Notebookcheck

Review MSI GE620-i748W7P Notebook

Florian Glaser (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 08/24/2011

Multifaceted. 15 inch multimedia notebooks have always been popular. MSI's new GE620-i748W7P notebook offers an allround platform based on the Sandy-Bridge technology. The new laptop entices buyers with a quad-core CPU, a middle class graphics card and the Nvidia Optimus technology.

MSI GE620-i748W7P

Buyers interested in purchasing a multimedia notebook which offers good performance for less than 800 Euros might find the MSI GE620 to be the ideal notebook for them. This 15 inch model from MSI is available in a variety of configurations, however, in this review we will look at only the top two most important models.

The entry model, the GE620-i547W7P, is available for under 700 Euros at online shops. For this price, the buyer gets a middle-class system: four GB DDR3-RAM, a 500 GB hard disk, a DVD burner and a modern dual-core processor. Intel's 2.3 – 2.9 GHz Core i5-2410M (3 MB L3-cache) offers the average user more than enough performance. The GeForce GT 540M graphic chip takes care of the  graphic tasks with ease and comes with DirectX 11 support.

On the other hand, the GE620-i748W7P, which is around 100 Euros more expensive, sports a faster processor. The Core i7-2630QM is a high-performance quad-core CPU, which operates at 2.0 – 2.9 GHz (6 MB L3-cache). The hard disk capacity increases from 500 to 640 GB. The display (1366 x 768 pixels), battery (6 cell) and operating system (Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit) remain the same. To find out whether or not this 15 inch model is worth the money, read on.

Case

Mainly matt surfaces
Mainly matt surfaces

The black and grey case is not going to excite users. MSI has picked the cheapest synthetic material surface which looks like brushed aluminium due to the fine line structure on its surface. Close up, the case does not look high-quality and the design is kept to a bare minimum: only two silver stripes (above the keyboard and below the touchpad) adorn the otherwise plain case.

We liked the matt finish which prevents the accumulation of fingerprints and dust particles. Only sensitive areas, such as the display, keyboard and screen borders fall victim to these annoyances. Overall, the case shows good workmanship. The chassis has decent sturdiness: the top and bottom gives way slightly under pressure here and there but overall the case is resistant.

Like many other laptops, the display cover is not well-designed. It gives way noticeably when we press down with both our hands. The hinges are another problem. Although they are stiff (the laptop swings when the display is opened), the screen they are tasked to hold shakes when the bottom of the laptop is moved. Even normal typing can make the display wobble. The notebook measurements (38.3 x 25.0 x 3.8 cm) and weight (2.6 kg) are decent and transporting the notebook should not be a problem.

Connectivity

USB 3.0 Performance
USB 3.0 Performance: Transcend StoreJet TS500GSJ25D3 500 GByte USB 3.0 HDD

Interfaces

In comparison to the predecessors, the GE600 and the GE603,  the connectivity of the laptop has gotten clearly worse. MSI does not offer an ExpressCard slot, eSATA, FireWire or a modem interface on the laptop. There are only two sound jacks (in and out) instead of four.

However, the integrated USB 3.0 ports deserve praise. External monitors can be connected using the HDMI or VGA interface, and the Kensington Lock can be used to secure the laptop and prevent theft.

We liked the positioning of the ports on the right side, as most of them were placed far back, giving an external mouse enough room to work in. However, on the left side, the opposite is true: most of the ports are placed near the front.

Communication

The user can choose between wired RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan or wireless internet.   The wireless module picked by MSI (Atheros AR9285) supports WLAN, but not Bluetooth.

Other Features

The GE620 also has an integrated webcam (16:9), which should deliver a fluid HD picture (1280 x 720 @ fps).

Left side: Kensington Lock, DC-in, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 2x Sound
Left side: Kensington Lock, DC-in, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 2x Sound
Right side: DVD burner, USB 2.0, VGA, RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan
Right side: DVD burner, USB 2.0, VGA, RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan
Installed Software
Installed Software

Software

MSI has put all kinds of software on the hard disk. One of the various software pre-installed is the MAGIX multimedia suite. A few of the others include software created by MSI.

For example, the so-called Cinema Pro-Modus is supposed to improve picture and audio quality. The ECO-Engine which offers a variety of energy saving scenarios. The practical, if somewhat annoying, S-Bar which gives the user comfortable access to Fn functions and a few other features.

