If you’re on the lookout for a gaming laptop with a good balance between gaming performance and portability, then the MSI GE62 7RE is a pretty good option.
MSI’s lineup of gaming laptops covers a wide gamut when you think of how big the gaming segment is. There are casual gamers who play a few CSGO games or MOBA matches every now and then, then there are the moderate gamers who play their favourite genre of video games every now and then and lastly, there are the hardcore who … are into playing every AAA game on the day of release. The MSI range starts with the GL series and the hardware improves as you move up the line through the GP, GE, GS and lastly end up with the GT. We’re looking at the MSI GE62 7RE Apache Pro which comes with the latest Kaby Lake processor on the 100-series platform.
Powered by an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti 4GB variant, this gaming laptop sits right in the middle of their spectrum offering users portability as well as good gaming performance. Since this is an MSI gaming laptop, these do come with a few features suited to make gaming a much more enjoyable experience. Here are the specifications of this unit:
|MSI GE62 7RE Gaming Laptop Specifications|
|Processor||7700HQ 2.8 GHz|
|RAM FSB||2400 MHz|
|RAM Capacity||16 GB|
|GPU||1050 Ti 4 GB|
|HDD||HGST 1 TB|
|Audio||Realtek (4x 2W + 1x 3W Speakers)|
|Battery||6-Cell 51 Whr|
|AC Adapter||150 W|
Let’s take a look inside the MSI GE62 7RE. For starters, gamers do prefer to upgrade their hardware every now and then. Simple upgrades like a little extra RAM or swapping out the MXM graphics card are what every gamer would look for in a gaming laptop. The MSI GE62 7RE does allow you to upgrade the hard drive, SSD and the RAM easily as is the case with any laptop (except Macs, they’re just a pain to work with). However, the CPU and the GPU on the GE62 7RE aren’t upgradeable as these are BGA SKUs which are soldered onto the motherboard.
There are plenty of heat pipes for cooling with certain sections of the heatpipes helping cool down MOSFETs aside from the CPU and the GPU which require the most cooling. Moreover, there are two cooling fans and the heatpipes are not shared between the CPU and the GPU making for a much better design choice.
The optical disk drive is easily replaceable and the battery is held in place with just one screw, making it easy to replace as well. Speaking of the battery, it’s a 6-cell Li-Ion package totalling up to a good 51 Whr / 4730 mAh capacity. We’ll get to the battery performance later.
The audio solution comprises of 1x 3W speaker which is the one you see right below the left cooling fan and 4x 2W speakers on the bottom left and bottom right of the chassis. These two speaker modules are downward firing and the 3W speaker also has a mesh grill so as to not hamper audio performance.
The display panel isn’t too thick as is the case with most gaming laptops and we didn’t notice any irregularities with the hinges either. The entire thing opens up quite well to a good 140 degrees allowing you to use it with a variety of cooling pads. And the bottom has a huge mesh to allow for better cooling.
Overall, we’d say that the unit is pretty well designed and the lack of upgradeability is the only downside to the design.
Keyboard and Touchpad
We prefer chiclet style keys for gaming and would pick anything that has a higher greater travel distance. The Steelseries keyboard on MSI gaming laptops aren’t lacking. If at all, you do want the real thing then you could always get a separate mechanical keyboard for gaming or opt for the GT83 from MSI’s stable which comes with a full fledged keyboard having Cherry MX keys.
As for the TouchPad, we aren’t fond of the brushed metal finish. There are quite a few standard gestures that Windows 10 supports like two finger swipes for scrolling which can be a little finicky to perform on this TouchPad. Vertical swiping is absolutely effortless but horizontal swiping has an unusual feel to it. The TouchPad responds just fine to taps – single or double, and there’s hardly any flex to it even if you apply a little excessive amount of pressure. We like the dedicated left and right click buttons and feel they are a must for any laptop, gaming or otherwise. The Touchpad is quite wide and there’s plenty of room to play around with.
There’s no dearth of I/O ports on the MSI GE62 7RE. The front and the rear have no ports, so we’ve excluded those from the screenshots. The rear has cooling vents and the front has speaker grills. Hence, all the I/O is concentrated on the sides. On the right hand side, we have an SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port, the optical disc drive and power socket. On the left-hand side we have the Kensington lock slot, Gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, one Mini-DP, one HDMI, one Type-C USB port and audio line in and line out ports.
