Notebookcheck

MSI CX72-7QLi581 Notebook Review

Sascha Mölck, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Maria Vittoria Occhipinti), 11/30/2016

All-rounder. The CX72 is a 17.3-inch notebook destined to sit on the home-office table. The laptop has low heat and noise emissions and a powerful Kaby Lake processor, but the display is lacking. We will find out more about this model in our detailed review.

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The MSI CX72-7QLi581 is a 17.3-inch all-rounder, which boasts a duo of a Kaby Lake processor and a GeForce 940MX graphics core. We are quite familiar with this case, as it has been used by MSI before: see the MSI GE72 6QF Apache Pro, the MSI GP72 2QE Leopard Pro or the MSI PE70-2QEi581. For our review, we picked out the Acer Aspire E5-774G, the Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK and the Asus F756UX for comparison.

As the CX72 shares the same case as other laptops, we will not be discussing the case, the connectivity, the input devices and the speakers. This information can be found in the reviews of the MSI GE72 6QF Apache Pro, the MSI GP72 2QE Leopard Pro and the MSI PE70-2QEi581.

MSI CX72-7QLi581 (CX72 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX - 2048 MB, Core: 1122-1176 MHz, Memory: 1001 MHz, DDR3, 64 bit interface, ForceWare 375.95, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4 2400, Single-Channel, two slots (one occupied)
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1600 x 900 pixel 106 PPI, LG Philips LP173WD1-TLF1, TN LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0, 1024 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 874 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Microphone jack, headphone jack, Card Reader: SD, TPM 2.0
Networking
Qualcomm Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUD0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 37 x 420 x 287 ( = 1.46 x 16.54 x 11.3 in)
Battery
41 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Additional features
Speakers: 4 speakers, Keyboard: Chicler, Keyboard Light: no, Cyberlink PowerDVD 12, Magix Music Maker Silver, Magix Photo Manager 15, McAfee LiveSafe (trial), MS Office 365 (trial), Winzip (trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.8 kg ( = 98.77 oz / 6.17 pounds), Power Supply: 362 g ( = 12.77 oz / 0.8 pounds)
Price
799 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
 
40.3 MB/s ∼100% +74%
Asus F756UX-T7013T
 
27.2 MB/s ∼67% +17%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
 
23.2 MB/s ∼58%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
 
14.3 MB/s ∼35% -38%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
 
14 MB/s ∼35% -40%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
 
80.5 MB/s ∼100% +205%
Asus F756UX-T7013T
 
38.6 MB/s ∼48% +46%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
 
27.3 MB/s ∼34% +3%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
 
26.7 MB/s ∼33% +1%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
 
26.4 MB/s ∼33%
Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (seb)
331 MBit/s ∼100% +57%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 (jseb)
211 MBit/s ∼64%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (seb)
327 MBit/s ∼100% 0%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 (jseb)
326 MBit/s ∼100%

Display

Pixel grid
Pixel grid

The matte 17.3-inch display of the CX72 works at a native resolution of 1600x900 pixels. The brightness (262.2 cd/m²) and the contrast (273:1) are low. Furthermore, the screen suffers from PWM flickering (50 Hz) at brightness levels below 50%. This can cause headaches and eye strain.

