The MSI GE620 may not be the most eye-catching of the bunch, but it has got plenty of power at its disposal. One of two laptops we tested with the Intel Core i7-2630QM processor – a quad-core model from the Sandy Bridge range – the MSI scored a stunning 131 in our WorldBench 6 tests – 10 points clear of the competition.

Thanks to 4GB of RAM and an nVidia GeForce GT 540M the gaming performance was equally impressive, with the GE620 achieving a frame rate of 128fps in FEAR.

This is a laptop that is very much geared towards gamers and while the speed will be appreciated by the gaming crowd the display might be considered a bit of a let-down. It’s a 15.6in LED-backlit display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 but the colours seemed a little lacklustre and the definition wasn’t as sharp as it could have been.

Though it is aimed at gamers it doesn’t have a garish shoot-‘em-up design, and could even be accused of looking slightly dull in its dark grey finish.

To this end, it’d fit in perfectly in an office environment even though its performance allows it to carry out more than just everyday tasks.

Portability isn’t the key consideration for a desktop replacement but at 2.4kg it’s fine to carry around provided you don’t have to travel with it too often. Should you want to play on the move then the 274 mins of battery life we squeezed out of it is acceptable, though it ‘s far from being the longest runner in this group.

The 500GB hard drive isn’t the biggest on offer but it does spin at 7200rpm, trunping all but one of the other models we tested. This usually means quicker access to large files, a welcome feature should you want to carry out tasks such as video editing.

The keyboard is nicely spaced out, though we found the Return key a little small for our liking. The trackpad is textured rather than smooth, which although slightly odd feeling to begin with, actually feels quite good to use.

See also: Group test: what's the best laptop?

MSI GE620: Specs

  • 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM
  • 15.6in (1366 x 768) glossy LED backlit
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz
  • 500GB HDD 7200rpm
  • nVidia GeForce GT 540M 1GB DDR3
  • VGA, HDMI
  • Stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • DVD-RW
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • gigabit ethernet
  • MMC/SD/MS Pro
  • webcam, Assassin's Creed II game 48Wh lithium-ion removable 274 minutes 383x259.5x37.6mm 2.4kg
  • 2GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM
  • 15.6in (1366 x 768) glossy LED backlit
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz
  • 500GB HDD 7200rpm
  • nVidia GeForce GT 540M 1GB DDR3
  • VGA, HDMI
  • Stereo speakers, headphone jack, mic input
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • DVD-RW
  • 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • gigabit ethernet
  • MMC/SD/MS Pro
  • webcam, Assassin's Creed II game 48Wh lithium-ion removable 274 minutes 383x259.5x37.6mm 2.4kg

OUR VERDICT

The GE620 from MSI is very obviously targeted at the gaming crowd, but it has much to offer anyone looking for a desktop replacement for under £1000. In fact, you’ll have plenty of change from a grand – it’s just a shame that the model we tested had a pretty average screen. There is a version with a 1920 x 1080 display available though.

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