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The MSI GV62 8RD-200 is light. It’s powerful. It has perfect audio. With the GV62 8RD, MSI finally manages to deliver a budget gaming laptop that weighs only 4.8 pounds, but packs an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and a dedicated GTX 1050Ti graphics card. This graphics option isn’t VR-Ready, but you have another iteration of the same model, the MSI GV63 8SE-014 (we reviewed it recently) that comes with GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB) graphics card to run your HTC Vive or Oculus headset.
It draws its esports ambitions from an entry-level Nvidia chip designed for esports rather than the biggest and best new games. Again, you can get away with newer titles but at low settings, and the rest of the machine stacks up a solid mid-range spec.
If you’ve been following the latest trends in gaming, you must have realized that even gaming desktops are cutting on the LED lights. Boutique-built rigs like CyberPowerPC Gamer Supreme SLC10200CPG and Skytech [RTX 2070 Version] Omega look office-like head-on, and can pass as office desktops, but deep down they’re strong gaming powerhouses. In the same spirit, laptops like the MSI GV62 8RD-200 we’re reviewing aren’t as flashy as other gaming notebooks.
Its exterior is quite minimal on bling but looks gorgeous. However, we have a few concerns about this laptop’s overall build quality. This laptop is cut from a black, plastic chassis that is soft to the touch then hair-brushed with IMR paint. On the lid, there is an engraved MSI logo, and below it is a glossy MSI dragon. Then, down to the vents there are stylish red accents along the grill.
While the system looks sturdy, the bottom of the lid has some flex as you open it with just a little pressure. It is a budget laptop, so we expected some sacrifices, but a flexing lid didn’t have to be one of the tradeoffs to have it this affordable.
The keyboard has the typical MSI red/black paint and red LED lights. The MSI GV62 measures 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches, and at 4.8 pounds, it’s one of the lightest laptops at this price point. The MSI GV62 8RD-276 is lighter at 4.41 pounds, and the Asus TUF FX504GD-ES51 is even lighter at 3.09 pounds.
Surprising, the world’s thinnest gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15 (o.78 inches thin) is not necessarily lightweight weighing in at 4.48 pounds, while the equally thin Asus ROG Zephyrus GX531GS-AH76 weighs 4.63 pounds but is only 0.62 inches thin.
On the MSI GV62 8RD-200, you have the ports any gamer would need. The left has a secure slot, an RJ45 port, one USB 3.1, one HDMI 2.0, a Mini DisplayPort, one USB 3.1 port, one USB 3.1 Type-C port and separate mic and headphone inputs. On the right side, there’s a power jack, an SD memory reader and an additional USB 2.0 port.
A 15.6-inch matte IPS display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution used on this MSI GV62 8RD looks bright and offers wide viewing angles, but it is not very colorful. It can be used for movies and YouTube videos but don’t expect a very accurate display, especially on bright colors. While at it, you can play games like Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, and all the burning scenes and flaming cart will be clearly rendered with minimal color distortion.
Most game scenes don’t look as great as they look on the Razer Blade 15, that costs a few hundred dollars more. The screen’s 240 nits of brightness aren’t too far behind the 260-nit category average, and it manages to outshine ‘big boys’ in the industry like the Lenovo Yoga (210 nits), HP Pavilion (173 nits) and the Acer Predator Helios 300 (227 nits).
Keyboard and Touchpad
MSI’s red/black keyboard color may be an overkill for some, but it’s thoroughly comfortable to use. Except for the bottom lid, the keyboard deck is sturdy with a soft chassis, and the palms feel well rested as you type on. On 10fastfingers.com typing test, you can achieve 60 words, which is the average for most people on 15-inch laptops.
Key travel averages 1.7 millimeters with actuation force of 74 grams, which is well within the typical standards, that range from 1.5 to 2.0 mm and anything above 60 grams. The MSI GV62 8RD-200’s 4.2 x 2.3-inch touchpad feels stiff and is accompanied with fairly stiff discrete stickers. Away from the inputs, the MSI GV62’s speakers are loud enough to fill a mid-size room, though the fans become loud during intensive gameplay.
The MSI GV62 8RD-200 specs include an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H processor, 8GB RAM, 16GB Optane Memory Module and 1TB hard drive storage. The quad-core Intel Core i5 chip used here is quite common in budget gaming laptops, but the Optane Memory Module is rare, but it does a nice job accelerating the hard drive cache instead of a solid-state drive that would hike the price.
When not gaming, this spec sheet looks decent enough to handle productivity tasks like audio converting, editing images in Photoshop, or any average tasks you might need to perform in a day. More importantly, the included Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB DDR5) graphics card lets you play most entry-level games at 1080p.
This is a fairly new graphics card, released sometime last year to replace the GTX 965M, and has been consequently replaced in 2019 by the Turing-based GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. Still, the GTX 1050 Ti on the MSI GV62 offers decent gaming performance. It averages 37 FPS on Rise of the Tomb Raider and 48 FPS on Grand Theft Auto V, all played at full HD (1080P), very high settings. These scores are within the average budget gaming laptop’s score.
Gaming laptops are never good when it comes to battery life, and the 3 hours 41 minutes you squeeze out of the MSI GV62 8RD-200 affirm the short battery life issue in this category. However, the newer MSI GV63 8SE-014 sports an energy-efficient CPU and doesn’t support G-Sync, so it gets a win there, with 5 hours 48 minutes on a single charge. Even on spendy high-end gaming laptops, you will be very lucky to snag over 6 hours during gameplay.
The MSI GV62 8RD-200 has a lot going for it, between its powerful 8th Gen Intel Core processor, an Optane Memory Module and an entry-level Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics, all of which make for a steal at its price range. And, a smooth chassis, superbly comfortable keyboard and appealing speakers make for a good gaming experience.
However, a little flexing on the lid and a dull display hold it from being the ultimate gaming laptop. And even if you won’t be gaming, you’ll have concerns with the short battery life and a stiff touchpad. If you can overlook these few trade-offs, then you’re getting one of the most exciting budget gaming laptops around.
Is there a better alternative?
With a few more dollars, you’ll always have many alternatives. For instance, the newer Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL that we recently reviewed costs a little more, but pack a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB) graphics card, alongside 16GB graphics and 256GB SSD storage.
However, the MSI GV62 8RD’s direct competitor is the Asus TUF505DU-EB74 is equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor, a newer GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD + 1TB hard drive. But, if you’re after saving a few hundred dollars and still play your games, you’ll have very few alternatives at the MSI GV62 8RD-200’s price point.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If you’re shopping on a tight budget but need a practical, powerful, yet affordable gaming laptop, the MSI GV62 8RD-200 is the best to get.
Otherwise, you can do better with the Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-52-78VL. The Predator remains our Editors Choice for budget midrange gaming laptops.