MSI GV62 8RE Review

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Smooth and sleek design; Comfortable keyboard; Solid performance; Decent speakers; Reasonably priced

The Cons

Lid flexes; Dull display; Loud fan; Short battery life

Verdict

The MSI GV62 8RE is a sleek and affordable gaming laptop that packs a lot of power, but the display could be better.

It's light. It's powerful. It's loud. Starting at $1,049, the MSI GV62 8RE weighs only 5 pounds and has an 8th Gen Intel processor and a VR-ready GTX 1060 graphics card packed inside of a smooth chassis, so it can provide awesome performance. More good news: The speakers are solid, and the keyboard is insanely comfortable. Unfortunately, the display is duller than we'd like, and the fans get pretty loud.

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Design

While MSI's GV62 isn't as flashy as other gaming notebooks, its minimal exterior is quite gorgeous. However, we have some concerns about this laptop's build quality.

The black, plastic chassis is soft to the touch and elegantly hair-brushed with IMR paint. A black, engraved MSI logo shines at the top, just below where the curves meet to form a stylish arrow. Underneath that, MSI's glossy dragon shield protrudes from the chassis. When I made my way down to the hinge, I found stylish red accents all along the vent grill.

While MSI's GV62 isn't as flashy as other gaming notebooks, its minimal exterior is quite gorgeous. 

Unfortunately, the bottom portion of the lid flexes when the lid is open and you apply just a little pressure. Yes, this is a value-priced laptop, but that flexing lid shouldn't be one of the trade-offs.

The keyboard on the GV62 is pretty typical, with bold red/black paint and red LED lights. The touchpad looks slick, with discrete mouse buttons subtly accented in red. Above the keyboard is the power button, and next to it sit a pair of nifty controls that activate the fan and open the Dragon Center app.

The MSI GV62 measures 15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches, and at 5 pounds, it's the lightest gaming laptop among its competitors. The HP Pavilion Power 15t is the thinnest, with a 1-inch chassis, while the Acer Predator Helios 300 (15-inch) is the thickest, at 1.5 inches. The Lenovo Legion Y720 ranks as the heaviest among them, at 6.8 pounds.

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MSI includes all the ports that most gamers need. Starting on the left, you'll find a secure lock slot, an RJ45 port, one USB 3.1 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, one USB 3.1 port, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, and seperate inputs for a microphone and headphone. On the right, you'll find the power jack, an SD memory reader and a USB 2.0 port.

Display

The GV62 8RE's 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, matte IPS display is decently bright and offers fairly wide viewing angles, but the panel just isn't very colorful.

I watched the newest teaser for Bumblebee, and as the film's titular Autobot transformed over Hailee Steinfeld, I immediately noticed how lifeless the machine looked. The color didn't pop, and even when Bumblebee stood tall over Steinfeld, he looked like a toy that just came out of a knockoff Hasbro package rather than like a 17.5-foot killing machine. Yet, the image quality was absolutely crisp. When Bumblebee huddled in a corner, I could make out the sharp details on his head from his vents and the small curvatures around his mouth.

The GV62 8RE's 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, matte IPS display is decently bright and offers fairly wide viewing angles, but the panel just isn't very colorful.

When I played Middle-earth: Shadow of War, three yellow orcs cornered me around a burning cart, and as the flames washed over Talion's face, I swiftly pummeled the orcs into the mud. The surrounding bushes, the flaming cart and the bloodied bodies I'd just dropped all felt like an insignificant backdrop. What should have looked epic and thrilling was instead dull, lacking the proper color to bring the scene to life.

On our lab tests, the GV62 8RE's panel registered just 72 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is well below the 102 percent category average. The Acer Predator Helios scored a much higher 81 percent, and the Lenovo Legion Y720 edged out the MSI, with 73 percent. The HP Pavilion Power 15t fared even worse, with just 68 percent.

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At 240 nits of brightness, the MSI GV62 wasn't too far behind the 260-nit category average, and it outperformed the Pavilion (173 nits), Legion (210 nits) and Predator (226 nits).

Keyboard and Touchpad

While the keyboard's color scheme may be too bold for some, it's thoroughly comfortable to use. With the incredibly soft chassis, my palms felt like they were on clouds as I typed. I achieved 60 words per minute on the 10fastfingers typing test, which is my average on 15-inch laptops.

