MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review

This JB HiFi Exclusive costs more, does less and weighs less than other MSI low-end gaming models

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MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop
  • MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop
  • MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop
  • MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Fully featured
  • Powerful 2D performance

Cons

  • Limited to older, competitive games

Bottom Line

This JB HiFi exclusive is a lighter and a bit more expensive than similar MSI gaming laptops. But the 1050 chip is only suited to older, competitive games.

Would you buy this?

In some ways MSI is great for consumers – offering a crazy number of gaming laptops for every type of gamer there is means there's something for everyone. But things can get very confusing – especially when some models are borderline identical. Today we're reviewing the low-end GL62M 7RDX which is an exclusive model to Australia's JB HiFi store. However, it's almost identical to the GE62 7RD Apache that we reviewed a few weeks ago. So which, if any, should you buy?

Key specs

15.6-inch, matte, 1920 x 1080, non-touchscreen LCD; 2.8-3.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor; 16GB RAM; 1TB mechanical HDD; 120GB SSD; Nvidia 4GB GeForce GTX 1050; 6-cell 43Wh battery; 2.3KG. SKU: 421356. Full specs here.

Design and Handling

There are so few differences with MSI's other gaming laptops that we won't describe the key usage points here again. Check out our review of the MSI GT73VR Titan to learn what you need to know about using it. Here's we'll simply focus on the differences.

Some MSI gaming laptops have contoured lids, but this variant is flat.
Some MSI gaming laptops have contoured lids, but this variant is flat.

The chassis is slightly slimmer than the Apache and the lid is plain and flat without contours. The slimmer body also means that the Blu-ray player from the Apache is missing and a slightly-smaller battery is included.

A very similar layout to other MSI gaming laptops.
A very similar layout to other MSI gaming laptops.

Beyond that, the screen, keyboard and trackpad are identical. The Dragon Center overclocking software works the same and the Nahimic audio features are similar. 

Performance

The specs are the same as the Apache but the different chassis means that a different cooling system may be used. 

There's a substantial, copper-based cooling array inside. Plenty of adjustable fans too.
There's a substantial, copper-based cooling array inside. Plenty of adjustable fans too.

In PC Mark, the 7RDX scored an impressive 3,603 when in Turbo Mode which is 150 more than the Apache. This won't make a significant difference to 2D applications but it's a decent score and only slightly behind the 4040 scored by our Test Rig. We should note though that the fan was always audible when running this (and the other tests).

In 3D Mark, the low-end Nvidia GeForce 1050 scored a paltry 1,860 in Time Spy which equates to just 10fps when running the latest DirectX 12 games. Dropping down to the punishing DirectX 11 Fire Strike benchmark it still only scored 1,035 which translates to just 5fps with hardcore DirectX 11 games. So we dropped it down further to the lesser Cloud Gate benchmark which tests for older-games-playing prowess. Here it finally came up with 8,913 which equates to an average of 40-42fps.

As such, if you're playing old school, competitive stuff like Counter Strike, League of Legends and DOTA 2 this machine will cope. It will push up to Overwatch at Full HD but you may have to tinker with some settings. However, it won't play many of the latest games without serious drops in resolution and detail settings.

Battery life and portability

The battery in the 7RDX is slightly smaller than the Apache – the 6-cell unit offers 43Wh instead of 53Wh. This meant that it couldn't match the 114 minutes of running PC Mark at full brightness but it did still manage 104 minutes of flat-out processing.

Read more: Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review

When it came to playing our Full HD movie at mid brightness with earbuds and power saving settings, it did so for three and a half hours – you might struggle with the Extended Version of Return of The King but otherwise, that's usable.

The smaller battery and chassis means that it's noticeably lighter than the the 3KG Apache; tipping the scales at 2.3KG. You still have the 600g power supply to add to that though.

The GL62M laptop is slimmer and lighter than some of its siblings.
The GL62M laptop is slimmer and lighter than some of its siblings.

Conclusion

All in all this is a slightly-slimmer, lighter version of the Apache that doesn't have a Blu-ray recorder. Like a Porsche GT3, you pay more for less with this slimmed down system costing $200 more.

Like the Apache, it's not great at playing latest-technology games, which can be a problem for a gaming laptop. However, there's still a very large market for playing older competitive games and for many, the combination of well-cooled portability and price point will still be attractive. If you want a beefier-but-slim MSI gaming laptop that can play games, check out the MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro 4K. However, it costs $1,000 more.

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