The disadvantage of all this software is that the notebook is disappointingly slow at the first start-up. After the unnecessary burden is thrown overboard, the notebook picks up the pace and performs well. The System-Recovery software is already available on the computer.

Accessories

The delivery includes one Driver- & Tool-DVD and various information booklets. MSI placed a Quick Start Guide, a guarantee card (including a fitting book),  and a recovery manual for the GE620. Of course the 120 W power adapter and battery are also in the package.

Warranty

The warranty time is no surprise: 24 months is typical for this category. According to MSI, the laptop can be picked up, repaired and sent back (= Pick-Up & Return).

S-Bar
S-Bar

Input Devices

Keyboard

The input devices are far from good in our book. The keyboard has a nice detached design, with a numeric pad and a decent typing feel. However, there are a few problems with the layout. MSI has changed the positions of the "><|"- and the "'#" keys, and the "Enter" key is only one line big, like in many American or English keyboards. The result: users who are accustomed to the German QUERTZ keyboard will need some time to adjust.

The loud and rickety typing noise is another problem area. The key size of 14 x 14 mm is moderate. The five special keys are worth mentioning. They are placed next to the power button and can not only start the Cinema Pro-Modus and the S-Bar, but also deactivate the display, open the DVD drive and turn on/off the Battery+ option (increases battery life).

Touchpad

The touchpad is one of the biggest weaknesses of the GE620. Like in its big brother, the GT780R, the touchpad of the GE620 is not very precise and can be annoying due to slow response times. Sometimes the mouse even stopped responding. The supported gestures (two and three finger multi-touch input) are also not always properly executed because the touchpad often mistakes the gestures (for example, zooming instead of turning).

The most annoying feature of the touchpad is the knobby surface. The finger can not easily slide on the touchpad and longer use can even make the user uncomfortable. Both mouse keys lack a strong input response, instead they feel spongy when pressed. However, not everything was bad; we did like the measurements of the touchpad (75 x 43 mm). The touchpad can also be deactivated using a Fn combination or via its own status button.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

The monitor is standard. The 15.6 inch glare display has a 16:9 format and a LED backlight. The resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels is not high-end but any higher and the graphic card would have been overtaxed. 

185
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
192
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
204
cd/m²
197
cd/m²
200
cd/m²
214
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 214 cd/m²
Average: 197.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 204 cd/m²
Black: 1.14 cd/m²
Contrast: 179:1

The picture quality of the Samsung panel (see data sheet) is average notebook quality. The brightness of 197.3 cd/m² is not special - it is neither great nor bad. Indoors the user will have no problems. The illumination is also fine at 85%.

The black value of 1.14 cd/m² is not okay as dark areas of videos and games have a grey tint. The poor contrast of 179:1 is not surprising given the high black value. Despite the glare panel, the colors seem dull, and the sRGB color space is not covered. In short: without an external monitor enjoying films, games and pictures is not possible.

Test MSI GE620 vs. sRGB (Grid)
Test MSI GE620 vs. sRGB (Grid)
Test MSI GE620 vs. MacBook Pro 17 (Grid)
Test MSI GE620 vs. MacBook Pro 17 (Grid)
Test MSI GE620 vs. AdobeRGB (Grid)
Test MSI GE620 vs. AdobeRGB (Grid)

The glare surface of the display can be problematic. Various annoying reflections can appear depending on the lighting and outdoors these reflections can strain the eye. So users who just want to type or surf the internet might want to look at a display which has a matt surface.

Außeneinsatz
Außeneinsatz

The viewing angles are not great. Both vertically and horizontally, any slight deviation can lead to strong distortions in the picture. So it is impossible for multiple users to look at a perfect picture.

Viewing angles MSI GE620-i748W7P
Viewing angles MSI GE620-i748W7P

Performance

Turbo Boost
Turbo Boost

Processor: Intel Core i7-2630QM

Buyers interested in getting the best processor for the future should pick a quad-core CPU from Intel's latest Sandy-Bridge generation. The 32 nm Core i7-2630QM is the entry model to the quad-core world. The CPU can be boosted dynamically from 2.0 GHz to 2.9 GHz (depending on temperature and load) using the Turbo Boost function.