231
cd/m²
252
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
268
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
253
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 301 cd/m² Average: 262.2 cd/m² Minimum: 5.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Center on Battery: 268 cd/m²
Contrast: 273:1 (Black: 0.98 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.26 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 12.45 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
71% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 46% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.03
MSI CX72-7QLi581
TN LED, 1600x900, 17.3
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus F756UX-T7013T
TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
TN LED, 1600x900, 17.3
Response Times
637%
639%
638%
3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
43 (22, 21)
43 (23, 20)
-0%
42 (20, 22)
2%
41 (21, 20)
5%
42 (22, 30)
2%
Response Time Black / White *
25 (7, 18)
22 (5, 17)
12%
21 (6, 15)
16%
23 (6, 17)
8%
24 (7, 17)
4%
PWM Frequency
50 (50)
1000 (90)
1900%
1000 (90)
1900%
1000 (90)
1900%
Screen
46%
73%
35%
12%
Brightness middle
268
320
19%
268
0%
362
35%
205
-24%
Brightness
262
302
15%
255
-3%
344
31%
182
-31%
Brightness Distribution
77
86
12%
83
8%
84
9%
77
0%
Black Level *
0.98
0.4
59%
0.17
83%
0.57
42%
0.43
56%
Contrast
273
800
193%
1576
477%
635
133%
477
75%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.26
7.78
31%
7.18
36%
9.54
15%
9.75
13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
17.88
12.74
29%
11.67
35%
16.11
10%
16.02
10%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
12.45
8.87
29%
7.97
36%
10.39
17%
12.09
3%
Gamma
2.03 108%
2.27 97%
2.34 94%
2.55 86%
2.62 84%
CCT
12273 53%
8979 72%
8541 76%
11093 59%
12875 50%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
46
62
35%
59
28%
59
28%
49
7%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
71
95
34%
94
32%
90
27%
76
7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
342% / 182%
356% / 204%
337% / 174%
8% / 10%

* ... smaller is better

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Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 50 Hz ≤ 50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 50 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 50 Hz is very low, so the flickering may cause eyestrain and headaches after extended use.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9064 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

With factory settings, the screen has a DeltaE 2000 color deviation of 11.26. The optimal range (DeltaE smaller than 3) is far off. The display also suffers from a blue tint.

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Gray Levels
CalMAN - Gray Levels
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
25 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 39 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
43 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 59 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

MSI has installed a TN panel in this model, which means the viewing angles are not great. The screen might not be legible from all angles and the low brightness, paired with the poor contrast, means outdoors use is going to be difficult. We recommend finding a well-shaded spot.

Outdoors (cloudy)
Outdoors (cloudy)

Performance

For the MSI CX72-7QLi581 to be a 17.3-inch all-rounder, the model needs sufficient performance to accomplish everyday tasks and run a few games. Our test model is available for 750 Euros (~$794). Currently, this seems to be the only configuration available.

Processor

The CX72 runs on an Intel Core i5-7200U (Kaby Lake) dual-core processor. The CPU is middle-class and offers good performance. It deals with typical tasks, such as surfing the web or writing documents, with aplomb. The processor of our model is a conservative ULV model (TDP: 15 W). The CPU works at a base clock speed of 2.5 GHz. Thanks to Turbo, it is possible for the CPU to run at up to 3.1 GHz (both cores). The full performance of the processor is available while on battery and while plugged in.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5011
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11481
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6732
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
129 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
332 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
67.15 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Intel Core i7-6500U
131 Points ∼60% +2%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
Intel Core i7-6500U
130 Points ∼60% +1%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
129 Points ∼59%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
118 Points ∼54% -9%
Asus F756UX-T7013T
Intel Core i5-6200U
116 Points ∼53% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
332 Points ∼8%
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Intel Core i7-6500U
330 Points ∼8% -1%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
Intel Core i7-6500U
329 Points ∼8% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
292 Points ∼7% -12%
Asus F756UX-T7013T
Intel Core i5-6200U
289 Points ∼7% -13%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Intel Core i7-6500U
6847 Points ∼22% +5%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
6537 Points ∼21%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
5569 Points ∼18% -15%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Intel Core i7-6500U
3266 Points ∼70% +11%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
2941 Points ∼63%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
2396 Points ∼51% -19%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
7012 Points ∼25%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
3678 Points ∼64%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Intel Core i7-6500U
216.79 Points ∼65% +2%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
Intel Core i5-7200U
213.03 Points ∼64%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Intel Core i5-6200U
192.58 Points ∼58% -10%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
Intel Core i7-6500U
190.95 Points ∼57% -10%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly and we did not find any major issues. The PCMark benchmark results are quite good, but the overall performance can be increased further by installing an M.2 SSD as the system drive. A second RAM module would also boost the performance.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3586 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
GeForce 940MX, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B256
3734 Points ∼61% +4%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
GeForce 940MX, 7200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
3586 Points ∼59%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
GeForce 940M, 6500U, Lite-On CV1-8B256
3502 Points ∼57% -2%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Radeon R5 M330, 6200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
3184 Points ∼52% -11%
Asus F756UX-T7013T
GeForce GTX 950M, 6200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3162 Points ∼52% -12%

Storage Device

Currently, the system drive is a traditional 2.5-inch HDD from Western Digital. The drive runs at 5,400 rpm and has a capacity of 1 TB. The transfer speeds of the HDD are at the expected level. The notebook offers an empty slot for M.2 SSDs (2280).

WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Transfer Rate Minimum: 44.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 119 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 87.6 MB/s
Access Time: 16.6 ms
Burst Rate: 219.7 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.2 %
MSI CX72-7QLi581
WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Asus F756UX-T7013T
HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
Lite-On CV1-8B256
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
Toshiba MQ01ABD100
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
9146%
-6%
7900%
-17%
Write 4k QD32
1.064
269.8
25257%
0.968
-9%
217.3
20323%
0.764
-28%
Read 4k QD32
0.918
277.7
30151%
0.812
-12%
245.1
26599%
0.708
-23%
Write 4k
1.063
85.09
7905%
0.947
-11%
74.8
6937%
0.792
-25%
Read 4k
0.422
32.31
7556%
0.413
-2%
30.83
7206%
0.312
-26%
Write 512
46.87
357.7
663%
39.12
-17%
357.3
662%
43.34
-8%
Read 512
34.83
382.8
999%
33.33
-4%
329.4
846%
28.15
-19%
Write Seq
100.2
332.8
232%
105
5%
366.3
266%
96.3
-4%
Read Seq
102.8
520.3
406%
105.8
3%
473
360%
100.6
-2%

Graphics Card

The GeForce 940MX graphics core is a good fit for the middle-class processor. This dedicated GPU offers 2,048 MB DDR3 memory and supports DirectX 12. It should run at a max of 1,242 MHz, but our model caps out at 1,176 MHz. It seems that MSI has regulated the speeds. The GeForce 940M GPU offers the same speed, which means the 3DMark results of the two are quite similar.

The 940MX is available with DDR3 and GDDR5 memory. The latter offers higher performance thanks to the faster memory. If you want to find out more about this GPU, check out our review of the Aspire E5-774G.

3DMark 11 Performance
2508 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus F756UX-T7013T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, Intel Core i5-6200U
4083 Points ∼8% +71%
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i7-6500U
2813 Points ∼6% +18%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, Intel Core i5-7200U
2387 Points ∼5%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, Intel Core i7-6500U
2376 Points ∼5% 0%
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
AMD Radeon R5 M330, Intel Core i5-6200U
1518 Points ∼3% -36%

Gaming Performance

The CX72 can run many games fluidly at an HD resolution (1366x768 pixels) and medium settings. However, games with high hardware requirements (like Dishonored 2 or Mafia 3) will not run well on this laptop. We recommend trying out games which have been out for a few years.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 99.953.845fps
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare (2016) 37.634.417.8fps
Dishonored 2 (2016) 1814.7fps

Emissions and Energy

System Noise

The laptop does not make much noise. While idle, the fan is off and we can hear the hard drive running. However, as the HDD is quiet, we have to listen closely to distinguish it. At load, the laptop does not get very loud: during our stress test, the model reaches a max noise emission of 34.2 dB.

Noise Level

Idle
30.9 / 30.9 / 30.9 dB(A)
HDD
31.4 dB(A)
DVD
36.3 / dB(A)
Load
34 / 34.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.5 dB(A)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

In our stress test (Prime95 and Furmark run together for at least a hour), the CX72 performs at the same level while plugged in and while on battery: the CPU runs at 2.6 to 2.7 GHz, while the graphics core runs at 1,176 MHz. The laptop barely heats up and we could only find one measurement point which crossed the 40 °C mark during our stress test.

