MSI GE62VR Apache Pro Gaming Laptop Review
There is an awful lot to like about the MSI GE62VR Apache Pro, and one thing that's not so great.
The first thing that strikes you when you take it out of the nicely designed packaging is how light it is. Now we've never been a website that finds thin and light to be overriding positive qualities. They are nice to have, don't get us wrong, but having a laptop that's 5mm thinner or half a pound lighter isn't as important as having one which performs well. However, we know that many of you sploosh over a featherweight model and you'll be pleased to know that the Apache Pro - at a mere 2.4kg - is definitely on the light side of things. The display is particularly thin, almost to the point where we feel it's too thin. It takes almost no effort at all to flex the screen and although our review model has been around the block a few times and is still in fine fettle, it is something that you'd have to be careful with in the long term. Conversely the main body of the Apache Pro is very nice indeed with a classy feeling brushed aluminium finish surrounding the always excellent Steelseries keyboard. The touchpad is very good too, being slightly textured and responsive without suffering from unintended ghost taps.
Performance is good, particularly given the mid-range price tag. The Intel Core i7-6700HQ is a very popular processor in gaming laptops and its qualities are clearly demonstrated with the Apache Pro. It is plenty fast enough for all of your application type tasks, whilst also having the capability to keep the graphics card filled with things to render. Speaking of the graphics card the latest nVidia Pascal range has been a revelation in laptop gaming. The GE62VR uses the GTX 1060 and the lack of a specific model number for the mobile variant - unlike earlier GTX960Ms and what have you - shows the massive rewards we have as end-users from nVidia's ceaseless search for ever more efficient GPUs. We always test at the maximum settings so that we have a consistent testing methodology, and even with the anti-aliasing at the highest possible level and detail sliders maxed out, the Apache Pro provides very smooth gaming. If you were slightly more cautious with your settings choices - particularly anti-aliasing - then you can run almost any game on the market and be sure that you'll get over 60FPS.
There are a couple of negatives though. Firstly the habit MSI have gained of preinstalling a lot of software seems even worse with this model. There was loads of stuff running in the background, almost none of which is necessary for daily usage. Normally that wouldn't be too much of an issue, but when the battery life is already pretty mediocre then anything extraneous is undesirable. The biggest negative has to be that battery life. On a stress loop we saw 72 minutes. Even extremely light use - gentle net browsing, lots of idle time, little bit of music running - it didn't stretch to three hours. This is not the type of laptop you want to take on a long train journey with you, or even one that you want to game on without having it plugged in at all times.
So it looks good, performs very well, but you need to be close to a wall socket for extended use, and for that reason the GE62VR Apache Pro wins our OC3D Gamers Choice Award.