If the basics of the MSI GX 60 are AMD A10 fusion chip plus AMD Radeon HD 7970M graphics, how do the details stack up?

The A10 chip is the top spec 4600M, as you'd expect. So that's four AMD-style CPU cores or two AMD modules humming a 2.3GHz tune as standard with a top Turbo frequnecy of 3.2GHz.

Each module contains two integer units but a single floating point unit. Is it really a quad-core chip? Probably not. But it's more than a dual-core processor, too.

The AMD A10 4600M also sports an integrated AMD Radeon HD 7660G graphics unit with 384 shader cores. But the real graphics grunt is provided by the dedicated Radeon HD 7970M chip and its 1,280 shaders, 850MHz clock speed and 256-bit memory bus.

MSI GX60

It's a bit of a beast and it makes for an interesting alternative to the the NVIDIA GeForce GTX-powered laptops on the market, including the aforementioned PC Specialist Vortex III 680, Samsung Series 7 Gamer and Toshiba's Qosmio X870.

If that makes for a tasty mix, there's more spice provided by the storage solution. Mass storage takes the form of a conventional 750GB magnetic drive.MSI has also slotted in a pair of 64GB mSATA solid-state drives in speedy RAID0 configuration.

As for system memory, we're talking two 4GB sticks of 1,600MHz DDR3 memory. Then there's the 15.6-inch full-HD LCD panel. So, that's 1,920 x 1,080 and a very high pixel density. It's a TN panel, so it's unlikely to offer colour accuracy to rival the best IPS screens.

But there are several grades of TN technology today and the best offers pretty good contrast, colours and viewing angles along with the best pixel response. Makes sense for a gaming machine.

MSI GX60

Oh and the panel coating is matte anti-glare rather than glossy, which is definitely our preference.

Next up, there's a beefy 87Wh lithium battery pack. In some ways, it's the combination of that battery with the AMD 10 CPU that makes the MSI GX60 really interesting.

On paper, it promises a very rare thing. A gaming notebook with the legs to run long distances away from the power socket.

What it's not, however, it hugely portable. As a 15.6-inch notebook, the chassis isn't huge in width, though a fairly fat bezel around the screen means it's quite large for this class of notebook.

However, at 55mm thick and 3.5kg, this is no thin and light. You wouldn't want to lug it to the office and back on a daily basis.