AT A GLANCE
The MSI GL62M 7RE-407 provides acceptable midrange gaming performance, without digging deep into your pockets. However, tradeoffs like a non-backlit keyboard prevent it from shining brightly, meaning there is better value out especially if you’re not after a high-end gaming system.
PROS: Smooth 1080p gaming performance. Plenty of ports. Quite inexpensive for the features.
CONS: Non-backlit keyboard. Physical design may be unappealing to some.
The MSI GL62M 7RE-407 is a gaming laptop that offers respectable performance at midrange pricing. It isn’t the most powerful system we’ve seen recently, but if you’re upgrading from an entry-level system with a GTX 970 graphics can, it has a lot going for it. The GL62M is an ideal system for anyone who wants to run games om medium to high settings without spending too much thanks to its new Pascal-based Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card and a Kaby Lake Intel Core i5 processor.
With the new Pascal graphic cards, we now have mobile systems like the that can handle 1080p gaming on full settings –even better than desktops– with better frame rates, though you might have to throw in a few more bucks. Still you have well-designed gaming laptops that are aggressively priced, like the Acer Aspire VX 15 which makes the GL62M a less appealing prospect.
The Leopard Pro-408 will look familiar to anyone who has used MSI’s gaming laptops before, since the chassis is similar to past systems. On looks, it isn’t the flashiest system you might be seeing in the near future, and if you’ve had a system like ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH74, you get allure and beauty you get out of the box. It strikes me as a rather big, boxy system (measures 1.06 by 15.1 by 10.2 inches, 9.6 pounds) that is a thrifty smaller and lighter than most Pascal laptops.
For a gaming laptop, the keyboard is one area that undoubtedly gets the most hits. Here you have a keyboard deck and lid clad in a black brushed motif, sans the red stripe separating the deck and lower chassis we loved from the other MSI gaming laptops, though it still keeps the stripe on the rear vents and ‘MSI’ inscribed on the lid alongside a logo., and the red MSI logo on the lid. The stripe doesn’t look nice, at least for me, and they give the system a rather faux cheap feel inherited from lower decals and not glamorous accents.
I still can’t get why MSI opted for a non-backlit keyboard, while rivals are upping the game with backlit SteelSeries keyboard with impressive key layout. The keys are at the middle-of-the road; fairly comfortable to type on, although they have too much key travel which may not be so-good for some users. Its touchpad is equally sturdy and has all the smoothness we’ve come to like in most gaming keyboards, although its slightly offset to the left.
The matte display features full HD resolution and In-Plane Switching technology for relatively wider viewing angles, though, the effect isn’t fairly spread out when the system lacks a glass coating. Even with the new graphics, 1080p is still ideal for notebooks, which lack of the power of desktops to run QHD+ or 4K resolutions without meaningful performance drops.
The MSI GP62MVR Leopard Pro 4K-463 boasts a 4K (3840-by-2160) screen, and the Razer Blade Stealth has the same 4K resolution with added touch capability, and on both performance drop is noticeable. Most gaming notebooks feature Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, that’s enables smoother frame rates during gaming, but it’s generally a demanding feature on system that are struggling with most games.
Port options are varied and plentiful, especially if you’ll be doing VR gaming since most devices take up a couple of your USB ports at once. MSI were generous to pack an Ethernet port, a Mini DisplayPort connector, an HDMI port, an SD card slot, one USB-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a Kensington security slot, a microphone jack, and a headphone jack. Wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 combo, and you don’t have an optical drive here.
Storage is up for debate on the system, but you have different storage configurations to choose from the same base model. There’s a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) on board, which is better than a mechanical spinning hard drive; but is till enough for storing games and other downloads. If you need more, throw in an additional hard drive since you have an empty 2.5” SATA slot in there.
Alongside the brand new 4GB GTX 1050Ti graphics card, the MSI GL62M is equipped with a 2.8GHz seventh generation “Kaby Lake” Intel Core i5-7300HQ ( turbo 3.8GHz) processor and 8GB DDR4 (max 32GB) system memory. This is a strong combination, and you should be able to play even the latest titles at high settings, without sacrificing frame rates. While not gaming, this feature-set allows you to tinker with multimedia projects such as video editing and image creation without unnecessary lags.
The launch of new graphics system was meant to compete with their desktop counterparts, and for the first tie we’re seeing notebooks get closer and close to desktops. Notably, the GTX 4GB’s performance is only slightly behind what you’d get from the full-fledged 4GB GTX 1060; still it does crunch the numbers on most games at 1080p settings–The Witcher 3 average 40FPS, GTA 5 average 60FPS and Fallout 4 average 40FPS, although you expect more numbers as you reduce the settings.
Notably, GTX 1050 and 1050Ti sit at the bottom of the new Pascal GPUs, so you really don’t expect them to hit frame rates like the GTX 1060, 1070 or 1080. Now, AMD is flaunting Ryzen to take on Pascal, as the year grows we’re in for better mobile gaming benchmarks.
Finally, the GL62M ‘s on-removable battery managed 2 hours, 55 minutes, on our rundown test, which is rather acceptable for a gaming laptop. Typically, gaming laptops have shorter battery life than ultrabooks on even common desktop replacements, and for that you need to play games near a power source.
Worth a look?
A jump into Pascal graphics technology and latest Kaby Lake processor make the MSI GL62M 7RE-407 an attractive value proposition in every angle, beating even high-end machines with previous generation graphics cards on gaming–it does so affordably. While its physical appearance may not be appealing to everyone, but that’s not much of a deal-breaker for a stay-at-home gaming system, that’s less bulky and heavy than most gaming rivals. A non-backlit keyboard is quite mean, and even with a smaller screen, the graphics card is still hard to pass by, especially at its price range.
On a feature-by-feature basis, on the MSI GL62M, it’s hard to recommend anything else than the newest graphics card and processor. That said, the Acer Aspire VX 15 wraps the best of both worlds into a sleek, portable laptop featuring the same Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card; a Kaby lake Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, 256GB SSD; though you can still get an HDD upgrade kit 1TB hard drive storage, and for all these reasons it remains our Editors’ Choice midrange gaming laptop.