The MSI GV62 8RD-276 is a sleek and affordable entry-level gaming laptop that packs the power to run a few AAA titles with aplomb. It’s light, it’s powerful but it’s also loud. Some of its best features are the Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card, comfortable keyboard, remarkable gamer aesthetic body, and awesome performance. We recommend it as an option for users looking to make their entry to the gaming field.
- Smooth and sleek design
- Comfortable keyboard (Steelseries)
- Decent speakers
- Affordable price point
- 8th Gen processor
- Red Backlit keyboard
- Not VR Ready
- Dull display
- Fan runs loudly
- Short battery life
MSI is known for its gaming notebooks, but it also offers very affordable productivity, entry-level gaming, and multimedia laptops. Simply put, MSI is no stranger to consumer choice and they flourish at offering among the best user demanded laptops. The MSI GV62 8RD-276 we review today fully reflects this. It’s an entry-level gaming laptop equipped with mid-tier specs. And based on how MSI priced it and its components, it easily competes with Acer’s Predator Helios 300, Lenovo’s Legion Y520 and Dell’s new G5 and older Inspiron 15 7577. In this review, we take a look at what changed in this GV62’s new model and how the laptop stacks against other rivals.
MSI GV62 8RD-276 Specs
|Display||15.6 inch Full HD display|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8750H (2.3GHz)|
|RAM||16GB DDR4/ 2400MHz (2 @ 8GB)|
|Storage||1TB (5400RPM) HDD/ 128GB SSD|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Dimensions||15.1 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches|
|Ports||1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Card Reader: undefined|
|Networking||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0|
Design and Features
MSI went for a plastic case rather than a metal one, more so for price reasons than anything else. If anything, the case is by far the most cost-saving route MSI took for the MSI GV62 series. As a result, for the MSI GV62 8RD-276, you should expect a few issues such as fingerprints and smudges readily showing and marring the faux-brushed finish. They are a small problem which fortunately can be wiped away with little effort. The worse of these issues though is the creaks and groans. They are a common facet of the plastic case and can get pretty unpleasant. Even so, the exterior is quite gorgeous and soft to the touch. The laptop is also laden with red accents all along the vent grills revealing MSI’s gaming intention for this laptop.
Like any other gaming laptop, the MSI GV62 8RD-276 features several other hallmarks of a gaming machine. Aside from the red accented lines on the laptop, there is the aggressive-looking MSI logo and an angular form overall. All in all, the build quality is decent enough for the price. And although its a long way from the all-aluminum unibody designs of the MacBook Pro and Razer Blade 15, it is a sturdy long-lasting build.
At 15.6 inches, the MSI GV62 isn’t the slimmest laptop we’ve seen. It measures 15.1 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches and weighs 4.41 pounds somewhat chunkier than the Acer Predator Helios 300 (10.47 x 15.35 x 1.05 inches, 5.07 pounds). Dell’s new G5 laptop is, on the other hand, the largest (19.82 x 15.32 x 0.98 inches, 5.76 pounds) and heaviest.
One of the benefits of having a 15.6 inches (larger footprint laptop) is the added room for the laptop’s features. The laptop comes with a large spacious keyboard and you’ll more often than not find a numeric pad and ample palm rest space. Also, under the hood, there is enough space for a 2.5-inch drive.
On our unit, the display is 15.6 inches and bears a Full HD (1920 x 1080) native resolution with an IPS panel and 45% NTSC. This a popular combination for this class of machine. For us, this is the main wrinkle with this laptop. While Full HD resolution is welcome for any laptop, the overall screen brightness is low at 240 nits and backlight uneven. For the most part, a dull screen will not sit well with most users. We consider adequate brightness to be around 250 nits, which means anything under that and the screen will be almost unusable under direct sunlight.
Watching movies on this screen might be a bit frustrating. While watching the recent Avengers Endgame, I immediately noticed how lifeless the characters looked. The colors look faded and hardly pop. Image quality was spectacular and you could easily make out the sharp details on the Avengers team. In gaming scenes, images that should have looked epic and thrilling were dull and lacked the proper color to bring scenes to life.
