MSI Vector 17 HX: an outdated design can't stop a powerhouse laptop

Power in plastic

MSI Vector 17 HX from further away
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The MSI Vector 17 HX gets a lot of things right with its expansive high refresh rate display, backed up by a cutting-edge storage solution, tons of RAM, and an all-star Intel Core i9 CPU. However, the quality of the display leaves a lot to be desired, and the RTX 4070 GPU inside means you won't get the most out of its 240Hz capability, especially at its native 1600p resolution.


  • +

    Powerful performance

  • +

    High refresh rate display

  • +

    Packs a punch with 14th-gen Core i9 CPU

  • +

    Cutting-edge NVMe SSD inside


  • -

    Bulky plastic chassis

  • -

    Less-than-stellar screen

  • -

    High price considering the mid-range GPU

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MSI Vector 17 HX: Two-minute review

While the MSI Vector 17 HX isn't going to win any awards for its physical design, this portable has all the performance necessary to stand with some of the best gaming laptops on the market.

Priced at $2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 for a version sporting an RTX 4070 graphics card, it's more costly than many of its rivals. And when you consider that alongside the build quality comprises here (which we'll discuss in more depth later), sadly this means this MSI notebook doesn't quite achieve top marks - but it's still a decent machine. 

That's because the MSI Vector 17 HX still largely justifies its higher-than-average price tag by including an excellent Intel Core i9-14900HX CPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and a superfast Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD so you've got a wealth of power at your fingertips. The bottleneck, therefore, becomes the GPU, given the laptop's native 2,560 x 1,600 resolution 16:10 display. So, while we were sent the RTX 4070 variant for review, you may want to consider the RTX 4080 model for a power boost.

The 17-inch display unfortunately lacks any kind of HDR support which is a real shame. The IPS LED screen is bright enough at 500 nits, but looks a little washed out, especially when factoring in that some of its competitors are utilizing mini-LED and even OLED. Fortunately, with its 240Hz refresh rate, it's fast enough for you not to necessarily mind all that much. 

Speaking of that refresh rate, though, you won't necessarily be able to hit frame rates that can fully take advantage of it, given the 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM on board the mobile RTX 4070 - especially at 1440p. However, if you're smart with your settings sliders in 1080p, you can expect framerates of around 100fps. 1440p hovers around the 60fps mark, although DLSS 3's Frame Generation will be able to provide a shot in the arm, at least where it's supported. 

Furthermore, the MSI Vector 17 HX doesn't buck the trend of gaming laptops having less-than-stellar battery lives. Its four-cell 99Wh battery pack is decent enough for powering around four hours of light use, but gaming is more limited to about an hour and a half. You'll need to keep the 330W charger close by, or keep the rig perennially plugged in as a dedicated replacement for one of the best gaming PCs

MSI Vector 17 HX: Price and availability

Screen of the MSI Vector 17 HX

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 
  • When is it available? It's on sale now 
  • Where can you get it? In the US, UK and Australia 

The MSI Vector 17 HX is available from $2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 for the RTX 4070 model. The peppier version sporting the more powerful RTX 4080 GPU is available for $2,799 / £2,899 / AU$3,399. That positions this gaming laptop in the upper mid-range, pitting it against weighty competition from premium manufacturers. 

Price-wise, that's a similar entry point to the Razer Blade 16 and the HP Omen 17 which are far from the cheapest options on the market. With its high asking price, the MSI Vector 17 HX is considerably pricier than other 17-inch RTX 4070 gaming laptops such as the Asus ROG Strix G17, MSI Sword 17 HX, and the Acer Nitro 17. It's not the cheapest RTX 4070 laptop, that's for sure. 

  • Price: 3 / 5

MSI Vector 17 HX: Specs

Here are the specs for the MSI Vector 17 HX at a glance. 

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MSI Vector 17 HX specs
Header Cell - Column 0 Base ModelReview UnitTop Configuration
Price$1,799 / £1,799 / AU$2,677$2,299 / £2,399 / AU$3,099 $3,100 / £2,999 / AU$4,599
CPUUp to 14th-gen Intel Core i9 HXUp to 14th-gen Intel Core i9 HXUp to 14th-gen Intel Core i9 HX
GPUNvidia RTX 4060Nvidia RTX 4070Nvidia RTX 4090
Display17-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 240Hz, IPS / 17-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200), 165Hz, IPS17-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 240Hz, IPS / 17-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200), 165Hz, IPS17-inch QHD+ (2560 x 1600), 240Hz, IPS / 17-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200), 165Hz, IPS
Ports1x USB-C, 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x USB-C with PD charging, 2x USB-A, 1x SD Card Reader, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ45 Ethernet1x USB-C, 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x USB-C with PD charging, 2x USB-A, 1x SD Card Reader, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ45 Ethernet1x USB-C, 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x USB-C with PD charging, 2x USB-A, 1x SD Card Reader, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x RJ45 Ethernet
WirelessWi-Fi 7, Bluetooth v5.4Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth v5.4Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth v5.4
Weight 6.61lbs / 3kg6.61lbs / 3kg6.61lbs / 3kg
Dimensions380 x 298 x 23.55-29.45mm380 x 298 x 23.55-29.45mm380 x 298 x 23.55-29.45mm

MSI Vector 17 HX: Design

MSI Vector 17 HX's RGB keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Bulky plastic chassis 
  • Large and fast display 
  • Weighty at 6.6lbs / 3kg 

In terms of its build, the MSI Vector 17 HX is on the bulkier side even as far as mid-range laptops go. It's a deliberate and old-fashioned design with its plastic construction and thick-angled hinges that won't be for everyone, but it's at least distinct. You won't find a carefully machine-crafted aluminum chassis here, but it's serviceable enough. 

