MSI TurboBook GX600 Gaming Notebook
Like many modern electronics the GX600 features a glossy black exterior that is extremely prone to finger prints. While some of the earlier GX600 models featured flame decals around the lid and keyboard area, the model we received was a lot less offensive and not so subjective to personal taste.
The plastic used on the lid is actually quite thin and can easily be distorted by pressing down on it. This directly affects the LCD display mounted behind, causing all kinds of artifacts on the screen. While it’s highly unlikely that anybody would do this during use, it potentially indicates that the notebook casing may not be strong enough to prevent damage to the screen when dropped or pressed up close to something like a battery charger in a laptop bag.
Opening the notebook lid reveals the 15.4” WXGA screen with yet another highly reflective and fingerprint vulnerable surface. Under normal indoor lighting conditions the screen is vibrant and can comfortably be viewed indoors with any brightness setting between 60-80% . However, moving the laptop outside on a sunny day is a huge no-no as the screen becomes almost impossible to view.
Viewing angles on the screen are excellent, with the screen being easily readable from a 90 degree horizontal angle and 35 degree vertical angle. Even after this the screen is still fairly readable and does not suffer from inverting colours or darkening like most notebook displays.
The GX600 features a full numeric keypad to the right of the notebook. While this could certainly be useful to some gamers who use these additional buttons for in-game controls, it has also forced MSI to shrink the size of some keys (function keys, arrows, return, backspace) to almost unusable sizes.
A silver trackpad featuring an up/down scroll function is offset to the left of the laptop along with the standard left/right mouse buttons positioned directly below. We have to question why the trackpad was positioned here as the predominant dexterity is right-handed, meaning most gamers will want to use their right hand for mouse movements and left hand for keyboard functions.
A further test for quality involved lifting the laptop by the palm rest area to check for flexing of the chassis. Once again, the flimsiness of the plastic used on the casing caused the laptop to creak and distort slightly under its own weight.
The previously discussed “Turbo” button takes pride of place at the top-right of the notebook with various other buttons for Power, Wi-Fi and Suspend close by. We initially thought that pressing the turbo button repeatedly would switch between "Turbo Battery" and "CPU Turbo" mode, but contrary to the specifications, it would seem that this particular GX600 model only features the "CPU Turbo" mode.
All buttons are placed on a faux metal plate with speakers on each side of the notebook being stealthed behind red car-styled vents. While MSI probably had gamers in mind, we can’t help but feel that this looks slightly tacky on an otherwise aesthetically pleasing notebook.
The GX600 does however have great connectivity. Starting over on the left-side of the laptop, MSI have provided two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet and Modem ports, a Notebook locking port and a DVD-RW drive that is also capable of reading HD-DVD disks.
Over on the right things get even more impressive with an eSATA connector – useful for hooking up high-speed external hard disks, an IEE1394 Firewire port, a further two USB2.0 ports and HDMI, S-Video and VGA display outputs.
Finally, at the front of the GX600 you will find three 3.5mm jacks for headphones, microphone and line-in along with a card reader capable of MMC, SD and MS cards. Great job MSI!