In retrospect, the Acer Predator Helios 300 which also has a 15.6-inch display, comes with an IPS display and 144Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate combined with IPS panel ensures games run smoothly, have good image quality and wide viewing angles. However, the Predator Helios 300 surges ahead of our unit with a reasonable 324 nits brightness screen, and an sRGB color coverage of 84%. All this means the Helios 300 has a brighter, more lifelike image quality.
The port system on the MSI GV62 8RD-276 is healthy and comes with what most gamers need. The left section has the bulk of the ports including a secure lock slot, an RJ45 port, a single USB 3.1 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, a single USB 3.1 port, one USB 3.1 Type-C port. There are also other separate inputs for a microphone and headphone. Meanwhile, the right side houses power jack, an SD memory reader and a USB 2.0 port.
A glance at the spec sheet of this laptop reveals a well-balanced machine capable of handling pretty much any hurdle and task you throw at it. Firing up the system and it immediately feels snappy thanks to a combination of features. Inside you’ll find an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB memory and 1TB or mechanical hard drive storage. Combined, the components help the system remain calm under pressure and capable of handling more than a fair share of workloads.
The Core i7-8750H processor is one of seven new Coffee Lake H-series processors designed for performance notebooks, workstations, and gaming laptops. It is the successor to the famous Kaby Lake i7-7700HQ which was very common on many top-end gaming laptops last year. The Core i7-8750H improves on core count: 6 cores and 12 threads up from 4 cores and 8 threads.
The Coffee Lake processor comes with a base clock speed of 2.2 GHz and Turbo boost of 4.1 GHz which great for maxing out performance in gaming. The two extra cores have a huge impact on the system and they increase performance by almost 50% compared to the previous processor. As a result, the processor remains steady over lengthy workloads. It is adequate for gamers and content creators looking to render videos and do creative work.
Memory and storage
The processor doesn’t work alone. It combines effort with the 16GB memory, 128GB Solid-state drive and 1TB mechanical hard drive storage. We appreciate that the SSD is fast enough to keep boot-ups, software loading and game-loading times reasonable snappy. However, while the 1TB storage is plenty for storing plenty of data, music, and movies it is very slow at 5400RPM.
As far as gaming performance I concerned, the MSI GV62 8RD-276 sports a hardcore Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU. The graphics card is head-turning on paper, but performance isn’t quite the leap you’d expect it to be compared to others like Nvidia GTX 1060, 1070, 1080 and RTX 2070/2080. Nonetheless, the GTX 1050Ti available here is an asset. It’s great for eSport performance and for playing AAA games at Medium setting and played on Full HD. Here are a few gaming titles we put to the test to see how they would fair.
|Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor||79.1 fps|
Laptops with long battery life are considered good because they offer longer hours of service. The MSI GV62 lasts about 2 hours 5 minutes when surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. That is way below the 4-hour standard battery life we expect for laptops in this category. On the contrary, competition such as the HP Pavilion, Lenovo Legion and Acer Predator all brag of 6 to 7 hours of battery life.
Between its powerful 8th Gen i7-8750H processor, 16GB of memory, plenty of storage and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics, the MSI GV62 8RD-276 seems quite the bargain at less than $1000. It comes with other pros such as a smooth chassis, great design, comfortable keyboard, and satisfying speakers which all add up to create a great gaming experience. The only caveat it comes with is poor battery life and somewhat dull display.
Overall, for the price, the MSI GV62 8RD-276 is a value machine with performance that won’t disappoint. Well, the Acer Predator Helios 300 does offer a better longer lasting battery life and brighter and colorful display, but you will have to add a few more dollars to own it. If you’re looking for performance and want to save a few bucks, the MSI GV62 8RD-276 is a great choice. Otherwise, the Acer Predator Helios 300 takes our Editor’s Choice laptop for entry-level gaming and productivity.