MSI GL62 review
The MSI GL62 is a 15.6-inch low-cost gaming laptop. From looks alone you could assume it costs over £1000, but at its entry-level spec is less than £600.
It’s a bit of a patchwork of hits and misses, though, and we’d advise getting a slightly higher-end spec than we’re reviewing if you can afford it as it will really pay dividends for discerning gamers. This one can only handle recent demanding games at bottom-rung settings and its lack of SSD storage means our MSI GL62 lacks the zippiness of some otherwise less powerful laptops at the price. More on that later.
Note: Since our review was written, the specific model we tested is no longer available. However, a virtually identical 6QD model is available for the same price and has the GTX 950M instead of the 940M.
MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Price
The main appeal of the MSI GL62 is that it starts at £599, and this is the specific model we’re looking at here. You can buy the MSI GL62 6QD from Ebuyer for £599.99.
This version has a GeForce GTX 950 GPU, a quad-core Core i5 CPU and hard drive storage rather than an SSD.
The GL62's rivals include the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 which costs from £719 and is similarly a subtle gaming laptop. However, you should also read our roundup of the best gaming laptops to buy right now.
MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Design
It’s not hard to spot a gaming laptop, but the MSI GL62 has little bits of gaming flair here and there rather than opting for an outrageous colour scheme or flared vents and mad logos. The keyboard font, the badge insignia on the lid, the odd bits of red trim and some of the GL62’s angles are all obvious ‘tells’ to an experienced eye.
This means the MSI GL62 isn't a laptop that’ll make you feel self-conscious in public like an Asus G752 could. It successfully treads the fine along a few boundaries with confidence.
This laptop has a metal-covered lid but the rest of the laptop is plastic, as used in the vast majority of gaming machines. It doesn’t try to push its luck with thickness or weight either.
At 2.3kg and 29mm thick, the MSI GL62 isn’t light or small enough to be considered a portable laptop. You’ll want to keep it at home most of the time.
MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Ports and features
While it has a sensible, slightly conservative design for a gaming laptop, the MSI GL62 does have up-to-date connections. It features two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port on the right side and an additional USB-C. It’s reassuring to see MSI has added has effectively added an extra USB with the USB-C socket, rather than using it as an excuse to pare down the total number of plugs.
It’ll be a while before everything uses USB-C, after all.
The MSI GL62 also has the main connections required of a desktop-replacer. It has HDMI and Mini DisplayPort video outputs and a full-size Ethernet socket. Many of you may be happy with using Wi-Fi, though, particularly as Wi-Fi ac is supported.
Around on the other (right) side of the MSI GL62 are a DVD Multiwriter optical drive and a full-size SD card slot. Just as the MSI GL62 strikes a good balance between a gamer-tinged look and an ordinary one, the laptop has an ultra-accessible set of connections that’ll suit the sort of buyer to whom a lower-cost gaming rig might appeal.
Just using mobile grade connections like a 12in MacBook just wouldn’t work here.
MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Screen
There’s a similar melding of worlds in the MSI GL62 in the screen too. The laptop has a 15.6in 1080p resolution display, but unlike most modern £500-plus laptops does not use an IPS screen.
It’s not a plain old TN screen either: MSI using something a little different. The GL62 has TN-based screen, but its tweaked architecture makes it look much better than other TN displays. MSI calls it a “world first”.
Its colour is fantastically vivid for a laptop of this price. It can display deeper, richer tones than many a £1000 laptop.
Setting our colorimeter loose on the MSI GL62, it hits 99.7 percent of sRGB, the usual standard for laptops, as well as 77.8 of Adobe RGB by volume and 85.7 percent of the cinema-grade DCI P3 standard. We’ll admit to being genuinely surprised to see such an affordable laptop provide such rich colour. An IPS laptop at this price might hit 70 per cent of sRGB and be considered more than fine.
It’s the colour that helps give the MSI GL62 screen a bold look, because its contrast alone can’t. Thanks to raised blacks that become really quite obvious even in good lighting when you crank up the backlight, the screen only has contrast of 300:1.
Viewing angles are not close to those of an IPS screen either, despite MSI's claims. When viewed from a severe vertical angle, there’s severe contrast shift, a typical feature of a TN screen. The effect is nowhere near as bad as a regular TN screen, though. There’s clever ‘wide angle’ tech going on here that’s particularly effective at improving horizontal angled viewing.
If you're prone to noticing poor black level and are going to be playing in dimmed lighting, maybe this isn’t the best laptop for you. However, its colours look a lot more vivid than most laptops at the price.
The screen has a matt finish, a type that tends not to make colours pop as much as glossy ones. As we've said, this is a decent screen for colours. although its 253cd/m2 brightness is nothing special. This isn’t a laptop you’re likely to want to use outdoors much, though. If you’re after a portable workhorse, take a look at the Asus UX range.