The GE62 is MSI's relatively slim and lightweight 15.6in gaming laptop chassis that provides lots of performance without too much bulk. This 2QD Apache version is primarily defined by its choice of graphics card, with it using the mid-range Nvidia GTX 960M, with other GE62 models using the higher-end GTX 965M and GTX970M.
It also features optional triple-SSD SuperRAID, a multi-colour backlit SteelSeries keyboard and a 1920 x 1080 IPS LCD display. Priced at £1099 from Scan.co.uk it’s potentially a great option for those wanting a good all-round powerful laptop that isn’t going to break the bank or your back.
One area where MSI has traditionally struggled with its gaming laptops is on the design front. They’ve tended to err on the side of garish but this is something the company has tried to address with its latest models, toning down the bright colours and 'gamer' looking features.
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As such this GE62 2QD Apache has a nicely muted look to it. There are a few nods to the more aggressive, angular styles of before but it’s largely subtle while the top of the lid and top of the keyboard surround are finished in sheets of brushed aluminium, for a slightly more premium feel.
The two little nods to classic gaming laptop styling are the illuminated MSI Gaming logo on the lid and the thin strip of red that runs along the front edge.
It's an effort that’s appreciated but isn't entirely successful. Aside from the metal plates the chassis has a decidedly cheap plasticky feel to it that isn't a patch on the soft-touch plastic finish of Alienware's laptops, for instance.
Indeed there's a distinct lack of finesse to much of the chassis. The rubber nubs used to cushion the lid look really busy while the underside is a chaos of ventilation grilles and if you pickup the laptop by its front edge with the lid open it flexes enough that it presses both the trackpad buttons.
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In terms of its headline slimness and light weight, though, MSI has put together an impressive machine. At just 27mm thick and weighing 2.4kg it really is noticeably slimmer and lighter than many rivals.
In particular, if compared to something like the Alienware 15, the difference in daily ease of use is profound. The latter's 34mm thickness and 3.1kg weight really do make it the sort of machine you almost never want to move. The MSI, though, you can quite happily take with you round the house and obviously it's that bit more portable for when leaving the house too, though we'd still suggest it's a little bulky to be slinging in a backpack everyday.
What's doubly impressive is that MSI has managed to make such a slim and light machine that still includes an optical drive.
Rather annoyingly, though, MSI has not provided an easily removable panel to access some of the upgradeable parts of this machine. Indeed it has even covered one of the screw holes on the bottom with a warranty sticker meaning any tampering will void it.
This is a shame as there's plenty of upgrade potential here, with three mSATA SSD slots, a 2.5in hard drive slot, two RAM slots and the Wi-Fi card all accessible.
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Unlike gaming laptop manufacturers that sell direct, such as Alienware and XMG, MSI sells its laptops as complete, non-configurable machines. That said, there are supposed to be a number of configurations available, though we're yet to see any alternatives to the one we're reviewing here – there are models that use the same chassis but have different names such as the GE62 2QF Apache Pro.
This machine, then, comes with an Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card, a 128GB SSD, a 1TB hard drive, a DVD-RW drive, a 1920 x 1080 display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Killer E2200 Ethernet port.
All this comes in at £1099 which is very competitive, especially considering the extras such as the SteelSeries backlit keyboard, Killer LAN and partially metal chassis.
Connectivity-wise you've got three USB 3.0 ports down the left edge along with the Ethernet socket, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, headphone and microphone jacks. On the right is the SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port and the DVD drive.
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Other extras include a Cooler Boost button which sits next to the power button and ramps up the fans to make doubly sure your CPU and GPU performance isn't being restricted by overly high temperatures. Next to this is also the SteelSeries button which is used to cycle through the keyboard's various backlight modes.