MSI GE72VR Apache Pro (GTX 1060) Review 23

MSI GE72VR Apache Pro (GTX 1060) Review

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From the MSI website:
Dedicated to customer-driven innovation, MSI leverages its remarkable R&D strengths to craft top-notch, well-acclaimed motherboards, graphics cards, notebook PCs and All-in-One PCs. The Overclocking Series is designed for enthusiasts who pursue extreme performance and go after world records. Aimed at fulfilling the needs and expectations toward professional gaming, the MSI GAMING Series receives gamers' unanimous acclaim. Incorporating Military Class components, the Classic Series has an excellent reputation for quality and durability. All these distinctive products have made MSI a forerunner in the middle-range and high-end market. Also adding to the lineup are cloud servers, tailor-made IPCs, intelligent panoramic camera (Panocam), robotic appliances and human-centric vehicle electronics that further demonstrate MSI's strengths and endeavors in consumer, commercial and IOT(Internet of Things) markets.

MSI has become a powerhouse in the world of electronics. Formed way back in 1986, the company has since managed to expand into nearly every sector of the market. Their attention to brand identity and marketing while expanding has paved the way in their rise to becoming a leading manufacturer and easily recognizable brand. From graphics cards, motherboards, laptops, all-in-one systems, and, most recently, fully featured desktops, MSI has been on a roll and doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Today, I will be looking at their MSI Apache Pro GE72VR laptop. This 17" model features an Intel Skylake Core i7-6700HQ quad-core for number crunching and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 for gaming. That's right, the GTX 1060 in this laptop is essentially the same as its desktop counterpart, which should make for some exceptional performance. Overall, this laptop from MSI is shaping up to be a good all-arounder in terms of size, weight, and specs, but let's take a closer look before we prematurely hatch a dragon.

MODEL:GE72VR Apache Pro
SIZE:16.49 x 11.02 x 1.14 inches
41.88 x 27.99 x 2.94 cm
WEIGHT:5.95 lbs
2.69 kg
PROCESSOR:Intel Core i7-6700 HQ
2.60 GHz (3.50 GHz Turbo)
DISPLAY:17.3" Screen
Full HD 1920x1080
Anti-Glare, wide view angle
OPERATING SYSTEM:Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
2x SO-DIMMs slots
32 GB Max supported
1x Mini DisplayPort v1.2
1x SD (XC/HC) Card reader
1x Headset AMP + Gold Flash jacks
1x Microphone jack
2x USB 3.0
1x USB 3.1 USB Type C
1x USB 2.0
COMMUNICATIONS:1x Killer Gaming Network E2400 LAN
1x Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 Stone Peak 1 (1x1 + BT4.0) M.2 Type
1x Bluetooth 4.0
AUDIO:Realtek HD Audio
Dynaudio 4x Speakers +1 Subwoofer)
INPUT DEVICE:Multi-Touch touchpad
Steel Series Full color backlight keyboard
720p HD Webcam
POWER:180-watt AC adapter
6-cell (51Whr) battery
WARRANTY:2 year Limited
1 year Global

Packaging and Contents

The box the MSI GE72VR laptop ships in is pretty standard-fare. It offers decent protection and is covered in a great deal of information and marketing speak. The front comes with a nice bold red MSI dragon and a prominently displayed VR ready logo. However, flip it over and the back lists a laundry list of features. First and foremost is the NVME PCI-E SSD, which utilizes the M.2 form factor. Another big selling point is the 120Hz display which quite the surprise. Other features, like DDR4, are due to Intel's Skylake processor and HM170 chipset. Depending on the user, these other features might add some value. The Nahimic audio enhancer is an interesting addition, but is all software-based. The Steel Series backlit keyboard may prove interesting, but does not appear to be that different from a traditional laptop keyboard, other than with its flashy lights. The inclusion of USB 3.0 Type C is nice, but more impressive is the inclusion of Cooler Boost. While I find the name gimmicky, a one-click button to improve cooling performance is definitely appreciated.

With the box open, users will find the laptop inside a black cloth bag that covers a plastic bag with the purpose of keeping the unit free of dust. User guides, warranty leaflet, charger, and power cable are on top or beside the laptop, inside smaller cardboard chambers. The bundle is rather bare, but that's to be expected. After all, what more do users really need other than the laptop and charger?

With the seal broken and all included items removed, users will find that only what is absolutely necessary has been bundled with the Apache Pro GE72VR laptop, which is fine.
  • Laptop
  • User guides
  • Warranty info
  • Support contact info
  • Battery charger

A Closer Look

Lets take a look! The GE72VR laptop features a sleek exterior that is far removed from the loud and in-your-face theme that is the mainstay of the Gaming moniker. Only the MSI gaming logo adds any kind of serious flair. On the right side are a super multi DVD drive, USB 2.0 port, SD card reader, and the power plug, while the left has a great number of connectivity options for RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet, 1x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini-DisplayPort, and 1x USB 3.0/3.1 Type C, and the headphone and microphone jacks. There is also a Kensington lock should you need to shackle the unit to your desk to make a run for some Doritos and Mountain Dew.

The back features two exhaust ports that force hot air out through two cooling fans inside the chassis. Meanwhile, the bottom also features a great deal of venting. Sadly, easy access to components, like the battery, HDD, and RAM, is missing. If you want access to those components, you will need to remove the entire bottom housing instead. The speakers are at the front and have a separate, built-in subwoofer inside.

Lift the lid and you will be greeted by the Steel Series keyboard and the multi-touch touchpad. Simple and clean, there isn't much to see other than a couple stickers. Taking a closer look at the keyboard, one will notice the three buttons near the top-right corner. The one on the far right is obviously the power bottom. The other two are for MSI's "Cooler Boost" and "Steel Series Engine" features.
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