MSI GT70 2PC Dominator review

A monster gaming laptop with a factory-fresh GPU

TODO alt text

MSI's latest gaming laptop has got it where it counts, with stunning benchmark results from its brand-new graphics card and premium processor. The GT70 impresses elsewhere, too, with a screen that's got the punch and depth for high-end games. Its speakers and keyboard are good, too, but this machine also suffers from many of the issues that afflict other gaming machines – a high weight and a short battery life.

We liked

There's no disputing the MSI's sheer power, as no other machine could touch the GT70's results in our games tests thanks to Nvidia's latest high-end mobile GPU. If you want a laptop to play the latest games without quality compromises, this is the machine to buy.

It blitzed our processing benchmarks, too, and the screen is good: it's got the right resolution for games, it's got huge contrast, top-quality brightness and a deep black level.

The GT70 has punchy, powerful audio, a good keyboard, and responsive trackpad buttons that aren't short of the feedback and speed of dedicated gaming mice.

We disliked

There are no game-breaking issues here; instead, the MSI is affected by several smaller problems.

The trackpad is a little small for our tastes, especially for gaming, and the SSD isn't the best – its read speeds are good, but its write pace is merely average – and it could be a little larger.

The battery life isn't great, either, although we anticipate poor longevity from gaming laptops. Similarly, the MSI GT70 is huge – fine for lugging between rooms or taking to LAN parties, but not truly portable. This machine also creates plenty of noise, although that's not a problem if you're wearing headphones.

None of these problems are enough to dissuade us from recommending this machine, but they're worth bearing in mind depending on how you're going to use this machine.

The GT70 is the fastest gaming laptop we've ever seen but, despite its speed, it's no pricier than the competition: its £1,299 price is in the same ballpark as the Asus, it's barely more than the slimline GS70, and it's cheaper than the Gigabyte and Toshiba laptops.

None of the MSI's rivals address all of the minor issues that affect the GT70, and all of them are slower. If you need a brutish gaming machine and you're more concerned with benchmarks than batteries, then this is the best gaming notebook on the market.