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GT70 Dragon Edition 2 Exterior: Design And Features

MSI GT70 Dragon Edition 2 By Xotic PC: Haswell Goes Mobile
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The exterior of the Dragon Edition 2 is both striking and well-coordinated. Its lid is brushed red metal with a large dragon logo etched into the surface. A mirrored MSI logo sits in the middle, lighting up bright white when the screen is on.

Dark grey plastic covers the rest of the exterior when the machine is closed. Below the palm rest, the chassis has a matte textured finish. The buttons above the keyboard are surrounded by glossy red and black plastic, with a large silver power button in the middle and the Dynaudio speakers flanking each side. The palm rest has the same red brushed metal texture as the lid, with complementary etched dragon imagery there as well. Around the keyboard you get a glossy black plastic surface, flanked on both sides by smooth matte black plastic strips. The screen bezel is matte black plastic, with a tiny mirror surrounding the webcam. Solidly-built screen hinges are appointed in the same matte black finish.

The overall look and feel of the Dragon Edition 2 is very gamer-oriented. Its extreme thickness and large vents up front and around back are suggestive of fast, hot hardware inside. While the design is neither svelte nor subtle, it is cohesive.

On the right side, you have a pair of USB 3.0 ports and the Blu-ray drive.

On the back of the machine, there is (from left to right) a Kensington lock, power plug, and Ethernet jack, along with VGA, mini-DisplayPort, and HDMI video outputs.

On the left side, we see (from left to right) two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader (SDHC/SDXC/MMC), followed by another USB 3.0 port and the four audio jacks.

Opening up the lid, we see the SteelSeries keyboard with number pad and the trackpad dominating the bottom surface. Along the top of the keyboard you'll find a strip of custom controls and indicators. Right smack dab in the middle of that is the large silver power button. Speakers are positioned at the far corners. There's a 720p webcam embedded in the middle of the screen's upper bezel, surrounded by a silver inset. Stereo mics are placed to the left of the webcam.

From the back, MSI's GT70 Dragon Edition 2 has very a custom look. The brushed red metal lid with the etched dragon really is striking.

The MSI logo in the GT70 goes from mirrored to backlit when the display is on.

The lid does have some flex to it when you push down in the middle, though the side rails are much more rigid. This flexibility wasn't a problem during our week of use, though we were particularly careful about not crushing the GT70 with heavy items like textbooks in a backpack. 

The screen opens up to about 140 degrees.

Copious ventilation on the bottom of the machine is again indicative of a performance-oriented configuration. The rubber feet are absolutely massive for a notebook. There are vents everywhere. And the overall shape is shelved to give the CPU and GPU plenty of room to breathe. In fact, you can see the hard drive, SSDs, CPU, GPU, and memory just by peering through the vents. That white grille actually covers the integrated subwoofer.

The 87 Wh battery has a latch and lock to keep it from accidentally being removed. 

For a battery with 87 Wh of capacity, it's relatively small and light.

On the other hand, the included Delta Electronics 180 W AC adapter is quite massive.

Compared to the 90 W adapter from an office-oriented notebook, the Dragon’s brick is quite a bit larger.

However, the 180 W adapter is exactly what gamers want to see. It uses a standard PC power cord, is chunky enough to power the high-end hardware inside MSI's notebook, and has the surface area to dissipate heat. The GT70 utilizes a standard Delta Electronics supply found with many other laptops.

The GT70's chassis comes loaded with everything a gamer will need: plenty of cooling, a nice screen, and lots of I/O. It also has a great built-in keyboard (with a number pad), plus plenty of USB ports on both sides for gaming peripherals. The built-in speakers are high-end, and there are more audio ports than on most notebooks. 

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