MSI’s GT627 is more spartan and utilitarian than any Apple product. It may not have many features akin to those that the MacBook Pro offers, but it can easily do most everything a MacBook Pro can, and more. At just $1299, its high resolution 1680x1050 screen and supporting hardware are a phenomenal deal.
Granted, the GT627 has very little in common with a MacBook’s style, but it still looks fairly nice. It has a slim design and an attractive brushed-aluminum chassis, although it does not have a unibody design. The similarities really end there, though.
Where the GT627 really excels is with its long list of features. Most useful, in my opinion, are the four audio jacks for full 7.1 channel surround sound output, which is something very rare for a laptop. Next on the list is the machine’s ability to overclock on the fly. The GT627 comes preconfigured so that with just the touch of a finger, that 2.4 GHz P8600 runs at 2.76 GHz, easily outperforming the 2.66 GHz T9550 of the MacBook Pro and other laptops mentioned. The list goes on to include eSata, HDMI, a full numeric keypad, and on-the-fly power profiles.
There are, of course, some downsides to this machine. With a full numeric keypad, the keyboard is cramped and difficult to get used to. Its brushed aluminum may look nice, but it leaves much to be desired in terms of stability. With the power-hungry 9800M GPU, the nine-cell Li-Ion (even in “Turbo Battery” mode) just can’t hold out more than around five hours, but since it weighs just 5.9 pounds, it’s almost a fair trade.
All of this leaves the GT627 scoring top points for performance and average points for aesthetics, build quality, and battery life.
|Processor||Core 2 Duo P8600 (3 MB cache, 2.40 GHz)|
|Memory||4 GB DDR2-800|
|Hard Drive||320 GB 7,200 RPM|
|Video Card||Nvidia GeForce 9800M GS 1 GB|
|Display||15.4" LCD 1680x1050|
|Relevant I/O Ports||3x USB, 1x eSata, HDMI, 4in1 Card Reader, 54 mm Express Slot, IEEE 1394a|
|Dimensions||14.06 x 10.24 x 1.06-1.22"|