Max. Load
 34.8 °C
95 F
40.1 °C
104 F
26.8 °C
80 F
 
 32.7 °C
91 F
39 °C
102 F
26.5 °C
80 F
 
 28.2 °C
83 F
31.7 °C
89 F
23.4 °C
74 F
 
Maximum: 40.1 °C = 104 F
Average: 31.5 °C = 89 F
23.6 °C
74 F
25.1 °C
77 F
36.6 °C
98 F
23 °C
73 F
24.5 °C
76 F
30.4 °C
87 F
22.8 °C
73 F
23.4 °C
74 F
30.2 °C
86 F
Maximum: 36.6 °C = 98 F
Average: 26.6 °C = 80 F
Power Supply (max.)  59.6 °C = 139 F | Room Temperature 20.7 °C = 69 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31.5 °C / 89 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.1 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.2 °C / 77 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 31.7 °C / 89.1 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-2.6 °C / -4.7 F).
Heat-map top (load)
Heat-map top (load)
Heat-map bottom (load)
Heat-map bottom (load)
Heat-map top (idle)
Heat-map top (idle)
Heat-map bottom (idle)
Heat-map bottom (idle)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.335.12532.931.83131.8324036.535.15032.428.9633328.98036.328.810048.32712561.52716052.924.820060.92425062.822.731563.32240069.521.250067.82163074.82080075.919.4100072.718.912507117.7160070.117.820006917.6250071.817.6315068.117.6400071.417.6500073.717.6630070.417.5800071.617.61000071.617.61250069.617.41600059.717.5SPL83.630.6N62.51.5median 69.6median 17.8Delta4.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram for comparison (checkboxes can be selected)

Power Consumption

The laptop needs max 11.6 W while idle, and during our stress test it consumed up to 61 W. This is quite normal, as this is a 17.3-inch model. The power adapter can handle these levels as it offers 65 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.5 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.6 / 11 / 11.6 Watt
Load midlight 54 / 61 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

In our practical WLAN test, our script simulates the load from surfing the web and going on different websites. The power profile is set to "Balanced" and the power-saver functions are turned off. The brightness is set to around 150 cd/m². The CX72 lasts 4:38 hours.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 38)
4h 38min
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Lenovo IdeaPad 300-17ISK 80QH001EGE
6200U, Radeon R5 M330, 41 Wh
406 min ∼15% +46%
Acer Aspire E5-774G-78NA
6500U, GeForce 940MX, 41 Wh
322 min ∼12% +16%
Acer TravelMate P278-MG-76L2
6500U, GeForce 940M, 37 Wh
297 min ∼11% +7%
MSI CX72-7QLi581
7200U, GeForce 940MX, 41 Wh
278 min ∼11%
Asus F756UX-T7013T
6200U, GeForce GTX 950M, 38 Wh
217 min ∼8% -22%

Pros

+ matte panel
+ lots of storage space
+ free M.2 slot
+ Type-C USB

Cons

- panel has low brightness and poor contrast

Verdict

In review: MSI CX72-7QLi581. Test model provided by Notebook.de.
In review: MSI CX72-7QLi581. Test model provided by Notebook.de.

The MSI CX72-7QLi581 is destined for home office use. It offers sufficient performance to accomplish everyday tasks and run a few games. It runs quietly and barely heats up. Furthermore, the laptop offers 1 TB storage space and can be upgraded with an M.2 SSD (2280). This procedure is made possible by the removable bottom flap of the laptop. The keyboard is great for home use and the battery life is decent. We do not like the HD+ display as much as it has poor brightness and contrast.

The MSI CX72-7QLi581 is a solid 17.3-inch all-rounder for home office use. This model has no great strengths, but it also has no glaring weaknesses.

The recently tested Acer Aspire E5-774G may be a good alternative. The E5-774G-553R model is available for 800 Euros (~$848) and offers a 1 TB HDD alongside an SSD. It comes with a much better FHD screen and the more powerful GDDR5 version of the GeForce 940MX GPU.

MSI CX72-7QLi581 - 11/26/2016 v5.1
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
75 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
55 / 81 → 68%
Weight
58 / 20-67 → 81%
Battery
79%
Display
74%
Games Performance
64 / 85 → 76%
Application Performance
78 / 92 → 85%
Temperature
93%
Noise
92 / 95 → 97%
Audio
56%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
71%
77%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > MSI CX72-7QLi581 Notebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2016-11-30 (Update: 2018-05-15)