Hyperthreading is another important feature which allows the processor to simulate four virtual cores. So the processor can process up to 8 threads simultaneously (4 real + 4 virtual cores). In contrast to the Core i5 models, the Core i7 CPUs have a bigger L3 cache (6 MB vs 3 MB), and the i7 CPUs have around 60% more transistors (995 vs 624 million). Ideal: thanks to the Optimus graphics switching technology the user can switch between the integrated graphics chip HD Graphics 3000 and a dedicated graphics card. According to Intel, the TDP value is 45 W.

Systeminfo CPUZ CPU
Systeminfo CrystalDiskMark
Systeminfo HDTune
Systeminfo HDTune
Systeminfo GPUZ
Systeminfo GPUZ
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM SPD
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM SPD
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM
Systeminfo CPUZ Mainboard
Systeminfo CPUZ Cache
DPC Latenzen: Teils hohe Werte bei Nutzung der Fn-Funktionen
System information MSI GE620-i748W7P

Performance CPU

The performance of the Core i7-2630QM can leave desktop CPUs behind in the dust. In the Single-Core-Rendering of Cinebench R10 64 Bit, the quad-core delivered a fabulous performance: 4,660 points. This is slightly better than the Core i5-2410M (dual core with 2.3 to 2.9 GHz - 4,537 points) built into the  Asus K53SV-SX131V. In the Multi-Core-Rendering the dual-core does not stand a chance: 16,202 vs 9,620 points which is a difference of 68%. The gap widens further in the Cinebench R11.5 64Bit benchmark, where the Core i7-2630QM reaches 4.62 points while the Core i5-2410M can only manage 2.48 points (-46%).

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3704
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
13469
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5916
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4660 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
16202 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6001 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
25.22 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
4.62 Points
Help
HWiNFO
HWiNFO

Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GT 540M

The graphic card for this model is a DirectX 11-ready middle-class model: the GeForce GT 540M (based on the Nvidia's GF108-Chip - Fermi Architecture). The card is equipped with 1024 MB VRAM which runs at 900 MHz. Sadly the memory interface is a mere 128 bit. Although the VRAM is a fast DDR3 model, the memory interface limits the performance.

Still the GeForce GT 540M offers 96 shaders which operate at 1344 MHz. The core runs at 672 MHz. The GeForce GT 540M also offers a wide variety of features, such as, the decoding of HD material (PureVideo HD), delivering HD-Audio via the HDMI port and performing physical calculations (PhysX). The graphics chip is manufactured in the latest 32 nm form, and the heat loss output lies at around 35 W. Overall, Nvidia offers a well-rounded package.

Automatic Graphics Switching
Automatic Graphics Switching

Nvidia Optimus

The most important feature of the GE620 is probably Nvidia's Optimus technology. This technology allows the system to automatically switch between the integrated graphics chip and the dedicated graphics card. While the computer is using Office programs or surfing on the internet, the integrated HD Graphics 3000 is working, but as soon as a game starts, the GeForce GT 540M takes over.

This is pure comfort for the user. Nvidia gives the user the option of configuring which graphics unit should be used to run a program. Users can right-click and start the application with the desired graphics unit. In addition, the Nvidia control panel allows the user to create a custom-tailored profile for the optimal performance. Users who do not trust Optimus can instead pick the graphic card which should run all applications. The only problem is that there are some 3D applications which refuse to run on the dedicated graphic card. 

5.9
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.4
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
5.9
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.7
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9

Performance GPU

The performance of the graphic card is clearly below the level of the processor. In the  Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark(1280 x 1024, High, Tessellation normal, DirectX 11) the GeForce GT 540M was not fast enough to display a fluid picture. Still the Nvidia GPU is faster than its toughest competition from AMD, the Radeon HD 6650M (Packard Bell LS11-HR-050GE): 13.4 vs 11.9 fps. The GPU score in 3DMark 11 (1280 x 720, Performance Preset) leans in favor of the AMD GPU: 1013 vs 899 points (+13%).

3D Mark
3DMark 0321097 points
3DMark 0515892 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
8317 points
3DMark Vantage4463 points
3DMark 111019 points
Help

Performance HDD

As expected, the GE620 only has one hard disk slot. MSI has installed a 500 GB  HDD from Seagate (WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0) in the laptop. This is a model which notebook producers really like. Still, the hard disk does not set any new performance records as it runs at 5400 rpm and its sequential read and write rates lie around 77 MB/s - a performance which can easily be beaten by a 7200 rpm HDD. The 15 inch model really picks up the pace when an SSD (Solid State Drive) is installed, speeding up the Windows experience.