The audio ports are gold plated to avoid oxidation but the rest of the ports aren’t.
Sporting a 15.6–inch FullHD display panel, the MSI GE62 7RE has the most popular resolution covered. The matte finish barely throws any glare and the colours seems to be quite accurate. We didn’t rip open the panel chassis so we couldn’t figure out which OEM MSI is opting for. A close up inspection reveals that the panel uses a simple RGB sub-pixel arrangement and that works great with all GPUs since it’s quite the standard arrangement. We’ve seen quite a few unconventional panels with weird subpixel arrangements that require a little tweaking to make all the text look proper. We faced no such issues with the GE62 7RE’s display.
The brightness was a little lower than mainstream laptops that we’ve tested coming in at around 220 cd/m2. Tone response wasn’t out of the ordinary but colour uniformity and colour accuracy were quite high, . There was hardly any backlight bleed except for the top right corner but these things tend to vary from unit to unit. Given that this is a FHD display, the pixel density stands at 141 PPI which is the quite standard.
Armed with an Intel Core i7 7700HQ and 16 GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 2400 MHz, you’ll never have to worry about day to day tasks at all. Kabylake processors don’t bring that big a change over Skylake processors and the overall performance difference is approximately around 9% in our tests. CineBench R15 scored 712 points in the CPU test and the laptop managed to crunch out 96.48 FPS in the OpenGL test. Even in PCMark, the GE62 7RE maintains a position in the top 1% of all the laptops we’ve tested with Kabylake CPUs.
With a 128 GB Toshiba SSD (THNSNJ128G8NY), this unit just about gets the bare minimum mark. Transfer speeds are quite sufficient with sequential read speeds around 532 MB/s and sequential write speeds at around 478 MB/s. The capacity, though sufficient, is a bummer. We’d have liked at least 256 GB on the SSD so that a few extra software could be installed aside from the operating system. The secondary drive is an Hitachi (HGST) 2.5–inch hard drive with a capacity of 1 TB. The good thing about this drive is that it runs at 7200 RPM while most other laptops will have a 5400 RPM drive. This makes for a great accompaniment to the SSD without losing out on performance too much. 5400 RPM drives feel ridiculously sluggish after a while so this is a much welcome move.
SD Card Reader
We went ahead and tested the SD card reader as well, we used a 32 GB Lexar 1000x UHS-II SD card which easily gives 135 MB/s read speeds and 55 MB/s write speeds on USB 3.0 SD card readers but on the MSI GE62 7RE the speeds never went above 30 MB/s which does feel a bit odd for a premium gaming laptop.
We then moved on to benchmarking the Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module with iPerf and we ended up with about 323 MB/s on the downlink and a little under 300 MB/s on the uplink. We don’t see why anyone would want to game on Wi-Fi so this is sufficient. As for the Ethernet chipset, like most of MSI products, be it laptops or motherboards, you have the Killer E2500 which comes with its own QoS solution. We found this to be more akin to every other hardware featuring the same E2500 chipset.
The combination of the Intel Core i7 7700HQ and the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti work quite well with most games. The 1050 Ti in the MSI GE62 7RE is the 4 GB variant with 768 stream processors, 64 TMUs and 32 ROPs. Given that these cards have been out for about a month, they’re quite well optimised for most AAA games except for the few that have been recently released. The latest NVIDIA driver (378.49) might have messed up things on the encoding side but gaming overall has been mostly unaffected.
We ran 3DMark Fire Strike a couple of times and averaged 7943 points. Unlike the GTX 1060, we don’t get to see 60 FPS across all AAA titles. Instead, we’re seeing more around the 40 FPS bracket. Rise of the Tomb Raider scored about 37.7 FPS, Witcher 3 with everything cranked up to max managed to scrape past with 25 FPS. At the end of the day, you will need to scale down a few of the parameters to get a smooth gameplay.
MSI GE62 7RE – Verdict
The MSI GE62 7RE is a simple refresh with Intel’s latest Kabylake processors. Priced at Rs. 1,29,990 and powered by a Core i7 7700HQ and NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti, it offers quite the value proposition for gamers. The display is great, and for a gaming laptop, it only weighs 2.4 Kg which isn’t exactly lightweight but we don’t see any better alternatives at the moment. Slight compromises are needed to get playable framerates but if you’re on the lookout for a gaming laptop with a good balance between gaming performance and portability, then the MSI GE62 7RE is a pretty good option.
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