We've gone over the hard numbers of the MSI GT70 and seen some interesting results. But as with everything, it's not all about the hard figures. Over the review, I've found that there's a lot to love about the MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2. But also, there's some stuff that's not so great.
We'll start with some of the things that I found disappointing. For starters, the fact that it uses a third-party design is somewhat disappointing, especially considering just how much MSI is asking for this machine. I'd much rather see a custom design rather than just some aluminum plates with a cool dragon design.
MSI has equipped the Dragon Edition 2 with a SteelSeries keyboard. SteelSeries is well known for their keyboards, so you'd expect it to be an above par laptop keyboard. Unfortunately, I found the typing experience was average.
Another downside to the Dragon Edition 2 notebook is the battery life. The recently reviewed ASUS G750 provided excellent battery life, but the GT70 didn't realize the battery life improvements offered by Intel's new Haswell architecture. I'd hate to have seen what the battery life would have been without Haswell.
But enough with the bad stuff. The system provided excellent performance, albeit with some odd results thrown in. I still can't explain why the system performed poorly in synthetic benchmarks. But synthetic benchmarks will only tell you so much. The MSI GT70 pulled ahead where it mattered: the BF3 and Crysis 3 benchmarks. I'd much rather have a system perform well in the real-world, rather than in synthetic benchmarks.
A notebook is always better than desktop for taking to LAN parties as they are infinitely more portable, but if you're looking for something to haul around daily, the MSI GT70 might not be the best choice. Putting Windows 8 onto a system without a touchscreen is also not the best idea and I would much prefer Windows 7 to be installed on the system. Either that, or MSI should equip the GT70 with a touchscreen.
In the end, the GT70 should probably on your list of potentials, though you might stray away from the Dragon Edition unless you want something especially special. At $3,199, the Dragon Edition 2 is a bit overpriced for what you get, but it does offer top-notch performance and a unique dragon motif.
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