MSI GX660 high end gaming goliath
MSI has unleashed a beast of a laptop - the GX660, which has all the high-end spec that you'd expect from a £1699 machine, but with a big focus on the audio performance as well.
MSI has teamed up with Danish sound specialist Dynaudio to come up with a 4.1-speaker system within the laptop's chassis that, combined with an optimal sound card and Surround Sensation Ultra PC technology from DTS, will give you "the finest audio experience".
As well as the souped-up sound, there is also a lot in the way of big hardware on board as well. Powered by an Intel Core i7-720QM processor (with MSI over-clocking available), the GX660 also boasts 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, 1GB GDDR5 ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 graphics and two 500GB hard-drives to store all of your media and games. There is an extra memory slot included if you fancy upping the RAM to 12GB and, for those interested, the HDDs spin at 7200rpm and are set in RAID 0 formation for the speed boost by default.
The Blu-rays you put in the optical drive should look pretty sweet on the 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080, full HD LED screen, but you also have HDMI output if you want to playback your videos on your big screen TV. That said, the viewing angle is certainly good enough for a small crowd around the laptop to enjoy, anyway.
Data transfer will be zippy with the two USB 3.0 ports and eSata port, or old-fashioned slow with the two USB 2.0 ports. There's also an ExpressCard slot and a 4-in-1 card reader. It weighs in at 3.5kg, and measures 396 x 269 x 55mm.
As well as the specs, MSI has added a couple of features in conjuncture with professional gaming team Fnatic. First, there's a super fan switch to boost the speed of the machine's cooler. The feeling of the team was that they couldn't care less how loud it made things, with them gaming usually with headphones on, so long as it stopped the GX660 getting hot on the hands. The second idea was to have a softkey to disable the Windows button on the keyboard which can all too easily be hit and interrupt your fragging and tea-bagging.
In fact, one of the only high end hallmarks you won't find on this top of the range machine is 3D support but, according to MSI, that's on the way.
"It's something we're looking at for our products at the moment", MSI told Pocket-lint. "We'll have them out by Christmas in our laptops and our all-in-ones as well".
The latter of these forms will have the 22- and 24-inch screen sizes deemed appropriate for the more premium active shutter glasses approach, where as the smaller top of the range laptops will have the polarised glasses technology.
"One of the problems at the moment is that there's not that much content out there, but it's obviously coming and our 3D products will be loaded with software to convert 2D footage into a 3D look. What we think will really drive it though is the sale of 3D stills cameras. People are going to want to view their 3D shots and the computer makes most sense".
While the purist players might sniff at the idea of stereoscopic 3D games, the future models will doubtless appeal to those looking for that multimedia laptop thrill. More on those models when they arrive.