We might still be smitten with a certain svelte ebony beaut, but we're aware some of you require absolute maximum performance from your "portable" gaming rig. Here to heed your call for blistering frame rates is MSI, which has gone and refreshed two laptops from its gaming lineup: the 15.6-inch GT683DXR and its big brother, the 17.3-inch GT730DXR. While both retain the Core i7-2630QM from their forebears, the duo now feature NVIDIA's beefy GTX 570M with 1.5GB GDDR5. And just like their predecessors, either can be stuffed with up to 16GB of RAM, dual 500GB or 750GB drives and a Blu-ray burner. Also on board is a premium sound system from Dynaudio, four USB ports (two of the 3.0 variety), Gigabit Ethernet, VGA and HDMI sockets and, of course, 802.11b/g/n WiFi.

They're on sale now, starting at $1,699 for the 15-incher and $1,799 for the 17-inch variant. MSI was kind enough to send us the smaller and lighter of the two, so hop on past the break for our brief impressions.
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MSI G Series gaming laptops

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MSI GT683DXR hands-on


The first thing that strikes you about the GT683DX is its heft -- at 7.7 pounds, this is a serious piece of kit. We found the 15-incher solid, but were perplexed by its fingerprint-prone glossy display and plastic build when the 17-inch model comes with an aluminum chassis and a matte display for only $100 more. Performance, on the other hand, was exemplary as we were able to blaze through a few matches of Starcraft II with the graphics set to their maximum (Ultra) at 1920 x 1080.

Our only other quibbles in our brief time with MSI's new rig were with its keyboard and trackpad. We like the chiclet keys, but we were dismayed by the board's squishiness and the hollow noise that emanated from the keys as we typed. Here's hoping the 17-incher's backlit SteelSeries keyboard won't suffer similar issues. And as for the touchpad, one could argue its shortcomings don't really matter, seeing as most gaming laptops are permanently jerry-rigged to external mice for most of their lives -- but for what it's worth, we found tracking was subpar and occasionally even jumpy. It would even appear that MSI feels the same way, as it's offering buyers a SteelSeries Kinzu mouse gratis for systems bought from Newegg in September. Either way, we doubt it'll steer away shoppers, but we feel trackpads are something that should just work on any laptop, especially those at this price point. Interface issues aside, the GT683DX is a capable machine with some serious horsepower, so check back in the coming weeks as we find out just how powerful it really is.
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MSI Fortifies Arsenal of G Series Gaming Laptops Featuring NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570M

Unparalleled gaming performance shatters benchmarks and delivers highly immersive experience

City of Industry, Calif. – September 7, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp, a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, unleashes the GT780DXR and GT683DXR, two mobile gaming powerhouse laptops featuring the NVIDIA© GeForce© GTX 570M graphics processing unit (GPU) and optional Blu-ray burner. Part of MSI's renowned G Series family of gaming laptops, the new units are designed for the serious gamer seeking unmatched power with an unprecedented immersive experience.

Leading the fleet, the GT780DXR comes in a brushed aluminum chassis with 17.3-inches of Full HD Non Reflection display and SteelSeries programmable backlit keyboard. In addition to its high performance NVIDIA© GeForce© GPU and Intel® CoreTM i7 processor, the gaming workhorse is supported by 12 GB of DDR3 system memory and 1TB of hard disk with Raid 0 or no redundancy. For gamers craving even more dominance, the unit can be amped up with Blu- ray burner, 1.5TB of hard disk and 16GB of DDR3 memory.

"As the market leaders in gaming notebooks, MSI prides itself in delivering performance machines that meets and exceeds the expectations of even the most advanced gamers," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI US. "The latest additions to MSI's G series, especially by incorporating NVIDIA's top of the line graphic cards, reinforces our commitment to the genre."

"MSI G Series notebooks have the power to max out game settings, and do it on the go," said Rene Haas, General Manager of Notebook Products at NVIDIA. "As the first company to offer GeForce GTX 570M GPUs, MSI is arming the G Series notebooks with killer gaming performance and advanced gaming technologies like NVIDIA PhysX and DirectX 11."

Similar to the GT780DXR, the 15.6-inch Full HD Glossy GT683DXR model also comes equipped with impressive specs, including the NVIDIA© GeForce© GTX 570M GPU and an Intel® CoreTM i7. A similar suped up version of the model is also available with Blu-ray Burner and 16GB of DDR3 memory. In addition, both models are packed with the following:

- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570M: Latest generation GPU improves overall performance by up to 20 percent for an intense gaming experience
- MSI's Exclusive Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) Technology: Provides a 3-5 percent boost in graphics performance to accelerate video decoding
- MSI Cooler Boost Technology: Instantly increases airflow to cool down the engine for better performance
- Dynaudio Speakers with THX Surround Sound: Professional quality speakers with built- in sub-woofer to accurately reproduce THX's surround sound experience

To provide gamers with a more complete portable gaming package, MSI and Newegg have teamed up to offer a free SteelSeries Kinzu gaming mouse with the purchase of any GT780DXR-099US and GT683DXR-427US notebook throughout September. Engineered for the serious gamer, the ambidextrous Kinzu provides a scalable pointer speed of up to 3200 Counts Per Inch (CPI), is compatible with all types of gaming surfaces and has gaming grade correlation optical sensor for incomparable stability and reliability. For more information visit Newegg.com.

All models are protected by a 2 year Manufacturer's Limited Warranty starting at $1699.99 MSRP on Newegg.com and Amazon.com.


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MSI's GT683DXR and GT780DXR shred pixels with NVIDIA's GTX 570M (hands-on)