To some extent, it is. For only $1,299.99, you'll have no problem running the latest PC games on high settings—and with incredibly accurate colors. Unfortunately, its processor struggles a bit with non-gaming-related tasks. Add in the fact that this "laptop" isn't very portable, making this rig more ball-and-chain than boon.
A heavy rainbow loaded with connectivity options
The GX70's most striking characteristic isn't its eye-popping thickness (over two inches), or its comically large screen (17.3 inches); but its rainbow-colored keyboard. From left to right, the GX70's keyboard displayed red, orange, green, and blue underneath—even the number pad. That's right: This laptop is big enough to include a separate number pad. This feature can easily be turned off, although if you're going to light up your keyboard, why not go all out? Regardless of flair, the keyboard is spacious and comfortable to type on.
The touchpad, on the other hand, is not. MSI clearly didn't spend much time on this feature, since gamers tend to use a mouse with a gaming laptop. Compared to everything else on the GX70, though, the touchpad feels out of place. It's tiny and not very responsive, although it does include physical mouse buttons. Using this for extended periods of time will make you crave something better.
As far as ports are concerned, this behemoth has them all: HDMI (full-sized, not mini), VGA, DisplayPort, ethernet, SD card reader, headphone and mic inputs, and five USB jacks—three of which are 3.0. To top it all off, the GX70 has a Blu-ray/DVD drive. You know, for when you get tired of gaming and want to use this laptop's 1080p screen for a movie viewing.
Love it or hate it, Windows 8 is here to stay
The GX70 runs everyone's favorite operating system: Windows 8. All joking aside, Windows 8 is a smooth operator that will run any current PC game, plus it boots up quickly—especially on the GX70's 7200 RPM hard drive. Its Start screen has divided many a PC user, as it is tailor-made for touchscreens, not traditional desktops. Since the GX70 does not have a touchscreen, navigating the Start screen can be slightly more annoying, but who are we kidding: Gamers will be in desktop mode 99.9% of the time.
For this you can thank the GX70's video card—the Radeon 8970M—for the aforementioned performance. As of this writing, it is one of the most powerful cards available for a laptop. It's processor, however, is a different story. The included AMD quad-core processor—the A10-5750M, to be precise—isn't very impressive. Our software placed this huge honking laptop far behind the much smaller Sony VAIO Fit 15E—which is also lighter in the system resources department. The Sony VAIO even trumps the GX70 while running programs like Excel and Photoshop. The difference isn't huge, but we expected more from a laptop this decked out.
Battery life, though, was quite good. If used for casual web browsing, the GX70 will give you just shy of five hours. Running Portal 2 until the battery drained was a different story: The GX70 only lasted for 80 minutes. Still, those 80 minutes were spent making Portal 2 look better than it ever has.
Low on portability, high on gaming performance
The MSI GX70 takes the word "laptop" and makes a mockery of it. You will never, ever use this on your lap, nor will you notice shoddy gaming performance indicative of most laptops. The GX70 is more like a desktop replacement, complete with a full-size keyboard and optical drive. Anything you throw at it, it can handle.
We were a bit disappointed by the GX70's non-gaming performance scores, though. Cheaper (and lighter) laptops performed better with processor-heavy tasks, even if this MSI is no slouch. Still, we can't harp on it too much: For $1,299.99, you'll be buying a laptop that can play any game on the market right now, and make it look impressive. If you're OK with its heft, the GX70 is a solid buy.
Did we mention it has a rainbow-lit keyboard?
Meet the testers
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email