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MSI GT680 - Screen and Speakers

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



  • Recommended by TR


Our Score:


We've been consistently impressed with the displays found on MSI's gaming laptop range, and thankfully the GT680 does nothing to alter that impression. The glossy, 15.6in screen sports a resolution of 1,366 x 768, which is par for the course. While we do like seeing 1080p panels even with a screen this small, you'll be able to enjoy higher detail settings in games while staying at the panel's native resolution. The glossy screen finish turns it into a mirror with ambient light present, but does at least enhance perceived contrast and colour vibrancy.

Not that the panel needs much help in these regards. Colours are never less than rich and vivid, while contrast is very good. As with many entertainment-oriented laptops, white differentiation has been sacrificed in favour of excellent performance at the dark end of the greyscale, meaning you'll see all the detail in gloomy games and films. This is aided by impressive horizontal viewing angles, lacking the handicap of contrast shift. Some minor colour shift does occur, and vertical angles are as weak as ever so you have to be careful how you angle the display, but it's nonetheless an excellent performer.

The positives continue with fairly even backlighting and no sign of light bleed. Dithering is present if you look carefully, but there's not a hint of banding and sharpness is flawless. Overall it's certainly superior to the vast majority of laptop screens.

Nor does the GT680's audio let things down. Helped along by THX TruStudio PRO processing, the four Dynaudio-branded speakers and subwoofer produce a soundstage offering excellent depth and dimensionality. Explosions, gunshots and thumping tracks are pushed out with plenty of body, as the speakers offer far more bass than most laptop setups manage.

Just be sure to keep them below their maximum volume, where some distortion is introduced – but worry not, you'll still easily fill a small room at lower settings. Our one criticism is a slight lack of clarity, but for entertainment these easily match the audio performance of the Toshiba Qosmio X500 and are almost on par with the Asus G73Jh.

Denis iii

January 28, 2011, 2:02 pm

£1400 for that ugly monstrosity? MSI must be having a laugh!

MSI laptops albeit ugly used to be priced well on a level with US pricing but looks they are taking evil ASUS' tactic of highly jacking up the price in the UK.


January 28, 2011, 4:19 pm

Im a resident supporter of MSI and in reply to Denis iii - their pricing has been consistent over the past 2/3 years on their top end gaming platforms. The quad core GT725 I picked up 2 years ago was maybe only a shade under the price of this one - both at the higher end of the market at time of release.

You also have to remember that MSI are a Chinese company (I think!) so their pricing structures will be hugely effected by $/£ exchange rates and the fact that the Chinese economy machine is largely making most things more expensive.

This is a different chasis to mine but I recently needed the power port re-soldered due to too much fiddling with it. Same thing happened at almost the same time with my brothers GT725. But then this is amongst the most common of issues with power hungry laptops. Just a word of warning - the guts of MSI machines are apparently several degrees more complicated than usual laptop internals. I didnt get charged extra for the repair but it did take the fella a good 3 or 4 times longer than usual.

And who buys an expensive laptop for its looks?!


January 28, 2011, 10:12 pm

This looks like a promising option for someone like myself who is looking to grab a Sandy Bridge powered laptop asap. But do we know who'll be stocking this, and when?


February 2, 2011, 6:35 pm

For the spec this is a MONSTER, looks are good also, wish I could swap my acer 5920g for one, but its out my price range, but I dont think it is overpriced, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say. I would love one.


February 2, 2011, 8:39 pm


Never judge a book by its cover.

And all gaming laptops are 'monstrosities', though some are indeed a sight more attractive.

Still, MSI's latest design is definitely a positive evolution.


"And who buys an expensive laptop for its looks?!" Two words: Macbook Air. As far as gaming laptops are concerned though, internals and ergonomics are indeed far more important than visual impact.


Micro Anvika should be but one of many retailers getting stock in this month.


Agree that it's excellent value!


February 2, 2011, 9:47 pm


Looks like we might have to wait a little longer for retail availability :(

The following is direct from MSI:

"MSI has been informed by Intel about the design issues in the Intel 6 series chipsets. According to Intel the performance of some of the Intel SATA ports on Intel 6 series products can degrade over a period of 3 years. MSI takes the quality of our products very seriously, so at this moment we are investigating product batches that may be affected and, meanwhile, have stopped all shipments to our distributors and resellers. Additionally, we asked resellers to hold sales of the Intel 6 series based MSI products to customers until the issue can be resolved."

Unfortunately, as it uses Intel's PM67 chipset, the GT680R is one of the products apparently affected...


November 21, 2011, 2:52 pm

Many pople are using MSI Laptop,and me,too.I think it's very good.I don't want to have a change.

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