MSI GE72VR Apache Pro (GTX 1060) Review 23

MSI GE72VR Apache Pro (GTX 1060) Review

(23 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The MSI Apache Pro GE72VR can be found at retail for $1599.99.
  • Desktop GPU performance
  • Quad-core CPU with Hyper Threading
  • 1920x1080 FullHD IPS screen
  • Above average keyboard and touch pad
  • Good features
  • Lack of bloatware
  • Useful software
  • No access hatches for HDD, RAM, or battery
  • Gaining access to HDD, RAM, or the battery requires disassembly
  • Screen bezel flex
  • Very short battery life
  • Trial anti-virus software sucks
  • IPS screen is only 6-bit
When it comes to the MSI Apache Pro GE72VR, gaming performance is its specialty. It absolutely dominates today's games with ease, and the inclusions of an SSD and an HDD for storage means boot times and load times are good. The i7 6700HQ offers exceptional CPU performance and proves to be more than a match for daily tasks. In fact, it will sit there yawning at you to find it some real work most of the time. The 1920x1080 display is actually an AH-IPS panel from LG, but it is sadly only a 6-bit panel, though its viewing angles are still good, so that's a plus.

The Steel Series keyboard is a chiclet keyboard, which, while common for laptops, is not awful compared to some I have used - it actually feels pretty good. The backlighting also offers a nice bit of flair for those who want it. Feature-wise, the MSI GE72VR is much like the GL62 in that the Dragon Center software offers a unique hub for the various hardware and software control panels users will access most, while the "Cooler Boost" feature allows users to manually max the fans out in order to improve cooling performance. Both features are nice. Not necessary, they definitely make for a nice inclusion. The lack of miscellaneous bloatware is also a huge plus. No Superfish debacle to find here.

A few issues do standout. The most pressing is the lack of access hatches for the HDD, RAM, and battery. Worse yet, gaining access to those components technically voids the warranty. However, MSI seems to be letting that slide. That said, I expect there to be readily available access points for user-changeable components on a 17'' notebook that has an MSRP of $1599.99. While the frame feels solid overall, the screen bezel has some flex to it, which is a bit concerning, even more so due to the unit's size. While I doubt it will be a problem, I would like to see that reinforced in later models. Finally, battery life is just awful. Gaming will only get you just over 30 minutes. Watching a DVD, you will get just over 2 hours. With a unit of this size, I would expect a bigger battery to be included to keep things going for longer.

Overall, the MSI GE72VR Apache Pro is a solid gaming notebook that works as a mid-range desktop replacement that can still be taken on the go. The unit weighs just under 6lbs, which isn't light, but isn't awful either, and 6lbs is still light enough to be carried around for a day without any serious discomfort. Still, let's get real for a moment: MSI you need to upgrade the battery. Sure, end users can do a bunch of edits and changes to try and eek out every bit of battery life, but the unit's battery life is abysmal for comfortable use with a reasonably bright screen, especially when it's using what's essentially a mid-range GPU desktop equivalent.

The MSI GE72VR Apache Pro is a compelling option if you need a desktop replacement workhorse that can do some serious gaming.
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