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The MSI GL72 7RD-028 Gaming Laptop is yet another of MSI’s attempt to please the gamer’s circle. It sports a 6 pound machine that doesn’t exactly push the limits of portability as other recent releases in the gaming scene do but rather sits on the fence in that aspect. Its large 17 inch screen is above everything else its biggest advantage it comes with if GPU had nothing to with it.
MSI 17.3 GL72 7RD-028 Review
- Great screen estate (17.3 inches worth)
- Sturdy design
- Dedicated graphics 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
- VR Ready specs
- Plenty of storage: 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD
- Latest processor for top performance-Core i7
- Lacks keyboard backlighting
- Poor bass reproduction/offers no subwoofers
- Lacks IPS panel
- Weighing in at 6 pounds and measuring 1.5 inches thick, the MSI GL72 7RD-028 Gaming Laptop See at Amazon is a valid choice for avid gamers everywhere. Besides from branding a big shot gaming company name, this 17.3 inch rig brags of a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display, 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, plenty of storage (1TB HDD and 128 GB SSD) and Nvidia GeForce 1050 GPU. Such a splendid combination of specs is what make the MSI a force to reckon with.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The MSI GL72 7RD-028 shares its looks with the GE72 with little to no visual and design differences. The most striking change distinguishable is the lack of the decorative red strip that adorned the GE72. Other than that they both share an aluminum chassis, simply made but with duller accents and prone to finger prints. Well, while the cover might not be as impressive to every eye, it at least maintains the same quality build with the GE72, which is a breath of fresh air. The screen comes in a 1920 x 1080 resolution set with not so dominating 178 degrees of wide angle views. It will be good news for most that the screen is fitted with TN Panels and enjoys a 94% NTSC panel that enhances the wide angle views. The panels however are in dire need of calibration.
In terms of size the MSI GL72 7RD-028 is slightly larger than many of its competitor including the pricier GE72. The Acer Predator 17 and GT72 are comparably larger but they have the advantage of being equipped with larger GPUs, memory and storage. For the MSI GL72 7RD-028, memory support is upgradeable up to 64GB. Anyway, that’s tangential to size matters and the MSI really weighs and measures 6 pounds and 16.4 x 10.6 x 1.5 inches respectively.
Available ports on the MSI GL72 7RD-028 include the newly added USB 3.1 Type-C port. The front side features no port but includes the in airflow vents. Some laptops have an SD Card reader on the front section but this laptop has its own on the right side.
The right side offers the Optical drive, USB 2.0, SD reader and the AC adapter while the left: Kensington Lock, Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI-out, Mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, 3.5 mm microphone and a 3.5 mm earphones port. The rear section has no connectivity option but features out-let vents where hot air from the system escapes through.
The MSI comes equipped with 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad core processors with 6MB Cache and 3.8GHz turbo processor speed. It is a fast processor for notebooks and is based on the Kaby Lake H architecture, that is, 7th generation core released early January 2017. This processor is an improvement of the Core i7 6700HQ Skylake predecessor but it doesn’t quite bring any ground breaking performance leap or lower power consumption. But the improvement does equally translate to higher clock speeds 2.8 – 3.8 GHz vs 2.6 – 3.5 GHz compared to the Core i7-6700HQ while maintaining the same TDP of 45W.
The memory on this rig is 16GB worth which isn’t so bad, but if you need some extra RAM the system allows upgrading of up to 64GB. That coupled with 1TB HDD and 128GB NVMe SSD storage make a formidable set of feature that is only seen recipes for premium gaming laptops. The 1TB HDD comes in handy if you have a good collection of movies, music or data to store and the SSD makes sure your laptop boots at lightning speed. The internal storage bays are available in the 1xM.2 and a single 2.5-inch SATA III. Additionally, the optical drive can easily be taken out to make room for an extra third 2.5 inch if needed.
Every child needs its mother just like every gaming rig needs its GPU. The MSI GL72 7RD-028 doesn’t fall back here and it comes with a VR ready overclockable Pascal unit; the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. Thanks to the Nvidia Pascal technology, you don’t have to buy a discontinued relic any more in the name of saving a few coins.
The new technology has significantly shrunk the gap between laptops and desktops and for laptops with Pascal, you get a variety of gaming options with every single one of them being VR ready, even the lower tier 1060 GPU. The GeForce GTX 1050 is a good example of GTX 10 series that supports VR. Ideally, it compares roughly with the GTX 960M which puts it on a 40-50 watt power consumption. As for gaming, we tested some games and here are the few that managed more than 60 fps:
- Ghost Recon Wildlands 2017 low settings 90 fps
- Resident Evil 7 2017 high settings 54.6 fps and 98.1 fps on medium settings
- Watch Dogs 2016 medium resolution 61.3 fps
From the specs, it’s advisable for users looking forward for playing recent titles to dial down the resolution settings. Users can expect to be able to play comfortable at medium and high settings.
The speakers on the MSI GL72 7RD-028 are located on the front edges of the laptop. Unlike pricier and more premium gaming rigs, there is no dedicated subwoofer to appeal to the bass lovers. As expected, sound performance and quality is narrow and almost lacks the bass aspect. The speakers are although very loud, and the maximum volume is pretty intense with no static.
The power consumption on the GL72 7RD-028, like on many gaming rigs, is high. We were able to clock just less than 4 hours of battery life after vigorous use while running the gaming tests. MSI offers a power saver mode profile which helps when battery drains. It could be helpful if you need a few extra minutes of charge to backup your work. Charging from empty to full charge takes you approximately 2 to two and a half hours.
MSI GL72 7RD-028 Specs
- Screen Size 17.3 inches
- Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Processor 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
- RAM 16 GB DDR4
- Hard Drive 1024 GB Hybrid Drive
- Card Description Integrated
- Graphics Card Ram Size 2 GB
- GPU NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 2G GDDR5
- Number of USB 2.0 Ports 1
- Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
- Brand Name MSI
- Series MSI COMPUTER CORP.
- Item model number GL72 7RD-028
- Hardware Platform PC
- Operating System Windows 10
- Item Weight 6 pounds
- Product Dimensions 16.4 x 10.6 x 1.5 inches
- Color Black/Red
- Processor Brand Intel
- Processor Count 2
- Flash Memory Size 128 GB
- Hard Drive Interface Serial ATA
- Hard Drive Rotational Speed 7200 RPM
- Optical Drive Type None
MSI clearly brought its best foot forward with the MSI GL72 7RD-028 gaming laptop See at Amazon, especially with the features: a decent 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution display, 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, plenty of storage (1TB HDD and 128 GB SSD) and Nvidia GeForce 1050 GPU. All these make a respectable combination to steer it towards great performance.
Even so, the laptop does show some limitations and some corners were clearly cut to get it its attractive $1000 starting price; fortunately they aren’t so many. The major drawbacks are the lack of a backlit keyboard, IPS panel and loud fan noise. These are what you need to consider before purchase, and if they don’t really peak your interest, then you’ve got yourself a great entry level gaming laptop.