Over the past few years we have seen some pretty spectacular motherboards and graphics cards from MSI. And on the GPU side the likes of the R7970 Lightning was one of the best Radeons we have tested, if not the best. So MSI may well be best known for their excellent range of motherboards and GPUs but for the past few years they have also been taking the mobile system market extremely seriously. Whether that meant some interesting ultra-portable systems, compact Laptop Keyboard or the chunkier Core i7 based GT683DXR there was some real progress being made.
MSI's latest foray into the gaming/enthusiast laptop marketplace is the GT70 Dragon Edition. With components including the latest Ivy Bridge i7 CPU, SSDs in RAID, GTX 675MX Graphics and 16GB of memory in a 17" chassis , Laptop Keyboard ... and some great extra specifications, today we find out whether the system can play the likes of Far Cry 3 and Hitman: Absolution.
Opening up the Dragon Edition we find a 17.3" LED backlit display which on our review sample was 1920x1080 pixels with a matte/anti-glare finish. As is normal for mobile systems a webcam is integrated into the display surround and the camera used here offers 720p resolution @ 30FPS.
On the body of the system we find more of the red brushed metal effect finish with dragon art and next to that the SteelSeries designed 102-keyboard which features backlighting with multiple colours available like the Dell Vostro V131 (Backlight) Keyboard . Above the keyboard are two speakers powered by Dynaudio and between them a touch panel with LEDs to show the status of aspects such as Wi-Fi. In the centre is our power button finished in silver.
Looking a little closer at the keyboard we have a part which has been designed to be ultra-durable with decent feedback when pressed. The Touchpad is separate to the left and right buttons, somewhat of a rarity in modern systems and is a Synaptics part.
We can access the inside of the system by removing a number of screws on the base and then lifting off a single panel. Having done this we find a familiar looking layout for a MSI system. Inside the system are a wireless-N dual band card (Killer NIC 1202) with Bluetooth 4.0 also supported. Elixir memory is also present (4x4GB DDR3-1600) with two SANDISK SSDs in RAID0 on an mSATA bus. These components are accompanied by a 750GB mechanical WD Scorpio Black drive