more than anything else is gaming, so let’s see how it fares against some previous machines we’ve had in the office.
Performance on the GE60 is similar to the Razer Blade, although the latter edges out slightly with the marginally powerful processor. The all AMD equipped GX60 does come with a much more powerful GPU, despite the weaker A10-4600M processor powering its heart. And with that it manages to simply blow past the GE60 at top speed.
If performance is all you’re going for, the MSI GX60 actually outperforms the GE60 for the same price, but at the cost of portability. Obviously you won’t get the triple display output of AMD’s Eyefinity, nor the easy expandability (three hard drive bays).
So the biggest competition the GE60 has is the GX60, sadly for most people in the UAE this decision isn’t so hard to make as the AMD powered machine isn’t officially sold over here. For the rest of the world, it’s a simple choice between more bulk with superior gaming performance, or portability with performance hit; both for the same price.