When you come up to gamers and tell them that you’re planning to get yourself a gaming laptop, expect that they’ll lambast you. For them, the words gaming and laptop shouldn’t be mentioned in one sentence. They will also urge you to assemble a gaming desktop instead as it’ll be a more practical solution to satisfy your gaming thirst. But in this modern day and age, mobility is both a luxury and necessity. And come on, it’s pretty nifty to bring your library of games with you anywhere. Enter MSI, considered one of the most trusted names in the gaming and esports industry. The company lent us one of their products of passion, the MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro.

World-class performance. Equipped with the 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ and a 4GB GTX 1050 Ti, the GE72 7RE Apache Pro can play any game thrown at it and easily achieve an average of 60 frames per second (fps). Yes, you read that right, that’s a GTX 1050 Ti, not an M version card. This machine is fitted with desktop-caliber graphics card. We tested out demanding games like Arkham Knight, Grand Theft Auto: V, and Lord of the Rings: Shadow of Mordor and the GE72 Apache Pro didn’t break a sweat with graphic settings turned all the way up.

Flicker-free experience. The GE72 7RE Apache Pro is fitted with a 17.3-inch display panel that has a 120Hz refresh rate. This gives games that have a lot of movement—like Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive—that buttery smooth feel, provided that you can run the game above 120fps, which the machine very much accomplishes. The display is also easy on the eyes as the flicker-free experience helps reduce eye-strain during long hours of gaming.

Aggressive aesthetics. The curves on this laptop is elegantly simple. The brushed aluminum chassis gives it a premium feel and look and doesn’t attract many fingerprints, which satisfies the neat freak in me.

Speed and storage. The GE72 7RE Apache Pro is equipped with a 128GB M.2 SSD that boots up to your Windows desktop in less than a minute. The preinstalled software kind of slows down the booting process, but nothing like a clean Windows install can’t fix. It also comes with a 1TB of HDD for your storage needs.

Cool as the winter that’s come in Game of Thrones. One of the challenges of putting all that power in a mobile form factor is heat dissipation. The GE72 7RE Apache Pro didn’t disappoint in that department. It has a button that basically puts the fans in Turbo mode that keeps the machine cool even while gaming. I was surprised after an hour of playing Overwatch that the backside is still cool, coming close to comfortably warm. This is thanks to the Cooler Boost 4 technology that dissipates heat through dedicated heat pipes for the GPU and the CPU for even longer gaming session (though I am a serious advocate of resting your eyes for 15 mins every one hour of game time).

Hear better, outsmart the competition. Nahimic audio software comes preinstalled with the machine. It offers a high definition sound technology that can give you an advantage in the playing field. It also has a sound tracker feature that pops up on your display and shows where a particular sound is coming from. The Dynaudio-powered speakers really gives a large sound room for a laptop. Even without using a headset, the built-in speakers give life to your games in the right environment.

The perfect surface for gaming. The GE72 7RE Apache Pro has a keyboard made by SteelSeries. The relatively shallow 1.9mm key travel provides better response and actually gives good tactile feedback. The brushed aluminum body also keeps your palms cool for relatively long gaming sessions. Being that the keyboard is made by SteelSeries, it takes advantage of the SteelSeries engine that provides features way beyond what you can imagine. You can set game-specific profiles and set specific stats to reflect the LED in your keyboard. One practical use that we tested this feature was when playing Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive where the keyboard’s LED will flash with a red color, signaling that your HP is on the red.

Mobility meets power. For a 17.3-inch laptop, this machine is light at 2.7kg with its battery included. Speaking of battery, that’s one area of improvement for a machine with this much power. Always make sure that you bring your power adapter with you as in a gaming session with the battery can last you at most two hours.

 

VERDICT

Given the changing landscape of gaming, MSI really struck gold with the GE72 7RE Apache Pro. The 1050Ti seems shortchanged for the 120Hz panel as some of the latest AAA games won’t run past 70fps, but the Apache Pro comes in different configurations and you can find one suited to your gaming needs. Cooling performance is fantastic even after long hours of gaming sessions. The battery department can use a bit of an upgrade, though. I’ll take a slightly heavier laptop that can sustain longer gaming sessions. Performance is top-notch at its price range as it can play the latest games with ease. The one thing I’m impressed the most is how they managed to keep the machine slim and light relative to its peers. This is definitely a machine I’d recommend if you’re looking for a gaming laptop.

Specifications
Display 17.3” Full HD 120Hz (1,920 x 1,080 resolution)
Processor 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.80GHz (up to 3.80GHz)
GPU GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GDDR5
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Memory 16GB DDR4-2400 (up to 32GB)
Storage 128GB M.2 SSD PCI-E Gen3; 1TB SATA HDD
Audio 4x 2W w/ 3W woofer
Connectivity & I/O Ports 1x Mic-in; 1x Headphone-out (SPDIF); 1x USB Type-C 3.1 Gen2; 2x USB3.0; 1x USB2.0; 1x Ethernet port; 1x HDMI (up to 4K @ 30Hz); 1x Mini-DisplayPort
Dimensions & Weight 419.9 x 287.8 x 29.8mm, 2.7kg (with battery)
Price P79,995
Test: MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro
Form Factor9
Build Quality8.7
Ease of Use9.5
Performance9.5
Value for Money9
9.1Overall Score