A Quick Look at the GX640 and GX740
Both the GX640 and GX740 are part of MSI's gaming laptop line and share a lot of features, many of which aren't found in other laptops. This is why we thought the two computers made for a good comparison, and an illustration of the classic laptop-buyer’s conundrum.
As gaming systems, they offer high performance hardware, perfect not only for gaming, but also any computationally intensive tasks, like video editing or 3D rendering. This powerful hardware also creates a very responsive system, letting you open programs quickly and run many at once.
Even though they have different screen sizes, the GX640 and GX740 both have a 1680x1050 resolution display. It's true that some other laptops come with better displays with higher resolutions, but by using a slightly lower resolution, MSI can lower its prices while still including a bright, vivid display. The glossy coating on the screen also does an above average job thwarting reflection and glare when compared with most other anti-reflective screens.
MSI's gaming series notebooks also come with a unique feature called the Eco Engine, a quick-access way to control the computer's power settings from a convenient touch-sensitive panel. It has pre-optimized settings for gaming, movies, presentations, and extreme battery savings. The touch panel also gives you quick access to music controls as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Webcam toggles.
One of the most useful features MSI's gaming line offers is the 7.1 channel audio output. Most laptops only have audio ports for a pair of headphones and a microphone, and that's it. Both the GX640 and GX740 have four independent audio outputs, so you can use your surround sound headphones for immersive gaming, or hook it up to your surround sound system for a theatre-like movie experience.
Perhaps the weakest feature of MSI's line is the keyboard design. The GX640 and GX740 share the exact same keyboard layout, featuring an extremely useful number pad, but fitting a full number pad onto a 15-inch laptop requires compressing the rest of the keyboard significantly. This makes typing difficult at first. Coming from a standard keyboard, you'll likely find yourself missing the backspace key regularly, and ending lines with a '4' instead of a return.
Apart from the keyboard, MSI has done a great job designing both of these notebooks, using very elegant brushed aluminum to create a compact and streamlined look while still keeping an extremely sturdy chassis.
A Note on Price
What is most notable about both of these laptops is their price tags: $1499 for the GX740 and only $1199 for the GX640. Most laptops at this price range come with only mid-level graphics hardware and lower resolution screens. If you're looking for a top performing gaming laptop but are on a tight budget, the GX640 really is one of the best options you can find. With a slightly looser budget, the GX740 is a great choice, offering remarkable overall performance.