MSI GT72VR 7RE (Dominator Pro) gaming laptop review
MSI’s latest gaming notebook fits a fast and more-affordable sweet spot
- Fast as a desktop
- Less expensive than rivals
It's hard to fault the GT72VR. It does pretty much everything well and represents a reasonable choice of components for the price point.
Price$ 3,400.00 (AUD)
MSI’s GT72VR 7RE is on of the the latest evolutions in its GT series. We’ve seen these gaming laptops before and they can be incredibly powerful – running dual NvME hard drives and SLI graphics. There are many SKUs in the range but now they’ve been modified to run Intel’s 7th Generation ‘Kaby Lake’ processors.
This ‘Dominator Pro’ model is actually some distance behind the older Titan in specs but that makes it considerably-less expensive than its $4,999 older, more-powerful sibling. And this is hardly a slouch.
17.1-inch, matte, 1920 x 1080, 120MHz, non-touchscreen LCD; 2.8-3.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor; 16GB RAM; 1TB mechanical HDD; 256GB SSD; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070; Blu-ray writer; 9-cell 83Wh battery; 3.85KG. SKU: 615AU. Full specs here.
In terms of ports, appearance and general usage, we’ve described everything before in our review of the MSI GT73VR Titan laptop.
What’s different here is that we’re using a slightly-less powerful but newer Kaby Lake processor – the i7-7700HQ which runs stock at 2.8GHz but pushes all the way to 3.8GHz in Turbo mode. We’re also using Nvidia 1070 graphics instead of 1080 and the battery is bigger.
It’s worth starting off mentioning MSI’s Dragon Center which lets you adjust everything from fan speed, automatic overclocking, screen temperature and LED lighting. Whereas this has confused people in the past with its jargon-rich settings, simply flicking between Turbo, Comfort, Eco and Sport modes is very simple.
While the CPU naturally fluctuates depending on workload, we found Turbo (the top setting) generally didn’t drop below 3.4GHz while Eco Mode happily idled at 800MHz. You don’t have to reboot or even select OK when choosing between different modes. We also found that the whole system stayed cool whatever we threw at it but if you do work/play in a hot environment you can easily whack up the fans manually.
Read more: Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
In 3D Mark, however, its score of 5,197 was some way behind our rig’s 5,590 despite both computers sporting Nvidia’s 1070 graphics. It appears that the mobile variant can’t quite match the desktop graphics card here.
We also ran 3D Mark’s Firestrike Extreme for comparison to other notebooks. It scored 7,567 which compares with the 6th-gen CPU and 1070-GPU-sporting Asus ROG G752’s score of 7,457.
In a beastly desktop replacement like this don’t expect to be travelling too far without the 1KG power supply.
Nonetheless, the large battery isn’t entirely useless. It ran PC Mark’s intensive battery test for 2hrs 1min. It also played our Full HD movie for 3hrs in Turbo Mode and 3.5hrs in Eco Mode. That ain’t bad and will make for a decent mobile movie night unless you’re watching LOTR: The Return of the King Extended Edition.
We’ve been impressed with this laptop line before and this is a worthy member of the family. We suspect all the bulk and cooling is a bit overkill for this lower-high-end machine but you can’t just drop down to MSI’s Slim range without dramatically losing performance. At $3400 it’s expensive, but significantly more-affordable than its older brother while remaining very fast indeed. As such we’re recommending it.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Miofive 4K Dash Cam review: This friendly road watcher is ‘here for you!’
- 2 Dell U3223QE review: A winning debut for an IPS Black monitor
- 3 Asus TUF Gaming VG28UQL1A review: This 4K monitor plays nice with consoles
- 4 Firewalla Gold review: Powerful home network security in a tiny box
- 5 Acer Aspire 5 review: An affordable laptop that’s enjoyable to use
Latest News Articles
- The Razer Blade 15’s 240Hz OLED panel pushes laptop displays to new frontiers
- Intel’s first Arc laptops arrive in the U.S. with shockingly high prices
- Up to 100 Lenovo laptops are a security risk — what now?
- Google accidentally broke some Chromebook cameras. Here’s how to fix it
- HP’s Spectre x360 16 is a unique 2-in-1 laptop with a huge OLED screen
PCW Evaluation Team
Set up is effortless.
The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.
Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
- Top 10 best Android and Apple phones for under $600
- 25 Essential Party Games On PC And Console To Play With Family And Friends
- Mesh Wi-Fi vs Traditional Routers: Which is better?
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies