MSI GE620 gaming notebook Review

  • price

    ₹49,990.00

  • tech rating

    3.5/5

  • user rating

    5.6/5

What constitutes a gaming notebook? High-end specifications and some fancy lighting? Well, at least that’s the general route companies take when designing one. But if you strip away the neon lights and aggressive styling, you’ll notice that many multimedia notebooks also make for good, if not great, gaming notebooks. MSI’s GE620 is one such example. Although it’s from their gaming series of notebooks, it lacks the extra ‘bling’ if you will, which is also why it’s quite a bit cheaper.

 

 

On Video: MSI GE620

Design and Build
Looking at it, there’s no way of telling if this is a gaming notebook as it looks really plain and ordinary. In fact, it looks similar to some of their budget series notebooks and in a way, even feels like one. The only thing that gives it away is the handful of stickers you’ll find on the palm rest. The plastics used don’t really scream quality and the lid, while sturdy, does suffer from flex issues. The rest of the chassis as well is mostly made up of plastic so don’t be fooled by the brushed metal look of the notebook. Overall, the design is pretty straight forward and simple but we wish the build quality and choice of plastics would have been better.

Plain and ordinary looks

Plain and ordinary looks

 

The exhaust vents are placed on the left along with the charging point, HDMI, USB 3.0 (x2) and the microphone and headphone jacks. The third USB 2.0 port is placed on the right along with the VGA port and LAN jack. MSI throws in a DVD burner as well although a Blu-ray combo drive is an option. There are plenty of vents underneath GE620 for ventilation. You can pop open the bottom panel to access the RAM and hard drive. The keyboard is chiclet styled and you even get a Numpad.

Full-sized keyboard

Full-sized keyboard

 

The keys themselves have a extra soft feel which some may not find too comfortable when typing. Also, MSI doesn’t seem to have addressed the issue of the keyboard panel itself and just like their earlier models, it feels a bit flimsy. The trackpad is nice and wide but the ribbed design hinders smooth movement.

Features
The GE620 comes with a 15.6-inch LED backlit screen and sports a resolution of 1366x768 so it’s not as sharp as a Full HD screen but at least it’s easy on the GPU for gaming. The notebook is powered by a Core i5-2410M Intel CPU that runs at a stock speed of 2.3GHz and Turbos up to 2.9GHz. Along with this, we have 4GB of RAM, 640GB hard drive and Nvidia’s GT 540M GPU with Optimus technology. MSI ships the notebook with Windows 7 Home Premium as well.

A good desktop replacement option

A good desktop replacement option

 

The notebook also features some of their own software like i-Charger which delivers more power to the USB port allowing you to charge the iPad as well. The ‘S-Bar’ application gives you quick access to certain programs like Windows Media Player, etc. but more importantly, it let’s you operate the row of shortcut buttons above the keyboard. Here’s where we ran into a small problem. The DVD drive can only be opened via the eject button on the notebook, which will only work if the software’s installed. In terms of software customizations, MSI’s approach isn’t as polished or refined as we’ve seen in other notebooks from Asus, Dell, Sony, etc.

Next, let’s see how the notebook performs in our benchmarks. 

Performance
Given the specifications, we feel the MSI GE620 performs pretty well when compared to it’s more expensive cousins. It manages to beat the similarly priced Sony VAIO C in the gaming tests due to the faster GPU but then suffers a bit when it comes to CPU intensive tasks.

Not a bad performer

Not a bad performer

 

In real world games like Far Cry 2 and Dirt 2, the GE620 is easily able to manage playable frame rates with most of the settings maxed out. This is all possible due to the lower screen resolution as this same hardware on a Full HD screen wouldn’t have been a very pretty sight. The speakers are quite loud enough to fill a small room and the THX TruStudio Pro sound enhancements do help in music and movies. Since they face upwards, the sound is not blocked even if you place it on your lap.

