From the moment I opened the packaging, the MSI GS75 demonstrated everything you would expect from a top-of-the-line gaming laptop. It had the sleek metal detailing, the ultra HD screen resolution, and could handle the majority of my Steam library without breaking a sweat. I quickly realised the challenge was not determining all the things I liked about the laptop - it was hunting for anything I didn’t.
As soon as I ripped through the cardboard and slid the machine out from its cloth sleeve, I was struck by the sheer professionalism of the design - the classic gaming laptop expectations of funky angles, huge air vents and overall bulk were not even remotely visible, replaced instead by classy bronze/gold metal detailing and a sleek black membrane that felt, at the touch, tangibly higher than most in material quality.
Despite such tactile luxury, however, it didn’t feel very solid in portability - yes, it was incredibly light for the amount of firepower under the hood, but it felt somewhat fragile, creaking a little when lifted - I was worried about taking it on my commute to uni!
Furthermore, the quality of keyboard – typical of the SteelSeries brand – was easy to feel. The keys were smooth and sturdy, with a satisfying tactile bump and no click, and the keyboard itself felt logical and well-spaced. The only thing that bugged me was the flashing colours– yes, it was cool on the first day, maybe even the second, but after a week it was really distracting. I could work out how to turn it off, or lower the brightness, but not change it to a single, unchanging colour, which would have been ideal. Despite a few minor drawbacks such as this, the hardware was sleek, light and efficient - you’ll feel like a CEO from the moment it touches your desk.
General use of the laptop was very smooth. The screen itself is vibrant, with a well selected colour range that is restrained yet vivid. My only qualm is occasionally, in long periods of staring at primarily white screens (Google Docs for example), the brightness could get uncomfortable, and I’d struggle to pick a level that was easy on the eye. But watching Planet Earth on Netflix? Brilliant.
I also struggled with the audio. I found the sound from the speakers seemed somewhat hollow or flat, nearly as if the sound was being projected near you, but not at you. It was a minor factor that I did notice consistently.
So to the business end of things! Gaming on the MSI GS75 was, in general, extremely enjoyable. And so it should be with the crazy specs this machine has under the hood. The 144hz definitely allowed for extremely smooth gaming. That was patently clear when I started off with CounterStrike: GO, a game that isn’t really intensive on a system, but the high screen refresh rate meant I could really see the frames I was getting.
Later on, I decided to push the system, installing Sleeping Dogs and setting the graphics on Extreme. Unfortunately, the laptop couldn’t cope, and I didn’t get smooth, playable graphics until I had graphic settings on Medium, but that was still full HD at 144hz, so it was still very enjoyable for cruising around Hong Kong. And, finally, Rocket League played pretty successfully on High graphics, although I wouldn’t label it silky smooth - it felt a bit rough occasionally in regards to keeping those frame rates above noticeable.
I would argue such an incredible display is a blessing and a curse – you notice every crisp detail, and games look stunning, but it’s also much easier to notice every missed frame or hazy detail that would go unnoticed on other screens.
When I used the GS75 for other professional applications, such as Rhino3d (a CAD-like software), it operated smoothly, and the high refresh and crystal clear display aided general use. It demonstrated its prowess by handling a simple stress test of creating an array of 50 by 50 by 50 columns relatively successfully (my day-to-day laptop is still churning through the same operation as I write).
Overall, the MSI GS75 is both sleek and sophisticated. As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between. Despite some minor qualms, the laptop meets the expectations of its price tag by ensuring supreme quality and sharpness in every aspect, defining a luxurious gaming and working experience I was lucky enough to enjoy.