The keys traveled at 1.7 millimeters with an actuation force of 74 grams. This is well within range of our typical standards, which are from 1.5 to 2.0mm and above 60 grams.

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The 4.2 x 2.3-inch touchpad felt really stiff and was accompanied by equally stiff discrete clickers. While the pad still captured all Windows 10 gestures, I was caught off guard by something immediately. When I get any new laptop, the first thing I do is turn off Tap to Click, but when I went into the touchpad options I was bewildered to find no such setting. Thus, using the touchpad was utterly troublesome, as I kept accidentally clicking while scrolling. However, when I reached out to MSI, they provided me with a helpful driver that allowed me to disable this feature.

Audio

The speakers in the MSI GV62 are decent and were loud enough to fill my bedroom with Childish Gambino's "This Is America." The opening vocals are melodic, but when the song reached the low-toned acoustic guitar section, the speakers couldn't properly highlight the instrument, so it was overwhelmed by the rest of the rhythms introduced throughout. Despite that, when the chorus arrived, the vocals and electronic beats intertwined with enough treble and bass that the sound burst with intensity.

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On the other hand, the laptop's fans made it really hard to enjoy the sound while I played Shadow of War. As I rushed to tackle an orc before he detected me, I could hear how swift and crisp my steps sounded as I ran across puddles and dirt. But instead of being a silent, deadly assassin, Talion sounded like he was running at the orc with a chainsaw. And that was without the manual fan activated, so this machine can get louder.

Gaming, Graphics and VR

The GV62 8RE packs an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 3GB of VRAM. As I was knee-deep in orc blood while playing Shadow of War, the game bounced around from 37 to 59 frames per second with a lot of screen tearing on very high settings. However, after I enabled VSync, this problem seemingly went away. It even jumped the frame rate to around 49 to 60 fps, allowing me to swifty dodge a pack of orcs on the stone bridge so I could perform a brutal execution on Grom Longtooth, the orc bullied for his lisp.

Rise of the Tomb Raider ran at 36 fps on very high and 1080p, and while that frame rate is above the 30-fps playable threshold, the GV62 8RE didn't do as well as the entry-level gaming laptop average (44 fps) or the Predator's 64 fps (GTX 1060 6GB). The MSI did, however, manage to narrowly beat the Legion (GTX 1060 6GB).

The MSI GV62 actually surpassed the competition on the SteamVR Performance test, producing a modest 7.3 out of 11.

On the Hitman benchmark (1080p, ultra), the MSI GV62 maintained a smooth 51 fps, beating the Pavilion (GTX 1050 4GB) by one frame. But MSI's machine still fell behind the category average (58 fps) as well as the Legion (62 fps) and Predator (64 fps).

Grand Theft Auto V ran at 48 fps on very high and 1080p, which is well within range of the average budget gaming laptop's score (50 fps). The MSI also produced strikingly similar results as the Legion (47 fps) and Predator (49 fps).

The MSI GV62 actually surpassed the competition on the SteamVR Performance test, producing a modest 7.3 out of 11. It got a decent lead on the Legion's 6.7 and inched past the category average of 7 as well as the Predator's 7.1.

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Additionally, the MSI GV62 comes with an Intel UHD 630 graphics card built in.

Performance

With the GV62 8RE, Shadow of War ran silky smooth while I blasted Childish Gambino's "This Is America" with 30 Google Chrome tabs open in the background, filled with various achievement guides and Facebook cat videos. All of that is possible due to the 8RE's 8th Gen 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-8300H processor, 8GB of RAM, primary 128GB SSD, and secondary 1TB and 5,400 RPM hard drive.

On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, the MSI GV62 scored 13,689, which surpassed the 12,803 entry-level gaming laptop average. MSI's machine sailed by the Pavilion Power 15t's 11,214 (i5-7300HQ) as well as the Legion Y720's 12,169 (i7-7700HQ). The Predator Helios 500 was close behind the MSI, at 13,587 (i7-7700HQ).

The GV62 8RE copied 4.97GB of multimedia files in 41 seconds, or 124 megabytes per second, which speeds past the Pavilion's result (69 MBps) but trips up against the scores from the Legion (164 MBps) and Predator (188 MBps). However, none of these machines reached the 212-MBps category average.

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On our HandBrake test, the MSI GV62 took 13 minutes and 9 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. MSI's machine crushed the Pavilion's 20:24 and even finished the task sooner than the 15:07 category average.

