Sensibly powered for great games action, while remaining portable and comfortable to use, the GE62 is only compromised by tricky upgrade potential and disappointing battery life. It has a great display and respectable keyboard for gaming, and crucially plays games at high detail without distress.
The GE62 2QD gaming laptop hides its frame well, since the bare specification of 2.4kg and 28mm thick doesn’t sound especially portable. Pick it up though, and this 15in notebook seems thinner, lighter – certainly than the traditional portable gaming laptop.
See also: Best gaming laptops of 2015
Construction is mostly metal, a veneer of brushed aluminium on the lid and top deck, and an underside cast from magnesium-lithium alloy. It’s all finished in black with a natty red stripe along the front.
Not unusually, there’s no removable battery nor access trapdoors, although MSI has found room to incorporate a DVD drive.
Powering the machine is Nvidia’s recent mobile processor, the GTX 960M from the middle of the pack, backed with a Haswell-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU. There’s 8GB memory on one card, and while a second slot is available MSI doesn’t want you inside to fill it, since a tamper sticker warns of voiding the warranty.
There’s an SDXC card slot and old USB 2.0 port alongside the DVD tray on the right, and three USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, audio and network ports to the left.
A rainbow of colours shines from beneath the keyboard, not so much through but around the keys. You can customise colours to taste. A medium-sized touchpad has a brushed-metal effect, accurate, and with two real buttons below.
MSI GE62 2QD Apache Pro review: Performance
MSI rightly ensures image quality is top-notch, fitting an anti-glare IPS display, set at a sensible resolution of 1920×1080. This measured with nigh-on full sRGB coverage (98 percent) and a great contrast ratio up to 790:1 at full brightness. Colour accuracy was good too, average Delta E of just 0.92.
The 4720HQ quad-core processor has been popular in gaming laptops, and here propelled the MSI to 10,896 points in Geekbench 3 (3085 points single-core) – decent numbers but around 13 percent below the XMG A505, for instance, with the same chip but faster memory.
PCMark 8 scored the MSI with a decent 2895 points (Home), rising to 3328 points in Accelerated mode.
The Nvidia graphics may not be top-spec but the GTX 960M is quite capable of allowing maximum detail at native full-HD resolution. Batman played at 56fps even at highest Extreme setting, while Tomb Raider averaged 51fps at Ultra detail, falling to 33fps at peak Ultimate settings.
Only our Metro: Last Light torture test (1080p, Very High with all effects) proved too challenging with 16fps, but at High setting the GE62 was back in its stride with 57fps.
Despite efficient Intel/Nvidia silicon and switchable graphics, runtime from the 50Wh battery was under three hours (2 hr 58 min) in the looped streaming-video test.
MSI GE62 2QD Apache Pro: Specs
- 15.6-inch (1920 x 1080) 141 ppi IPS matt anti-glare display
- Windows 8.1
- 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ (3.6 GHz Turbo) 4C, 8T
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (2 GB GDDR5) + Intel HD Graphics 4600
- 8 GB (1x 8 GB) 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
- 128 GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1 TB 7200 rpm SATA HDD
- gigabit ethernet
- 802.11ac, 1×1 MIMO (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- tray-load DVD±RW drive
- 3x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
- Mini DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4
- Kensington Lock Slot
- SDXC card slot
- stereo speakers (Dynaudio)
- webcam and mic
- 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm mic jack
- UK tiled keyboard with numberpad (Steel Series ENGIN3)
- two-button multi-touch trackpad, 103x61mm
- 50Wh lithium-ion, non-removable battery
- 120 W mains charger with IEC C5 inlet