Shortcut buttons come in handy

Shortcut buttons come in handy

 

The keys are fairly comfortable to type on but they do feel little flimsy and we're not sure how long they will last. The trackpad should have been smoother instead of the ribbed pattern. The two mouse buttons are quite stiff and not very easy to press. Including two USB 3.0 ports was a great decision since 3.0 drives are only getting cheaper by the day.

Battery Life
The GR620 comes with a 49Wh 6-cell battery pack that manages to deliver an amazing 2.5hrs on Battery Eater Pro. This is very good for a 15-inch notebook with high-end specs. The reason this is possible is due to Nvidia’s Optimus, which shuts the discrete card when not required. It’s only during gaming that the fans are really audible and even then, it’s not too noisy. Over the course of the review, the notebook never over-heated once which is a sign of good ventilation.

Verdict
MSI has priced the GE620 for Rs. 49,990 which is not a bad deal at all considering the configuration. Having said that, the Acer TimelineX 5830TG has similar specifications and is also a good 10K cheaper. However, the build quality is not as good as the MSI. Overall, the GE620 makes for a decent gaming notebook with a good battery life to boot.


Specifications

NVIDIA® GeForce® GT540M notebook GPUs give your games an adrenaline shot with the premium performance and great detail images quality thanks to latest DirectX11 effects. GeForce GT540M arms you with the latest industry-leading technologies including eye-popping NVIDIA 3D Vision, dynamic PhysX effects, high performance NVIDIA Verde drivers, and more. DirectX 11 GPU with Shader Model 5.0 is designed for ultra high performance and real-to-life image details in the new API’s key graphics feature, GPU-accelerated tessellation. Exclusive Cinema Pro Technology: Cinema Pro Technology offers consumers the finest movie viewing experience. Just need to push the Cinema Pro button, the Windows Media Player will automatically open. The quality on screen will be more detailed, the richness in sound as well as THX TruStudio Pro surround sound effect will be activated, providing the finest sensory of the theaters. THX TruStudio Pro Provides Excellent Surround Sound Effect: THX TruStudio Pro is specially designed to bring the same great audio experience found in live performances, films, and recording studios— to the PC. THX TruStudio Pro provides the latest groundbreaking technologies that are products of years of collective experience and research by Creative and THX. Together, these technologies deliver the fullest audio experience for music, movies and games, while remaining true to the source and intention of the artists who created it. Sleek Hair-line Treatment: The stylish feel of the housing transforms the GR620 into a dream machine for the style-conscious, thrill-seeking gamer.

Processor Description

Processor Intel Core i5-2410M
Speed 2.00 GHz
Cache 6MB
Turboboost Yes
Turboboost Speed 2.90 GHz

Memory

RAM 4GB
Type DDR3
Speed 1333 MHz

Hard Drive

Inbuilt HDD 640GB
Format 2.5 inch
Optical Drive DVD Writer

Display Features

Screen Size 15.6 inches
Maximum Display Resolution 1366 x 768
Panel Type Full HD LED backlight

Chipset

Chipset Model Intel HM65
GPU Model NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
GPU Memory (shared) 1GB DDR3
HDMI Port Yes, v1.4

Networking

Ethernet Port (Nos) 1
Ethernet Type 10/100/1000
WiFi Type 802.11 b/g/n

Audio

Channels 2
Sound Technologies THX TruStudio Pro

Connectivity

USB 2.0 ports 1
USB 3.0 ports 2
Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
Built-in Camera Yes
Microphone Yes
Digital Media Reader SD(XC/HC)/MMC/MS(PRO)/xD

Battery

Battery (Type) Li-Ion
Battery Cell 6 cells

Operating System

OS Windows 7
Version Home Premium

Dimensions

Dimensions (W x D x H) 383 x 249.5 x 32.3 mm
Weight 2.4

Misc Bundled Software

Other Features Dominate Next Generation DirectX11 Gaming|#|GPU Boost with NVIDIA Optimus Technology|#|Exclusive Cinema Pro Technology

After Sales Service

Warranty Period 1 Year

Price

Warranty Period 1 Year