Sometimes you want to game on the go but without having to lug around a backpack heavy enough to make a Navy SEAL flinch, what with the average size of a portable gaming rig, plus the typically-massive power brick and any other peripherals that need to come along for the ride. But it’s almost a given, you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do when you’re moving your gaming PC around constantly. Hey, it’s better than stripping and reassembling a desktop machine.
But you don’t need to carry five to ten kilograms of gaming hardware around if you don’t want to. MSI’s GS60 2PC Ghost, another notebook that sounds like a callsign from a special ops mission, is light just about everywhere. Except your pocket, but we’re almost completely okay with that.
The MSI GS60 follows very similar design cues to the GT72, resulting in something that looks like it belongs in MSI’s gaming lineup. Makes sense, really. Construction is a combination of plastic, on the lid, and brushed metal on the main chassis with a plastic underside. Along the left hand side is the charge port (which hides in plain sight), a couple of USB ports and headphone/mic inputs.
Down the right, you’ll find video output ports, another USB, an SD card reader and the ethernet port. Everything has been crammed onto the sides and you’ll find nothing along the rear except the vents. There’s a reason for this. The MSI GT60 Ghost measures less that 2cm through its thickest point, so there’s not really space to include extras along the back. The interior is packed enough as it is and this extremely thin profile contributes to its sub-2kg (with the power-brick) weight. The GS60 features a clickable trackpad and chiclet keyboard, both from SteelSeries as per usual, and the keyboard has an adjustable backlight. So you can have multicoloured fingers while fragging your favourite noobs online or ganking a boss during a raid.[blockquote] Display: 15.6-inch Full HD (1,960 x 1,080) LED backlit
Processor: Intel Core i7-4700 HQ@2.4GHz
RAM: 16GB DDR3
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M
Storage: 128GB (SSD) + 1TB
Operating System: Windows 8.1
Battery: Li-Polymer 52Wh
Where’d They Put It All?
We’ve established that the GS60 is a looker but is it all show and no go? The answer to that is: no. Happily. This machine may not have the kind of specs to make a custom machine eye its benchmark scores warily but it’s got enough grunt to get the major games to sit up and pay attention. You’ll be able to get the likes of Far Cry 3, as well as older but more demanding games, running along in HD with little to no effort. You can thank the Core i7 4700 HQ and Nvidia’s 2GB GeForce GTX 860M for that. They’re not in the same league as the GT72’s, or the Aorus X7 v2’s, hardware but it’ll do the job. And do it well.
And it’ll look good doing all your HD gaming, because the 15.6-inch panel that MSI have used here is actually pretty good. If we have a choice, we’d take this display over that found in most other notebook. It’s clear, very glare-resistant and bright enough to make gaming a pleasure. Well, more of one.
What is missing is an optical drive, which isn’t as much of a wrench as it used to be. Physical media is almost antique, especially when it comes to PC gaming. But there are a couple of other places where MSI could have done a bit of work. The screen seems like it’d be at risk, given how easy it is to deform by poking it from the back. Why are you sniggering?
And there’s a similar problem with the keyboard, where pressure around the middle of the keys warps a large section of that area downwards. It’s not like we play games by trying to punch our fingers through the WASD buttons but, you know, the heat of the moment… it’d be nice to have a bit more stability, is what we’re saying.
There’s a lot more up than down with the MSI GS60 Ghost, though you’re still going to be paying a premium for having reliable gaming hardware in a package this small. Not quite as much as its heftier brother but still enough to build a better desktop from scratch. If it’s raw power you’re after the GeForce GTX 980M-sporting GT72 from MSI is your port of call but if you’re more a fan of the weight reduction and portability, then the GS60 is a decent second place.