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You’ve likely come across MSI’s GV62 8RD-200 while shopping for a budget gaming laptop in the past year. Despite minor changes this year, the look remains the same – a thin, black chassis with a colorful Steelseries keyboard and whatever Nvidia discrete graphics option fitted at that price point.
This time, things still feel the same. Intel’s mobile CPU offers the same solid performance, an Nvidia’s mobile line performs amazingly, just like it does on desktop chips. That could mean a notable leap forward than normal for this year’s edition, which is just under a grand.
For our review unit, the MSI GV62 8RD-275, the company picked the Intel Core i5-8300H, paired with 8GB of RAM and a GTX 1050Ti for gaming. Storage comes in a 256GB solid state drive (SSD), and a 1080p screen, with a PRICE that is well within the midrange gaming category. Is this the year the GV62 emerges from the evergreen option to a true competitor?
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MSI GV62 8RD-275 – DESIGN
For anyone who has used an MSI before, this design might look too familiar. If it does, it’s because MSI builds these enclosures in-house, and the licenses them out to other manufacturers for rebranding. It isn’t as colorful as the Acer Predator Helios 300, whether tucked under your arm or out in a conference room. If the RGB keys are turned, you take a few minutes to pick it for a gaming laptop.
Dressed in a matte black plastic, with a thin red line on the rear, joining the dual fan grilles, the GV62 gets its fair share of colors. Gamers like that. We still insist that you might be tempted to use it in the office – if only the red accents and ‘gamer-inspired’ SteelSeries keyboard were tamed.
Still, the machine is portable, weighing only 4.8 pounds and 1.16 inches thin. That’s way lighter than the Dell G5587-7866BLK-PUS’s 6.28 (0.98 inches) pounds, while the Acer Predator Helios comes closer at 5.51 pounds and 1.05-inches thin. If you need one that extremely portable, a spendy ultrabook like the Razer Blade 15, weighing only 4.4 pounds and 0.78 inches.
MSI GV62 8RD-275 – PORTS
Whatever the MSI lacks in looks, it easily makes up for with a robust number of I/O ports. Up the left side, you’ll find 3.5mm audio in and out, Killer E2400 Ethernet, and two USB 3.1 ports. Around the right side, there’s a full-sized SD card slot and an extra USB 2.0 for your peripherals. Video outputs include a full-sized HDMI and a Mini DisplayPort.
That’s quite huge for such a slim machine, even among similar gaming systems. We always appreciate full-sized video outputs, particularly the inclusion of HDMI 2.0, for connecting to external displays.
MSI GV62 8RD-275 – INPUTS
Like the system’s design, the MSI GV62’s SteelSeries keyboard is one that looks very familiar. It packs a numpad, which is becoming common among 15-inch laptops. The numpad is a bit narrow than what you’d find on a 17-inch laptop, but we’re OK it being here.
MSI focuses on making a comfortable, spacious and durable keyboard over everything else. What this keyboard lacks is spaciousness, but makes up with good key travel, bolstered by full, single back-lighting zones. For the touchpad, it’s slightly offset toward the left, but still feels smooth, is sturdy and is responsive to left-and-right click functions that are just beneath the touchpad.
MSI GV62 8RD-275 – DISPLAY
The MSI’s 15.6-inch, 1080p panel is the baseline for midrange gaming systems these days. For those willing to spend more, they’re getting high-end systems with 1440p or 4K panels – only that mobile gaming hardware rarely keeps up with the latest games at native resolution. We have no problem with the FHD panel used here, and feel it’s a match with the GTX 1050Ti graphics chip.
While the display isn’t the best in its class, it scores well enough across the board. Its maximum brightness and contrast are both right and at acceptable levels, without really losing the battle in either category. You never want to compare an IPS screen against recent OLEDs that are making their way into systems like the Alienware 13. Its color gamut is average, with absolutely nothing to complain about there. Overall, this is a display that fits all the needs of a gamer on the go.
MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Productivity Performance
Our review unit is equipped with an 8th-Gen “Coffee Lake-H” Core i5-8300H, the most common quad-core processor for budget gaming laptops. It’s a familiar chip to us, we’ve reviewed multiple systems towards the end of 2018. In all our reviews, we’ve not seen any performance surprises. It’s the same processor used in the baseline model – the MSI GV62 8RD-200, our Editors’ Choice for budget gaming laptops.
The Core i5-8300H is a 6 core CPU that, when paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD easily handles most productivity tasks with ease. In fact, it lets you ride a few demanding tasks like video editing, something that puts it in the same league with systems designed for media task. If your daily task includes audio file conversion, media editing in Photoshop, or any other tasks an average PC user engages in, this might be the right machine for you.
MSI GV62 8RD-275 – Gaming, Graphics
This time around, the MSI GV62 is powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU, the equivalent of last generation’s GTX 960M. It’s a powerful mobile chip, and one that should be more than muscular to handle modern games at the system’s native 1080p resolution.
It averages 44 fps on Valley frame rate tests, 65 fps on Titanfall 2 and 59 fps on GTA V, all played at full HD (1080p) settings. This level of performance would be great for a general-use laptop, but for a system billed as a dedicated gaming laptop, it’s a smidge disappointing. Plus, it doesn’t support VR gaming. Its closes rival, the Acer Predator Helios 300 uses a GTX 1060 GPU, is VR-ready and manages smooth playability on most AAA games: Titanfall 2 (96 fps) and 60.3 fps on GTA V (90.3 fps).
MSI GV62 8RD-275 – BATTERY LIFE
The MSI 8RD-275’s battery lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes, on rundown tests, which is expected of a gaming laptop. This is way lower than even a desktop replacement, but we have a few scoring well including the Dell Inspiron 15 – 11 hours 06 minutes; Razer Blade 15 – 13 hours 29 minutes; and, Acer Predator 15 that will last 5 hours 36 minutes. As always, this ilk of gaming notebooks are just portable enough to allow you move in a pinch to your next destination, but they aren’t designed for use all-the-way.
MSI’s GV62 8RD-275 packs familiar components into a light-weight chassis, that is incredibly portable but manages to provides competitive gaming performance. It utilizes the latest 8th-Gen., processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and a discrete 1050Ti graphics to deliver a punch in one of the slimmest gaming notebooks at this price.
Is there a better alternative?
While gaming laptops niche gets crowded every day, the GV62 8RD is among the affordable alternatives around with exceptional gaming and productivity performance. About the only alternative around is the Acer Predator Helios 300, that packs a 15.6 FHD 144Hz screen, Intel’s Core i7-8750H CPU, a GTX 1060 graphics card and a 256GB SSD.
Unlike the MSI, the predator Helios 300’s GTX 1060 offers better gaming performance and has support for Virtual Reality (VR), meaning you can use it with your HTC Vive or Oculus headset. For the additional features, though, expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars more.
Should you buy it?
Yes. If you hadn’t jumped into the bandwagon and bought the MSI GV62 8RD-200, now you have every reason to buy this newer iteration. It’s powerful, well designed, and very affordable without making any major compromises.