MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro review

This gaming laptop is powerful at best, and at worst, impractical

MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

If you couldn't tell by the hulking bodybuilder superimposed in the background of MSI's official website, the GT62VR is almost exclusively focused on its high performance specs. This would be great if it were a desktop, but a gaming laptop should be designed with portability, if not a priority, at the very least a second thought.


MSI, however, determined that buyers of the GT62VR Dominator Pro are primarily concerned about playing games at the highest settings. This is where the machine succeeds. Like Gigabyte's Pascal laptop offering, the GT62VR is powerful to a fault. Given that it uses a mere 1080p display married to a swift Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card, it can handle practically any game you toss at it.

Want to crank the game up to the highest visual settings? The GT62VR doesn't even break a sweat. Bring the laptop to bed with you for a late night gaming session, though, and you'll be lucky if it lasts more than 30 minutes on battery alone.


Spec sheet

Here is the MSI GT62VR Dominator configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core, 6MB cache, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 530
  • RAM: 64GB DDR4 (2,400MHz)
  • Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1,080 FHD Matte Display
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 SATA SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm)
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C port, mini DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, Headphone jack, Microphone jack, Line-In, Line-Out, Ethernet
  • Connectivity: Killer N1535 + Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless LAN Combo
  • Camera: Built-in 1080p Video Camera
  • Weight: 6.48 pounds
  • Size: 15.35 x 10.47 x 1.56 inches (W x D x H)

The MSI GT62VR model we received was overkill to say the least. If you were to go through XOTIC PC and purchase this for yourself, it would set you back $2,710 (about £2,078, AU$3,593).

With only a 1080p display available, it doesn't make much sense to go for the GTX 1070-equipped laptop when the Geforce GTX 1060 can pull off Full HD visuals at max settings and then some.


Go for the base model and you can expect the much more affordable price tag of $1,549 (about £1,193, AU$2,053). In doing so, you would see SSD storage plummet to 128GB while the RAM would drop to a modest 16GB. Paired with a GTX 1060, that's not a shabby deal when you can also bump up the specs with cheaper DIY upgrades.

Of course, the variation of MSI's GT62VR Dominator we were given was unnecessarily stacked with a GTX 1070 and 64GB of RAM, neither of which anyone really needs on a laptop like this. On the other hand, if you plan on using the GT62VR with a 1440p or 4K external display, you might want the 1070 version for gaming at Ultra HD resolutions.

When compared to the Gigabyte P57X and the Asus ROG Strix GL502, the MSI GT62VR model we received is outrageously priced, whereas if you settle for the entry-level model – even of the GTX 1070 variety – you can expect a better value.

For $1,799 (about £1,383, AU$2,350), you can get a baseline MSI GT62VR with 16GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD paired with a 1TB HDD. Meanwhile, a comparable Gigabyte P57X or Asus ROG Strix GL502 would set you back $1,999 (about £1,536, AU$2,609) or $1,699 (about £1,305, AU$2,217), respectively.


Although we had to use a separate mouse and kept the laptop plugged into external power in most cases, the MSI GT62VR handled everyday tasks with ease. Intensive multi-layer video rendering, 4K photo editing – you name it, the GT62VR Dominator Pro would eat it up and spit it out in an instant.

Test any game on it, and it's almost boring how smoothly it operates. You may not get 4K gaming on the GT62VR's 15.6-inch screen, but you won't have to worry about the screen being bottlenecked by a misguided GPU choice either – at least if MSI has anything to say about it.


The GT62VR Dominator Pro, well, dominated in all of our performance tests. Sure, GTA V pushed it to its limits on Ultra Settings, but even then it managed frame rates mostly over 50 fps. On average, it would have been nice to maintain a constant 60 fps, but as you can see by our experiences with The Division, that's not a problem with even the most graphically elaborate blockbuster triple-A games.

PC-exclusive adventure-puzzle game Obduction, for instance, is littered with intense particle effects that would cause for slowdown on hardier previous generation rigs. The GT62VR, on the other hand, displays the game effortlessly with no slowdown in sight.



Here's how the MSI GT62VR Dominator performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 24,384; Sky Diver: 27,798; Fire Strike: 12,744
  • Cinebench CPU: 678 points; Graphics: 110 fps
  • Geekbench: 3,707 (single-core); 13,572 (multi-core)
  • PCMark 8 (Home Test): 3,969 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours and 17 minutes
  • Battery life (techradar movie test): 2 hours and 43 minutes
  • The Division (1080p Ultra): 73 fps; (1080p, Low): 150 fps
  • GTA V (1080p, Ultra): 53 fps; (1080p, Low): 145 fps
  • Steam VR bench: Ready

A battery to die for

Overall, while the screen still rocked Full HD 1080p, the matte display on the GT62VR Dominator Pro is hindered by washed out colors and black tones, such as shadows and outlines, inferior to what you might see on a glossier panel. That said, if you plan on taking the MSI GT62VR Dominator Pro outside with you, the matte 15.6-incher might be a saving grace. No one wants their Dota 2 match botched by the sun.


The speakers generally sound fine, but don't offer much more than the standard sound you would expect from a gaming laptop. They're not particularly special, but then again, you'll more than likely have a headset connected anyway if you're all about that immersive gaming effect.

MSI made ports quite accessible on the GT62VR Dominator Pro. In fact, all of the ports used to output video are on the rear of the device. HDMI, USB 3.1 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3) and DisplayPort are all located on the back of the GT62VR. On the righthand side, you're greeted by three USB 3.0 SuperSpeed inputs, whereas on the left, you'll notice a single USB 2.0 port joined by four different audio jacks. The anti-iPhone 7 if you will.


The only way we would say this could be improved is by swapping the USB 2.0 port out for a spare Type-C port. If you're already using the rear USB-C port to output video, an extra Thunderbolt 3 port for 400Gbps data transfers would be convenient and, in most cases, much more practical than the inclusion of outdated USB 2.0 tech.

The battery life on the GT62VR Dominator Pro is bleak. Maybe we've been spoiled by Ultrabooks, but using the GT62VR Dominator Pro on battery alone offers but a brief glimpse of satisfaction.

You might be okay to edit documents for two hours or so (still pretty dismal), but fire up the ignition on the GTX 1070 to play some games or construct 3D renderings in Maya, and you might as well set the battery on fire. On the upside, the noise you'll hear from the fans at the rear of the GT62VR serves an an adept substitute for the white noise machine you might otherwise purchase to fall asleep at night.

Gabe Carey
Gabe has been writing about video games and technology since he was 16 years old. Currently serving as a Contributing Editor & Producer for TechRadar, where he keeps articles fresh and up to date on the reg, you may recognize his byline from Digital Trends, TechSpot and Kotaku UK. He can't tell if his adoration of Sonic the Hedgehog is genuine or ironic anymore.