WDC Scorpio Blue WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0
Transfer Rate Minimum: 41.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 83.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 67 MB/s
Access Time: 18.4 ms
Burst Rate: 69.9 MB/s

System performance

The performance of the entire system was tested with PCMark Vantage. The multimedia notebook scores 7094 points which are typical for a notebook of this category. The Sony Vaio VPC-F22S1E/B which is similar to our test model, can score higher thanks to its faster HDD and more RAM (8 vs 4 GB): 7488 points (+6% ).

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage7094 points
PCMark 72068 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

As we have already extensively tested the GeForce GT 540M in a hundred other gaming benchmarks (see Games list or GPU GT 540M), we want to restrict our game tests to two of the latest titles.

Dirt 3
Dirt 3

Dirt 3

The visually impressive Dirt 3 offers hours of entertainment at high details and 2x anti-aliasing. The 1366 x 768 pixels resolution displayed the game well and the notebook delivered a steady 39.8 fps. In comparison: the Nexoc E643 (Core i5-2540M and Radeon HD 6730M) performs 5% faster at 41.6 fps. For ultra details and higher resolutions, the buyer will have to pick a high-end graphics card (the GeForce GTX 570M, Radeon HD 6970M or faster).

Dirt 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1360x768High Preset, 2xAA, -AF39.8 fps
 1024x768Medium Preset, 0xAA, -AF55.7 fps
Crysis 2
Crysis 2

Crysis 2

In many ways, this game is the #1 Ego Shooter, and as such running the game will require some sacrifices. Very high details and a 1366 x 768 pixels resolution  drops the frames to 26.6 fps making the game unplayable. Even with a lower setting ("High") and a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels, the Ego shooter still freezes now and then, while on average the frames stay at 37.1 fps. The AMD competition has an equally hard time - the Dell Vostro 3550 (Core i7-2620M & Radeon HD 6630M) ran the game at 33.9 fps (-9%).

Crysis 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1366x768Very High26.6 fps
 1024x768High37.1 fps
 800x600High56.6 fps

Gaming Verdict

Looking at the graphics performance, we conclude that the MSI GE620 is intended for the occasional gamer. The GeForce GT 540M can usually display games with high details in the native 1366 x 768 resolution, but it is usually too weak to add in features like anti-aliasing or higher resolutions. Future games could push the GeForce GT 540M to its limits. In fact, games such as Metro 2033 or Crysis 2, are already capable of bringing the card to its knees. Gamers interested in future value for under 1000 Euros should instead look at laptops with a GeForce GT 555M (like Schenker XMG A501) or Radeon HD 6770M (like HP Pavilion dv6-6008eg).

low med.high ultra
Crysis 2 (2011) 56.637.126.6fps
Dirt 3 (2011) 55.739.8fps

Emissions

Noise Emissions

While the laptop is idle or processing less demanding tasks with the integrated graphic chip, the noise emissions remain at a decent level. The cooler fan runs at a comfortable level and the hard disk remains relatively quiet except for one time when it made a clattering noise.

Under load and with the GeForce graphic card on, the noise emissions rise drastically. The cooler fan turns up to a faster speed and this level of noise could be described as very distracting. The noise might even drown out the sounds of the game depending on the genre and situation. In short: people who are sensitive to noise should pick a different device. Most multimedia notebooks are relatively quieter under load.

Noise Level

Idle 31.7 / 32.1 / 33.7 dB(A)
HDD 32.0 dB(A)
DVD 34.8 / dB(A)
Load 44.4 / 47.8 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft SL-320 (15 cm distance)
Temps Full Load
Temps Full Load

Temperature

The temperature emissions left us with mixed feelings. While idle, the case is relatively cool and our measurements showed an average of 28°C - a decent value. However, under load the case heats up fast: a maximum of 49°C above the keyboard and up to 52°C in the region of the cooling system. These are extremely high values, and the hand-rest regions are not exempt: 45°C.

The components are by far worse off. Under full load (Furmark & Prime), the graphics card and the processor easily reached the 90°C mark (HWInfo). It did not surprise us that at that point the Core i7-2630QM lowered its speed down to a mere 800 MHz. CPU throttling has become an issue for more and more notebooks lately.

