Cradle Fund

MSI GE40 Review

A certain amount of wariness exists when dealing with gaming notebooks. As it should be; there is a trend to slap a couple of extra Gigs of RAM onto an existing model. MSI has yet to fall into this trap, and yet, I am not yet convinced that this is going to be setting the world on fire. Fortunately, there is the obligatory twist to the story.

The Buildup

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I feel the need to comment on the build quality of this machine. Its manufacturers may not like it. Possibly because there is little that is positive to say about it. Much of the finishing is glossy plastic, a design element that is unacceptable in this day in age. It takes away from faux brushed aluminium look of the rest of the notebook. The cover doesn’t close properly either. Something about the hinge prevents the whole setup from snapping together. It’s quite worrying. Especially when one considers that notebooks are meant to be transported. It may not survive. The designers of this notebook do redeem themselves by building a considerably light machine. Far lighter and more compact than the competition. Especially when considering the amount of power crammed into the chassis.

Maintaining Steam

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A high-end Intel processor (i7!), 8GB of RAM and a 2GB GeForce GTX 760M graphics card should reduce this notebook’s battery life to a pitiful mess. The real twist is that it doesn’t simply start up and drain the battery. Instead, it has an amazing amount of life to it. Even when left on a high performance setting. Left on to download games off Steam, this MSI wonder managed to last almost two days. The standby mode helped a little, naturally. It is still quite a stretch for this class of notebook. The secret is possibly due to the new Haswell processor from Intel. The processor giant has promised that future notebooks would have all day battery life, and it appears to be trying its hardest to make that a reality. If this augurs what is to come from notebooks and Ultrabooks, we are going to be very pleased with our future.

The Real Story

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As far as gaming machines go, it’s hard to predict where this will fall. Yes, it lists some impressive specifications; but it’s much too early to say how the competition will stack up. On its own, the performance is not bad. Benchmark scores are higher than any I’ve experienced, although nobody gives me many gaming notebooks to play around with. They should though.

Processor: Intel Core i7-4702M
Memory: 8GB DDR3 RAM
Storage: 256GB SSD Super RAID + 750GB SATA
Display: 14in HD+ Screen (1600 x 900)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 760M
Ports: 3x USB 3.0, HDMI, RJ45, VGA
PCMark: 5944
3DMark: P3579

Value: 8/10
Features: 9/10
Performance: 10/10
Design: 6/10
Usability: 9/10
Verdict: Haswell definitely looks promising.
Total Score: 8.4/10

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