You'll feel the weight of this gaming laptop at 6.6lbs / 3kg, as the MSI Vector 17 HX is a touch heavier than some of the other 17-inch models we already mentioned above. It's still sleek enough to be portable, but its display size and heft may not be ideal if you're thinking of something for everyday use at work or school. 

Our review unit had a QHD+ resolution (2,560 x 1,600) screen at 240Hz, however, some variants may feature a 165Hz Full HD display depending on configuration and asking price. There's no support for HDR here, which is a shame, and the screen has a peak brightness of 500 nits; by no means the brightest or most vivid display, but it's good enough for gaming, and fast enough, certainly.

The keyboard on the Vector 17 HX is colorful and full of personality with its multi-zone RGB lightning and decals on each key, even if it doesn't offer the best typing experience. This extends to the trackpad as well - while functional, it feels a little cheap, but you'll likely be using one of the best gaming mice instead, so it's not too big a deal. 

A high point is the excellent port selection. You'll find a total of three USB-C ports, two USB 3.2 ports, HDMI 2.1, and Ethernet. They're spread out on both sides and the back of the machine, so you should be fully catered for when using this gaming laptop as a full-on desktop replacement, hooked up to the best gaming keyboard and best gaming monitor

  • Design: 3 / 5

MSI Vector 17 HX: Performance

Closed lid of the MSI Vector 17 HX

(Image credit: Future)

The performance of the MSI Vector 17 HX is solid thanks to the excellent Intel Core i9-14900HX CPU combined with the respectable RTX 4070, but it's actually the GPU which will be your biggest bottleneck. That's because Nvidia's mobile mid-range graphics card only features 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM on a 128-bit memory bus. 

MSI Vector 17 HX benchmarks

Here's how the MSI Vector 17 HX performed in our suite of industry-standard benchmarks and game tests.

Geekbench 6:
Single - 2,915
Multi - 17,669
Night Raid - 71,732
Fire Strike - 27,029
Time Spy - 12,850
Port Royal - 7,471
PCMark 10: 8,180
Cyberpunk 2077:
1080p - 132fps (Low) ; 86fps (Ultra)
1440p - 102fps (Low) ; 72fps (Ultra)
RT Ultra - 75fps (1080p) ; 73fps (1440p)
Total War: Three Kingdoms:

1080p - 334fps Low ; 96fps Ultra
1440p - 221fps Low ; 59fps Ultra
Red Dead Redemption II:
1080p - 162fps (Low) ; 88fps (Ultra)
1440p - 121fps (Low) ; 67fps (Ultra)
Read: 7,024MB/s
Write: 5,203MB/s
Cinebench R24:
Single-core - 2,100
Multi-core - 27,484
TechRadar Battery Test: 1 hour 38 minutes

1080p appears to be the sweet spot for this particular variant of the MSI Vector 17 HX, as seen with the gaming benchmarks. Specifically with GPU-heavy games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Cyberpunk 2077, you're getting nowhere near the 240Hz refresh rate unless you drop down to Full HD.

This is reflected in the benchmarks for Total War: Three Kingdoms, a CPU-heavy title, which can exceed the maximum refresh rate with the graphical settings reduced. Ray tracing is possible, but won't quite excel in the way that a mobile RTX 4080 or RTX 4090 can (with 12GB and 16GB GDDR6 VRAM respectively). In Cyberpunk 2077 at RT Ultra, you're getting around 70 to 80fps here.

The 14th-gen Core i9 is a powerhouse CPU and this is evident in the stress-testing conducted. Geekbench 6 delivers confident scores of 2,720 and 17,308 for single-core and multi-core respectively, with Cinebench R23 providing superb results of 1,941 and 25,624 respectively. There's nothing this processor won't be able to do, and it offers a whole load of grunt, despite lacking a dedicated NPU (as seen with its Meteor Lake successor).

The Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD inside of the MSI Vector 17 HX is excellent. Despite this tech being replaced by Gen 5.0 models, you won't need anything faster than the tested sequential rates of 6,442MB/s reads and 4,873MB/s writes respectively. Modern PC games are starting to utilize the DirectStorage API for near-instant loading times and ultra textures. Interestingly, there's a Gen 5.0 port available for even faster storage. 

