vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Review: MSI GT725 notebook: gaming power to go?

by Parm Mann on 27 February 2009, 08:37 3.4

Tags: GT725, MSI

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaq4t

Add to My Vault: x

Specification, thoughts and warranty

Specification

MSI GT725
Processor Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P9500 (2.53GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1,066MHz FSB, dual-core)
Motherboard MSI 1722
Memory 4GB DDR2 (2x 2GB) PC2-6400 - 5-5-5-15
Hard disk(s) Western Digital 500GB, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache
Display/TFT 17in WSXGA+ (1,680x1,050)
Graphics hardware ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Optical drive Sony Optiarc BC-5500S Blu-ray combo drive
Sound Realtek HD audio
Modem Motorola SM56
Networking hardware 1x 10/100/1000, Realtek RTL8168C PCIe Ethernet
Bluetooth
802.11n Wi-Fi  
Ports and connectors 3x USB2.0, VGA-out, HDMI-out, ExpressCard54, RJ45 (LAN), modem, 
audio connectors, eSATA, Kensington lock, 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro)
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, 32-bit 
Notable extras Built-in card-reader, bundled MSI StarMouse GS-502
Weight 3.2kg with supplied 9-cell battery
Battery 9-cell (7,200mAh)
Dimensions 395mm x 278mm x 35mm (W x D x H)
Warranty Two years as standard. Collect-and-return warranty
Price £1125, including VAT and delivery

It's something of a beast alright - thanks largely to the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4850 512MB graphics card, a solution that should punch out decent frame rates on most modern games. Unlike its desktop counterpart, however, its GPU is clocked down from 625MHz to 500MHz and its memory drops from 2,000MHz to an effective 1,700MHz.

At the helm is a 2.53GHz Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P9500 processor. Armed with 6MB of L2 cache, it should provide solid all-round performance for multimedia use or gaming. That's coupled with 4GB of DDR2 memory, but there's no sign yet of DDR3 - MSI appears to be holding back on that for the yet-to-be-launched GT727.

Elsewhere, it's something of a mixed bag. We appreciate the inclusion of an optical drive that can write DVDs and read Blu-ray discs, but we're somewhat disappointed by the 17in screen resolution of 1,680x1,050. Whilst perfectly adequate for most users, we'd like to see a 1,920x1,200 option - particularly for some of that full-HD Blu-ray goodness.

In terms of connectivity, the GT725 boasts everything you'd come to expect - including HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless N.

As you'd expect, the higher-end innards result in one obvious drawback - weight. Despite its promise of portability, the GT725 weighs a chunky 3.2kg and is notably heavy when carrying in hand or in a backpack.

Warranty

MSI's GT725 ships with a better-than-usual two-year warranty, based on a collect-and-return service from a UK-based service centre. It's backed by Global Travel Performance Assurance, providing support and post-sales service from any MSI-authorised service provider around the world.

Repairs following the initial two years will be subject to labour, component and postage costs, and should you wish you contact MSI via telephone, you'll need to do so via a national-rate (0870) number that's available Monday to Friday between the hours of 09:30 and 17:00.

MSI also has a useful support centre on its UK website, providing the ability to submit support tickets, track notebook repair progress and discuss technical queries in an online forum.

Now then, let's get on to the machine, shall we?