The MSI GT683DXR is a sort of turbo-charged MSI GT680, the most notable of the changes being the inclusion of an NVidia GTX 570M graphics card. MSI GT683DXR laptop is no lightweight piece of equipment. Crushing the vertebrae at 7.7 pounds, and a robust 1.77″ thick, it’s a mobile workstation rather than portable laptop. All this bulk fortunately is ruggedly built. The whole upper shell is smooth glossy plastic, and the wrist rest is a matte gray plastic, textured with a honeycomb pattern. The bottom surface of the GT683DXR is a tough matte plastic.
Port-wise, the MSI GT683DXR offers VGA and HDMI sockets, an eSATA port, two USB-3 sockets, two USB-2 sockets, a card reader, and an audio port selection with headphone, mic, and audio in and out jacks. Rows of orange LEDs are everywhere – under the wrist-rest, on both sides of the display, everywhere you look.
The keyboard and trackpad are the Achilles heel of the GT683DXR; the island-style keys offer a plastic surface, typing is accompanied by hollow, tacky clacks, totally out of place on a $1600 laptop. The Mousepad is similarly substandard, with many random wormhole-type jumps. The mouse buttons are unevenly-sensitive – in the corners they were fine but the nearer we came to the center, the stiffer they were, so mouse presses were quite quite hit-and-miss. Users can probably adapt to this shortcoming, however.
The 15.6-inch, 1080p display provides sharp images with vivid and rich colors, and the glossy screen is significantly less reflective than normal glossy displays. Viewing angles are superb, with minimal color distortion, even at wide angles. The Dynaudio speakers are loud with very slight distortion, even at full volume. More bass would be appreciated, but sound is more substantial than in the majority of machines in this bracket. This is one of the first consumer notebooks we’ve seen with 12GB RAM as standard, and teamed with a 2.0Ghz Intel Core i7-2630QM processor and a 1.5GB NVidia GTX 570M, this is a formidable base configuration. Current games like Half Life 2 run at full resolution and maximum settings impeccably. Office software? Surely you jest? You could run Washington with this monster.
The fly in the pie with such powerhouses is often feeble endurance. Thirty-odd open browser tabs with some light photo editing and occasional flash video, on full brightness, all with a chat client running, delivered 2 hrs and 40 minutes service. Mobile gaming is a tall order, and our flat out test gave us 1 hrs 25 minutes of battling in Starcraft II, though graphics performance suffers on battery operation. This sterling performance is greatly assisted by the two 500GB hard drives paired RAID 0 configuration.
Let’s take a little break and look at some MSI GT683DXR pictures:
With all the orange lights, we might have expected a backlit keyboard, though just an avarage typing experience would have made this a quite briliant notebook. But for anyone wanting top-notch capaabilities, get your hands on an external keyboard, and perhaps a gamer’s mouse, and the MSI GT683DXR is a superlative notebook.
MSI GT683DXR gaming laptop in black for $1499 at Amazon.
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