The screen natively supports 1600p resolution with its 16:10 aspect ratio, and while you shouldn't experience frame rate drops that are too jarring, you'll need to be mindful of the limitations of the RTX 4070's VRAM. Even 8GB for the desktop version is starting to struggle nowadays in this resolution, and that uses far faster GDDR6X memory. We recommend utilizing Nvidia DLSS 3 Frame Generation where possible for a boost.

  • Performance: 4 / 5

MSI Vector 17 HX: Battery life

Sideways view of the MSI Vector 17 HX with the screen at a 90-degree angle

(Image credit: Future)
  • Lasts around four hours with media playback and browsing 
  • Can game for around an hour and a half on battery

The MSI Vector 17 HX features a four-cell 90Wh battery which is average-sized given the 17-inch chassis of this gaming laptop. In practice, you can expect up to four hours of web browsing and media playback when prioritizing efficiency over performance. You'll need to keep the charging cable handy if you're planning on working all day or enjoying a few longer movies back to back, though. 

Gaming on battery power is expectedly poor. We got around an hour and a half from a full charge with Cyberpunk 2077. The mobile RTX 4070 has a TDP of 115W, making it more power-efficient than more powerful discrete graphics, but the battery is still a major concern. It's not a problem unique to the MSI Vector 17 HX, but it's worth noting all the same. 

Fortunately, the power cable connects at the back of the device instead of the side, delivering a constant feed of 330W. We'd recommend using a dedicated laptop riser on your gaming desk and doing a little cable management to be more comfortable. As something to carry around with you every day, this machine isn't up to the task, but that's the cost of performance like this. 

  • Battery: 2 / 5

Should you buy the MSI Vector 17 HX?

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MSI Vector 17 HX: Scorecard
PriceThe MSI Vector 17 HX is on the pricier side for an RTX 4070 gaming laptop, and not quite as enthusiast-class as the likes of the Razer Blade.3 / 5
DesignWhile the MSI Vector 17 HX has a distinct look and feel, its plastic-heavy chassis and dull screen let it down.3 / 5
PerformanceThe RTX 4070 GPU inside is powerful enough for 1080p and respectable in 1440p, but not beefy enough for its native 1600p resolution.4 / 5
BatteryIt's not an issue unique to the Vector 17 HX, but the battery life leaves a lot to be desired, as the CPU and GPU are power hungry.2 / 5
Average ratingThe good definitely outweighs the bad with MSI’s Vector 17 HX, but it doesn't quite do enough to rise above some rivals.3.5 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a big-screen gaming laptop

The MSI Vector 17 HX has a sharp screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It may not be the brightest or most vivid display on the market, but its size and fast refresh rate make it worthwhile.

You want a notebook that's a powerful performer

The MSI Vector 17 HX packs in some beefy components including a powerful CPU and a seriously impressive SSD, alongside a solid choice of GPU.

You want a gaming laptop that excels in 1080p

The RTX 4070M features 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM which is ideal for speedy frame rates in Full HD and indeed FHD+ (1200p resolution) for the 16:10 aspect ratio.

Don't buy it if... 

You want the best value for money 

Simply put, the MSI Vector 17 HX is on the expensive side for an RTX 4070-powered gaming laptop, and you can save a bundle by opting for a competitor instead. 

You want a gaming laptop that motors in 1440p 

While this machine's native 1600p screen is impressive in some ways, it's held back by the more limited VRAM of the RTX 4070M, which means it can't quite hit the frame rates we'd like to see at 1440p (or 1600p, of course).

MSI Vector 17 HX: Also consider

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Header Cell - Column 0 HP Omen 16Lenovo Legion Slim 7i
Price$1,850 / £1,499 (about AU$2,785)$1,899 / £1,599 (around AU$3,000)
CPUAMD Ryzen 9 7940HSIntel Core i9-13900H
GPUNvidia RTX 4070Nvidia RTX 4070
Display16.1-inch, 1920 x 1080, 165Hz, 300 nits16-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600), IPS, 240Hz
Ports2x Thunderbolt 4, 2x USB-A, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1x headphone jack, 1x HDMI 2.13x USB-A, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB C / DP 1.4, 4-in-1 SD card reader, Audio combo jack
WirelessWi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 1675 (AX211), Bluetooth
Weight5.4lbs / 2.4kg4.4lbs / 2.0kg
DimensionsAround 24 x 370 x 260mm19.9 x 358 x 259mm
HP Omen 16

HP Omen 16
The HP Omen 16 is more affordable than the MSI Vector 17 HX, offering a similar level of performance, albeit in a slightly more compact 16-inch form factor, and with a slower display.

Read the full HP Omen 16 review


Lenovo Legion Slim 7i
The Legion Slim 7i is also cheaper than the MSI Vector 17 HX, and has a 240Hz 1600p display. It also boasts HDR 400 support with an all-aluminum metal chassis for a better build quality, too.

Read the full Lenovo Legion Slim 7i review

  • First reviewed June 2024
Aleksha McLoughlin

Aleksha McLoughlin is an experienced hardware writer. She was previously the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming until September 2023. During this time, she looked after buying guides and wrote hardware reviews, news, and features. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of PC Gamer, Trusted Reviews, Dexerto, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.