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MSI GS60 6QE Ghost Pro (4K) Review: A Monster Posing As An Ultrabook

MSI GS60 6QE Ghost Pro 02

We review MSI’s GS60 6QE Ghost Pro!

We’ve been using MSI’s GS60 6QE Ghost Pro gaming notebook for a while now, and to be completely honest, it doesn’t feel anything like a gaming notebook. That’s not a dig against the
GS60 6QE Ghost Pro – that’s actually a compliment, both in its overall size, portability and power. Much like rival ASUS’ recent ROG line of notebooks, the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro is a
sleek, elegant and understated gaming lappie that’s at home at both LAN parties and at desks of executives who like to game on the move. But before that, let’s take a look at the
specs of the notebook:

MSI GS60 6QE Ghost Pro

  • 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz quad-core processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM
  • 16GB of DDR4-2133 RAM
  • 15.6-inch UHD IPS panel, Adobe RGB, 3840 x 2160 resolution
  • 128GB SSD drive, 1TB HDD drive, 7200RPM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB Type-C, mini Display Port, Ethernet port, SD card reader
  • Windows 10
  • Php 134,995

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Subdued, elegant design hides the monster within

While we love gaming and gaming notebooks, we’re not a fan of loud, gaudy, multi-LED colored designs that some companies make. That’s probably the reason why we took to MSI’s GS60 6QE
Ghost Pro right away. It’s clad in a very tasteful deep black color, with only MSI’s G Series badge on the lid cluing people into the beastly hardware that lies within.

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The lid of the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro has a subtle, metallic, brushed metal finish. The overall thickness of the notebook with the lid closed is just 20mm which makes it one of the
thinnest gaming notebooks around. It’s also not that heavy, just tipping the scales at just 2 kilos, certainly light enough to be taken around town with you straining your back.

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If the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro looks subdued and nondescript when the lid is closed, things take a more colorful turn when you open the display and turn the power on. The GS60 6QE Ghost
Pro sports a full QWERTY keyboard that’s provided by Steelseries with full color backlighting, which works kind of like Razer’s Chroma lighting system, unfortunately it doesn’t show up that well on camera in bright sunlight.  Anyway, there are three distinct zones in the keyboard and a total of four layers that you can customize for the backlights, though if that’s not your thing you can set the lights to a single, solid color if you wished or just turn it off entirely. The Steelseries app that ships with the notebook allows you to control the lighting on the keyboard as well as the assignments on the keys and there’s even an option to assign macros on the keys if you wished.

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As far as the performance of the keyboard goes, it’s probably one of the best keyboards on any notebook we’ve used in a while. There’s a large amount of travel, the keys are nicely
spaced out – it’s not a mechanical keyboard but it’s pretty close. The trackpad is large and generous, and is fast and responsive. You could probably use while gaming if you’re desperate, though obviously nothing matches the keyboard and mouse combo when playing PC games.

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The GS60 6QE Ghost Pro has a plethora of connection options, which include USB Type-C (that can act as a fast charger), mini Display Port, Ethernet port and an SD card reader. Oddly enough, the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro only has two USB 3.0 ports on the side, which is a bummer. More USB ports are always welcome, and it’s not like there’s no more room for additional ports on the side anyway.

On 4K resolution, GTA V tops out at just 30FPS
On 4K resolution, GTA V tops out at just 30FPS

4K display is awesome, though you’d still want to game in full HD resolution

The GS60 6QE Ghost Pro sports a 15.6-inch UHD display that boasts 100% Adobe RGB color gamut. Color is bright and punchy, and brightness levels are good enough that you’ll still be
able to game properly even outdoors. Viewing angles are also generous. Watching movies and playing games on the display especially with the resolution cranked up is a joy in itself.

Inside the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro is Intel’s latest generation Skylake i7-6700HQ processor, paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA’s GTX 970M discrete graphics. As expected the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro is capable of running most games out there in almost max detail levels in full HD. GTA V chugged along at a near constant 60 FPS with everything cranked up to high. That’s the same deal with The Witcher 3, Tomb Raider and Fallout 4.

Things are a little different when you're running full HD
Things are a little different when you’re running full HD

It’s a little bit different when you crank the resolution up to 4K though. Running GTA V at near maximum detail levels at 4K resolution significantly dropped the FPS down to just 30,
with the FPS dipping to as low as 24 in some cases. That’s the same story with The Witcher 3, though you can probably get away with medium settings to get higher frame rates. To be
honest, gaming at 4K resolution with a display that’s only 15-inches is a big waste – you’d be better served gaming in just full HD and just get the buttery smooth 60FPS gameplay.

Heat is always a big issue with gaming notebooks, and that’s true with the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro. Thankfully the notebook spits out heat on the upper left side, near the corner of the hinge. The exhaust is far enough from the main body that you really won’t notice it, though we don’t recommend you gaming with the notebook on your lap.

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Stay close to a plug because battery life is non-existent

Not that that’s going to be a problem, since the battery life of the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro is pretty pathetic – just one hour on single charge. Did we mention that was just with normal use and without gaming? Trying to game without being plugged in will yield you around 30 minutes of bliss, before the notebook shuts down. It’s a thin, light and powerful ultrabook-looking gaming notebook, but it definitely does not function like an ultrabook, at least as far as battery life is concerned.

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Verdict: A thin and light gaming machine, though it’s quite pricey

Overall the  GS60 6QE Ghost Pro is an awesome gaming machine, capable of running most games on max settings on full HD. You will have to contend with lower graphics settings if you decide to utilize the 4K resolution that’s built into the display, but that’s not really a big deal breaker. The same can’t be said for the price as the GS60 6QE Ghost Pro retails at Php 134,995. At those prices, consumers may be tempted by other higher profile notebooks from Razer and even rival ASUS.

 

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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