Max. Load
 44.6 °C48.5 °C36.8 °C 
 41.7 °C47.1 °C35.2 °C 
 37.3 °C45.0 °C41.0 °C 
Maximum: 48.5 °C
Average: 41.9 °C
28.6 °C38.2 °C51.5 °C
30.7 °C43.5 °C51.1 °C
30.9 °C38.3 °C37.8 °C
Maximum: 51.5 °C
Average: 39 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39.9 °C | Room Temperature 22.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
THX TruStudio Pro
THX TruStudio Pro

Speakers

The four speakers and the THX TruStudio Pro technology are impressive but the sound quality is still poor. The sound output seemed artificial and hollow, and voices sometimes frayed. The speakers could give a clearer output, but any pitch range sounds slightly unclear coming out of the membranes. At least the maximum volume is higher than the average found in notebooks. Still, if possible, the user should use external speakers. In comparison, the sound quality of the Dell XPS 15 leaves the GE620 miles behind.

Battery Life

The GE620 requires a lot of energy due to the power-hungry quad-core CPU. When the GeForce GT 540M is active, our measurements showed that the power consumption ranged between 78.7 to 116.1 W. For comparison: the 15 inch Y560P-M61G3GE multimedia notebook from Lenovo (Core i7-2630QM & Radeon HD 6570M) can consume between 54.0 - 114.2 W. In idle mode, the Intel HD Graphics 3000 takes over, lowering the consumption to 12.5 - 18.8 watts.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby / 0.6 Watt
Idle 12.5 / 18.4 / 18.8 Watt
Load 78.7 / 116.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC-940
Readers Test
Maximum battery life (Readers Test)
Classic Test
Minimum run time (Classic Test)

Although this 15 inch model has automatic graphics switching, the run times are still modest. The reason for this is that MSI has only given the laptop a 6 cell battery with a capacity of 49 Wh. In the Classic Test by Battery Eater (maximum brightness and minimum power saving) the battery was quickly depleted, and after 1.5 hours the GE620 needed to be charged again.

Without the Nvidia GPU running, the battery life extends itself. Our test DVD ran for 2.5 hours with maximum brightness and modest energy-saving options, and we could surf on the internet for about 3 hours before the laptop needed to be plugged in. When idle, the run times jump even further, as shown by the Readers Test by Battery, which ran for four hours (minimum brightness and maximum energy-saving).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 9min
WiFi Surfing
2h 48min
DVD
2h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 33min

Verdict

MSI GE620-i748W7P
MSI GE620-i748W7P

Overall, the GE620-i748W7P has left us with mixed feelings. The notebook is priced in the region of 800 Euros and the performance it offers is superb for that price range. The buyer can expect to get a gaming notebook with a middle-class graphic card, a potent quad-core CPU for less than 800 Euros. Four GB RAM and a 640 GB HDD are nothing special, but their performance will suffice most users. In addition, Nvidia Optimus helps coax a longer runtime from the weak battery. The two USB 3.0 ports also deserve praise.

The price makes the GE620 very attractive, but in our test, we found various flaws. The meager connectivity, the poorly designed touchpad, and the high temperature and noise emissions are a few of the weaknesses. MSI has a lot of areas it can improve in. To make matters worse, the display cuts a poor figure: the picture is bleak and the contrast is poor. As such, we can not recommend the purchase of this multimedia notebook.

There are other faster and well-rounded laptops below 1000 Euros such as the HP dv6-6008eg or the Schenker XMG A501.

By courtesy of ...
In Review: MSI GE620-i748W7P, by courtesy of
In Review:  MSI GE620-i748W7P

