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Keyboard And Trackpad

MSI GX60 Review: Radeon HD 7970M In A $1,200 Notebook!
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The layout of the GX60’s keyboard and trackpad is typical of what you see on most laptops. The keyboard includes a full number pad, and since the touchpad is centered to the standard portion of the keyboard, it ends up being slightly to the left on the palm rest. The palm rest itself is clad in brushed metal, giving it a solid feel.

The MSI GX60’s trackpad is a Synaptics model. Both the left- and right-click buttons are combined into a single silver bar below the tracking portion of the pad. The trackpad works well, and has a nice textured finish that echoes the brushed steel palm rest. Compared to trackpads on other notebooks, the GX60’s is somewhat compact, especially next to the giant clickpads found on Ultrabooks. Nevertheless, it gets the job done. 

Below the trackpad are indicator lights for (from left to right) Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, battery charge status, sleep mode, and hard drive activity.

The full-sized 103-key keyboard is by SteelSeries, makers of high-end gaming peripherals. Keys have a textured finish that contrasts well with the slick surfaces surrounding the keyboard. The keyboard has a good feel if you typically use medium or light force. However, if you tend to press hard into keys, the keyboard is going to flex a bit. Like most notebooks, the GX60’s chiclet-style keys have a short travel. But they have an excellent tactile feel when you press them. After typing on it for a while, we really began to appreciate how good the keyboard on the GX60 is.

One thing that we don't understand is the lack of backlighting. We know that the GX60 is all about bang for your buck, but this is one corner we wish MSI had not cut.

Let’s move on to the row of custom buttons and indicators above the keyboard.

To the left of the power switch are controls for P1, fan speed, and, ironically enough, keyboard backlighting. P1 is a user-defined quick-launch button. Fan speed switches between 100% duty cycle and the quietest mode available for the current system temperature (this was one of our most-used controls). The keyboard backlighting button must be there just to taunt us since, as we just observed, the GX60's keyboard is, in fact, not backlit!

To the right of the power switch are controls for Wi-Fi, built-in display, and a button to trigger the optical drive eject mechanism, along with caps and num lock indicators. Having the Wi-Fi switch top-and-center, without the need for any combo keys, is certainly nice. Likewise, the display control switch is also convenient to have.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    ASHISH65 , April 29, 2013 10:07 PM
    Looks good and helpfull review for laptop gamers!
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    patrick47018 , April 29, 2013 9:09 PM
    Looks promising
  • 5 Hide
    yobobjm , April 29, 2013 9:11 PM
    I own an MSI (with some weird number classification that I can't remember) but it has proved to be a dedicated and powerful gaming laptop. It also has had really no problems other than the glossy finish getting scratched (which doesn't even exist on this laptop) so I would recommend MSI products :D 
  • 1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 29, 2013 9:50 PM
    But does it fit a CableCard?
  • 10 Hide
    ASHISH65 , April 29, 2013 10:07 PM
    Looks good and helpfull review for laptop gamers!
  • 8 Hide
    acktionhank , April 29, 2013 10:24 PM
    Hey Tom's run a few gaming tests again with PScheck forcing the CPU to run at a 2.5-2.7ghz so that it won't throttle itself so much.

    I'd like to see exactly what speeds we'd need to get an A10-4600 running at to reduce these severe bottlenecks.
  • 5 Hide
    Chewie , April 29, 2013 10:52 PM
    Give this a 4 module APU, and keyboard backlighting, and it would really kick butt!
  • 3 Hide
    Chairman Ray , April 30, 2013 12:20 AM
    Great build from Msi!
  • -3 Hide
    silverblue , April 30, 2013 12:27 AM
    Very nice machine. It's a shame that AMD stopped with the A10-4600M and didn't look to produce a higher model as that'd help, however until the HSA initiative really kicks in, the Bulldozer architecture's FPU implementation is always going to be found wanting, and that's without even talking about the sharing issues which Steamroller looks to fix.
  • 0 Hide
    Cataclysm_ZA , April 30, 2013 1:16 AM
    No frame latency graphs from FRAPS? Its not difficult to keep a log of them and produce the graphs for those who are interested. I'd like to see the minimum frame dips for a machine like this one.
  • -5 Hide
    ryude , April 30, 2013 1:22 AM
    The A10-4600M can be overclocked relatively easily, up to 3.6Ghz+. That won't fix the fact that's it's an APU, but it will help a little.
  • 2 Hide
    Tee-Kheang Ng , April 30, 2013 2:19 AM
    There's is a GX60 with a10-5750m richland APU...
    Which the improvement is modestly 10-15% CPU powers, it should alleviate some of the CPU bottleneck...
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , April 30, 2013 2:51 AM
    patrick47018Looks promising

    ... not just that... loooook... there is a windows 7 logo... it looks exscelent...
  • 3 Hide
    Cryio , April 30, 2013 3:39 AM
    This notebook is a ridiculous concept to me. Its greatest achievements are its price and its performance where it matters: maxed-out directX11 games in 1080p, working as good or BETTER in most of the cases than its Nvidia sibling. Its greatest disadvantage being its gaming ability is limited in anything under 1080p (still talking only about games here).

    One hell of a laptop for me, if I could afford when, when I'll go to college this Octomber.
  • 0 Hide
    Cryio , April 30, 2013 3:40 AM
    afford one *
  • -3 Hide
    TheBigTroll , April 30, 2013 3:48 AM
    the apu is the bottleneck. when you compare this to a i7 ivy bridge mobile chip with the same GPU and everything, it performs 50% faster
  • 2 Hide
    sanilmahambre , April 30, 2013 4:50 AM
    Now that's what i call a Budget gaming Laptop

    and again a beautiful in depth review
  • 2 Hide
    mynith , April 30, 2013 5:33 AM
    Interesting heatsink design. Shame really that APUs don't come with L3-cache. If they did, they would show performance not unlike the FX-series. In my mind.
  • -1 Hide
    ojas , April 30, 2013 5:37 AM
    With respect to handbrake: It's getting QuickSync support too in the coming months (i believe it's in the same beta version you're talking about) so I'm not sure if the OpenCL advantage will last for AMD.
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