It has been a while since I reviewed a gaming notebook, since there is just so much to play on next-gen gaming consoles. MSI reminded me that such a platform still exists when it sent over one of its latest pre-Intel Skylake entries for me to review – the surprisingly sleek yet hefty MSI GP62 2QE Leopard Pro. Putting it through the usual paces was truly a great experience.
Like its animal namesake, the MSI Leopard Pro is sprite-like since it has the ability to spring into action in a split second as and when it needs to. Any app I launched, from heavy rendered videogames like Batman: Arkham Knight, CitiesXL, and Project CARS, to raw 2K and 4K videos – this gaming system delivers on all counts. This is further reflected in the way it easily takes on image editing tasks in Adobe Photoshop where it had to deal with super-high resolution images that run on 300dpi and 6000 pixel count. Even when taking on massive video editing processes, there was no slowdowns, stutters, or disruptive errors. If anything, the overpowered innards promise users a truly ultra-smooth and superbly seamless user experience.
Gamers in Mind
While it offers awesome performance on the gaming front, it isn’t the ‘be all, end all’ this particular MSI entry offers as there is more to just that when it comes to being made to impress. With the chassis, the MSI Leopard Pro does not go very far from MSI’s signature gunmetal black and perfect polished finish for its MSI GAMING Series. The recognisable red-accent that runs around the front, this time below the keyboard panel, and MSI Tribal Dragon badge, which takes its usual place on the top lid, are familiars that can no longer be changed. All these elements certainly fall in line with what gamers have come to expect from gaming notebooks. To reinforce the identity of the MSI Leopard Pro, MSI had also streamlined the design of this sleek prowler with additional tweaks that reflect its animal namesake. Key changes include the front speaker grill where the stereo speakers reside within, the large cooling vents at the back, full-size keyboard that SteelSeries optimised to deliver a great gaming experience, and providing dual-monitor support that can run at 2K and 4K resolution.
Aside from heavy visual rendering performance, the sound system for the MSI Leopard Pro has been given a proper revamp with the inclusion of the Nahimic Sound Technology and its audio boosting capabilities. With it, MSI is able to implement an immersive virtual 7.1 surround sound performance on the gaming notebook. While I like the additional level of comprehensive controls that the Nahimic platform offers, I don’t really feel the aural depth that I have come to expect from a proper 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup. However, I do appreciate the deeper bass, higher clarity, and enhanced audio improvements that Nahimic introduces.
When it comes to gaming notebooks, features are not the only aspect that one has to focus on. In the case of MSI, smart functions like adaptive Cooler Boost cooling technology; user-controlled SHIFT system for robust performance and temperature controls – featuring Sport, Comfort, and Green modes that can be switched around manually for the best system optimisation; and intuitive 3D sound processing that go hand-in-hand with the Nahimic Sound service.
For the Typist
Oddly enough, the MSI Leopard Pro – while specifically designed to be a gaming platform – is a great work companion as well. The keyboard, which SteelSeries optimised and added its own improvements for gaming, offers some nice tactile feedback and decent finger travel. This, in turn, has created the perfect setting for getting some work done as well as both work to provide the best typing comfort for users. I like the fact that the keys have been given some elevation to ensure the proper keystroke interaction is experienced. It’s a nice touch that there is a customisable backlight option as well, something that SteelSeries is known to include on all MSI GAMING entries. Fun fact: this entire review had been typed out on the MSI Leopard Pro with seamless ease.
Having its roots tied to gaming, the MSI Leopard Pro is certainly more than ready to take on any heavy graphic rendering sessions or churn out the computing power needed to run high pixel processing work. Of course, thanks to the keyboard and display optimisation that MSI purposefully included, performing any work tasks on this gaming system is a real breeze too. If anything, I only have issues with the high price tag that it is given.
Dimensions : 388 x 260 x 29.5~30.6mm
Weight : 2.3 kg
Processor : Intel 5th Generation Core i7-5950HQ
Memory : 16GB DDR3L-1600MHz RAM
Graphics : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M GPU 2GB DDR3 VRAM
Display : 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Panel Anti-Glare Display
Battery : 6-Cell
Ports : 1x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet IPv6, 3x USB 3.0 Port, 1x USB 2.0 Port, 1x Mini-Display Port, 1x HDMI Output, 1x Audio Out Port, 1x Line In Microphone Port, 1x SD Card Reader
Connectivity : Killer Gb LAN, 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme: 1492
PCMark 8 Home: 2395
PCMark 8 Creative: 4951
PCMark 8 Work: 5097
Verdict: Feature-packed and offers high performance, all the hallmarks of a good gaming notebook.
Total Score: 8.6/10
Byline: Edward Mass