MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Performance 

At this price, you're probably expecting some compromises. And you have to compromise more than with a desktop PC at £599.

The GL62 6QC spec were reviewing uses a GeForce GTX 940M CPU, one of the lower-end Nvidia cards. Despite being a solid dedicated GPU, you will need to use fairly low settings in order to get smooth-feeling frame rates in todays more demanding games at native Full HD resolution.

Thief is a classic example of a game that the GL62 struggles with. At 720p with Low settings it averages 35.6fps, but that rate drops to an unusable 14.9fps when resolution is increased to 1080p and graphics settings increased to High: unplayable.

The much less demanding Alien Isolation test brings better results, but is still too slow in the GL62 with visuals at 1080p/High. It averages 20fps, increasing to 49fps at 720p, Low settings. A GTX 960M or even a GTX 950M (which you get in the HP Pavilion Gaming 15) would let you get closer to the mid-level settings that represent the sort of experience offered by todays game consoles, the PS4 and Xbox One.

CPU power is without contest the strongest part of the MSI GL62s performance. The Intel Core i5-6500HQ is a full powerlaptop CPU rather than one of the efficiency-leaning ones used in more portable laptops, and its Geekbench result of 9247 (3034 single) is excellent for the price. It scores a similarly good 2681 points in the PCMark 8 Home test.

This CPU could be paired with a much, much more expensive GPU and still not be the bottleneck for performance.

The shame is that you probably wont get to appreciate all that power on a daily basis. The reality is that, fitted with a plain 1TB hard drive rather than an SSD, it’s relatively slow to boot-up and come out of sleep mode. It also increases application load times.

Storage speed is such an important part of creating a perception of good performance that the GL62 6QC actually feels a bit slower than a lot of much less powerful laptops. It has the power for photo and video editing of large files, but again youd ideally want a machine with an SSD if thats what youre going to be doing.

The fact that the 6QC's drive spins at a slow 5400rpm (rather than 7200rpm) makes matters even worse. It's the second reason, behind the graphics chip, to avoid this particular configuration of the GL62.

Under heavy yse, the laptop's fans are significantly more obvious than those of the comparable HP Pavilion Gaming 15. Higher-pitched and noisier, they can be a little distracting in quieter rooms.

There is an interesting little keyboard shortcut that lets you switch gears, to use MSIs terminology. The eco mode helps keep the GL62 quiet when just performing basic tasks. 

MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Keyboard and trackpad

The rest of the MSI GL62 keyboard is interesting too. Its a SteelSeries-branded keyboard, and has a different feel to the average chiclet keyboard.

MSI GL62 6QC review

While the key travel is standard, the action is a little unusual. Rather than aiming for crisp feedback, the GL62s keys are deliberately a lot softer, a bit like a shrunken version of the mechanical Cherry switch keyboards SteelSeries produces (granted, some Cherry switches are quite clicky).

It takes a little while to get used to, when the crispness of most chiclet designs is designed to make up for lesser key travel. However, the keys still feel good, and the layout is conventional. Theres no backlight, something youll have to pay a little more to get.

The trackpad is not as interesting. Its surface is a rather disappointing roughened plastic that doesnt even attempt to ape the feel of more expensive laptopsfrosted glass trackpads. Its driver needs work too: multi-touch gestures stopped working during testing.

A lack of pad ambition pays off better with the keys. The MSI G62s mouse buttons are separate and sit below the pad, a smart move for a gaming laptop.

Finally, let's mention speaker quality. Its not a highlight. Despite being a gaming machine the MSI GL62's speakers are unusually weak. The sound is thin and relatively quiet, outdone even by some recent phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7.

MSI GL62-6QC 065UK review: Battery Life

A laptop like this that uses dedicated GPU and an HQ-series CPU is never going to offer particularly good battery life. The MSI GL62 lasts 3 hours 55 minutes when playing back a 720p MP4 video file at 120cd/m2 brightness.

While its unrealistic to expect eight hoursuse out of a laptop with an HQ-series CPU, some others in this category will last perhaps 30 minutes more.

MSI GL62-6QC 065UK: Specs

  • 15.6in (1920 x 1080) 276dpi IPS LCD matt anti-glare
  • 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6300HQ quad-core, four threads
  • Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB
  • 8GB DDR3L RAM
  • 1TB 5400rpm HDD
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac dual-band 1x1
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB-C
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs
  • DVD writer and SDXC card slot
  • stereo Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • HD webcam single mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard
  • 48Wh lithium-ion battery
  • 383 x 260 x 27mm
  • 2.3kg
  • 15.6in (1920 x 1080) 276dpi IPS LCD matt anti-glare
  • 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6300HQ quad-core, four threads
  • Nvidia GeForce 940MX 2GB
  • 8GB DDR3L RAM
  • 1TB 5400rpm HDD
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac dual-band 1x1
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB-C
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs
  • DVD writer and SDXC card slot
  • stereo Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • HD webcam single mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard
  • 48Wh lithium-ion battery
  • 383 x 260 x 27mm
  • 2.3kg

SHOULD I BUY MSI GL62-6QC 065UK?

The MSI GL62 looks like a pretty plain entry-level gaming laptop at first, but it has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. Not everyone’s going to love the SteelSeries keyboard, but its mechanical key-inspired feel is something different, and its display colour saturation is impressive at the price, even if the screen won’t blow you away in other respects. It does rather highlight the problem with today’s affordable gaming laptops, though. Its GPU will still leave you scrabbling around at low graphics settings to get satisfying frame rates in recent games and the lack of SSD storage means the system doesn’t feel as speedy day-to-day as laptops with much less powerful CPUs. This isn’t a laptop for hardcore gamers or performance snobs, but it is a solid machine with the right level of future-proofing and a display that makes a punchy first impression.