Battery Life

While most gaming laptops don't have great battery life, the MSI GV62's is kind of ridiculous. When surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the MSI GV62 lasted only 2 hours and 5 minutes, way below the 4:46 category average. This is especially troubling, because the Pavilion, Legion and Predator all lasted between 6 and 7 hours.

Webcam

If you're thinking about streaming, you might want to get an external webcam, as the MSI GV62 took ridiculously grainy images. The red sparkling color from my Supernatural shirt was drained, and everything by my window was completely blown out.

The light even washed out parts of my face. Not to mention, my hair was so undefined that it looked like a toupee.

Heat

The GV62 8RE's blaring fan tries its best to keep things cool, but the system still crossed our comfort threshold of 95 degrees Fahrenheit. After the machine ran Shadow of War for 15 minutes, the underside of the chassis reached 115 degrees, while the center of the keyboard and touchpad hit 113 and 105 degrees, respectively.

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However, this MSI remained much cooler while not gaming. After the laptop ran a 15-minute HD video, the underside and keyboard both measured 93 degrees, while the touchpad climbed to 95 degrees.

Software and Warranty

The GV62 8RE comes with MSI's incredibly useful Dragon Center. This app keeps track of the power being produced by the CPU and GPU as well as options for freeing/cleaning up Memory and Disk space. There are performance settings that allow you to control the fan speed, RGB range, DPI and the speed at which your CPU/GPU clock.

Additionally, there's a VoiceBoost feature to manage the sound between the game and voice chat. This laptop also includes tools to create a backup recovery image as well as calibrate and reset the battery power setting. Last but not least, MSI has its own interface for activating and deactivating the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, webcam and display. Under that interface, there are sliders for the volume and brightness.

There is some bloatware included, like Music Maker Jam; Microsoft's Mahjong, Jigsaw and Minesweeper; and the infamous sagas of Candy Crush and Candy Crush Soda.

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MSI's GV62 8RE comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how MSI performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Configurations

The MSI GV62 that I tested goes for $1,049 and comes with an 8th Gen 2.3-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5-8300H processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 3GB of VRAM, 8GB of RAM, a primary 128GB SSD and a secondary 1TB 5,400 RPM hard drive. The next step up is $1,249 and upgrades you to a six-core 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor and 16GB of RAM.

Bottom Line

Between its powerful 8th Gen Intel Core processor and its fairly powerful Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics, the MSI GV62 8RE seems like quite the steal at $1,049. Its smooth chassis, superbly comfortable keyboard and satisfying speakers make for a good gaming experience. Yet, the flexing lid, painfully loud fan and dull display mar the experience. And even if you're not gaming, you suffer through the short battery life and stiff touchpad.

For a small price bump, you can get the Acer Predator Helios 300 ($1,139.99), which offers a more colorful display, a longer-lasting battery and powerful TrueHarmony speakers to overcome the fan noise. If you're solely interested in power and saving a couple extra bucks, the MSI GV62 8RE is a solid entry-level gaming laptop with a reasonable price. But you can do better.

Credit: Laptop Mag

CPU Intel Core i5 8th Gen 8300H (2.30 GHz)
Operating System Windows 10 Home
RAM 8GB
RAM Upgradable to 16GB
Hard Drive Size 128GB SSD
Hard Drive Speed
Hard Drive Type M.2 SATA SSD
Secondary Hard Drive Size 1TB
Secondary Hard Drive Speed 5400 RPM
Secondary Hard Drive Type HDD
Display Size 15.6
Highest Available Resolution 1920 x 1080
Native Resolution 1900x1080
Optical Drive
Optical Drive Speed
Graphics Card GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB GDDR5
Video Memory 3GB
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Model
Bluetooth
Mobile Broadband
Touchpad Size 4.2 x 2.3 inches
Ports (excluding USB) RJ-45
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.1 with Type-C
Ports (excluding USB) SD card slot
Ports (excluding USB) HDMI 2.0
Ports (excluding USB) USB 2.0
Ports (excluding USB) Headphone
Ports (excluding USB) USB 3.1
Ports (excluding USB) Lock Slot
Ports (excluding USB) Microphone
Ports (excluding USB) Mini Display Port
USB Ports 4
Card Slots SD memory reader
Warranty/Support one-year limited warranty
Size 15.07" x 10.23" x 1.16"
Weight 4.98 pounds
Company Website https://us.msi.com/
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