Specifications

MSI GE620-i748W7P

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM65
:: Memory
4096 MB, 2x 2048 MByte DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz), max. 8 GB, 2 Slots
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M - 1024 MB, Core: 672 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Shader frequency: 1344 MHz, DDR3-VRAM, ForceWare 267.04
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, Samsung 156AT05-H01 (SEC3651), LED Backlight, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
WDC Scorpio Blue WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0, 640 GB 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphone/SPDIF-out, Microphone/Line-in, Card Reader: SD, SDXC, SDHC, MMC, MS, MS Pro, xD,
:: Networking
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (b g n )
:: Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW TS-L633F
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 38 x 383 x 250
:: Weight
2.6 kg Power Supply: 0.544 kg
:: Battery
49 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4400 mAh, 6 cell
:: Price
730 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 30fps@720p (1280 x 720), Power adapter: 120 W, Guarantee card and booklet, Quick Start Guide, Recovery manual, Info booklet for Windows 7, Drivers & Tool-DVD, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The surfaces seem like brushed aluminium.
The surfaces seem like brushed aluminium.
The "star" key opens up the so-called "S-Bar".
The "star" key opens up the so-called "S-Bar".
Sadly, the keyboard does not have backlight.
Sadly, the keyboard does not have backlight.
Volume and brightness controls are positioned well.
Volume and brightness controls are positioned well.
The processor is a strong quad-core CPU.
The processor is a strong quad-core CPU.
The hand-rest regions boast a variety of stickers.
The hand-rest regions boast a variety of stickers.
MSI could have left out the nub design of the touchpad.
MSI could have left out the nub design of the touchpad.
Many keys are highlighted with red.
Many keys are highlighted with red.
The front hides a multi format cardreader.
The front hides a multi format cardreader.
A myriad of status lights can be found under the touchpad.
A myriad of status lights can be found under the touchpad.
The optical drive reads and burns CDs and DVDs.
The optical drive reads and burns CDs and DVDs.
External monitors can be connected using the VGA or the HDMI interface.
External monitors can be connected using the VGA or the HDMI interface.
The workmanship of the notebook is quite good.
The workmanship of the notebook is quite good.
Two USB 3.0 ports are fast becoming standard for notebooks.
Two USB 3.0 ports are fast becoming standard for notebooks.
The power adapter weighs 544 grams.
The power adapter weighs 544 grams.
The delivery package includes a variety of info booklets.
The delivery package includes a variety of info booklets.
Users should not expect too much from the sound quality.
Users should not expect too much from the sound quality.
49 Wh is very meager for a notebook.
49 Wh is very meager for a notebook.
The design and shape are not extraordinary.
The design and shape are not extraordinary.
Thanks to the matt finish, the surfaces remain free of smudges and dirt.
Thanks to the matt finish, the surfaces remain free of smudges and dirt.
The big flap on the bottom protects the hardware inside and can be removed by taking out a few screws.
The big flap on the bottom protects the hardware inside and can be removed by taking out a few screws.
During daylight hours, the display can be very reflective.
During daylight hours, the display can be very reflective.
The notebook is moderate in size.
The notebook is moderate in size.
The display can not be opened very far.
The display can not be opened very far.
There are no ports on the back of the laptop.
There are no ports on the back of the laptop.
The 15 inch model weighs around 2600 grams with the battery.
The 15 inch model weighs around 2600 grams with the battery.
The GE620 looks very conservative when closed.
The GE620 looks very conservative when closed.
The back of the laptop is completely occupied by the battery.
The back of the laptop is completely occupied by the battery.
The display border can quickly accumulate fingerprints.
The display border can quickly accumulate fingerprints.
The notebook temperature emissions rise quite high when it is under heavy load (high cooling fan emissions).
The notebook temperature emissions rise quite high when it is under heavy load (high cooling fan emissions).
ExpressCard, eSATA and Firewire ports are nowhere to be found.
ExpressCard, eSATA and Firewire ports are nowhere to be found.
The 120 W power adapter is not exactly petite.
The 120 W power adapter is not exactly petite.
Despite the Optimus techonology, the laptop run times are mediocre.
Despite the Optimus techonology, the laptop run times are mediocre.
We would not describe the GE620 as a gaming notebook.
We would not describe the GE620 as a gaming notebook.

Similar Devices

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Pro

+Good allround performance
+Optimus technology
+Attractive price
+2x USB 3.0
 

Cons

-High temperature and noise emissions under load
-Uncomfortable touchpad surface
-Meager connectivity
-CPU throttling during stress test
-Modest display

Shortcut

What we like

The graphics switching and the great price-to-performance ratio.

What we miss

Lower emissions and a good display.

What surprises us

How the touchpads of MSI laptops have gotten worse.

The competition

15-inch allround notebooks with quad-core processors and GeForce GT 540M such as the Asus N53SV (X5MSV), the Acer Aspire 5750G-2634G64, the Packard Bell TS11-HR-158GE or the Samsung RF511-S05DE.

Rating

MSI GE620-i748W7P
08/08/2011 v2
Florian Glaser

Chassis
78%
Keyboard
76%
Pointing Device
66%
Connectivity
68%
Weight
79%
Battery
77%
Display
68%
Games Performance
85%
Application Performance
90%
Temperature
66%
Noise
74%
Add Points
76%
Average
75%
76%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review MSI GE620-i748W7P Notebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2011-08-24 (Update: 2013-06- 6)