It’s said that good things come in small packages, but I am a firm believe that good things can come in any shape or size. When it comes to gaming, you don’t need to drop 10k on the best of the best to run games at their maximum settings and remain above 60 frames; unless of course you are talking about 4K, which we are certainly not! The MSI GS40 6QE Phantom is a very interesting notebook as it not only proves that good things do indeed come in small packages, but it’s a mightily powerful thing to boot.
The big pluses about the MSI GS40 Phantom are easy to talk about as the chassis is stunning, it looks sleek and elegant, whilst remaining functional. Some manufacturers have produced their own version of the gaming notebook and have taken things too far; a gimmick is a gimmick and we at Play3r and myself don’t fall for marketing hype. That being said, the overall design on the GS40 is flawless apart from one single flaw; too much pressure on the keys or track pad causes the entire centre frame to bend inwards. This cannot be good for the health of the laptop and for heavy handed people like myself, it could be a concern.
Touching on the performance, for under £1300 in the UK or $1500 stateside, you could certainly do much worse. The bulk of the performance is down to the Intel Core i7 6700HQ which is the mobile version of Intel’s powerhouse Core i7 6700K desktop processor. Aided by the NVIDIA GTX 970M with 3GB of GDDR5 memory, it ranks just above an NVIDIA GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970. Some may be disappointed by that, but this is a notebook after all and not a fully-fledged gaming PC. Taking things as they are worth, the storage performance on the GS40 is out of this world thanks to the NVMe enabled 256GB Samsung M.2 SSD and with 1TB of backup HDD storage, its all-round sweet. The gaming performance of this gaming notebook is relatively expected with only the most CPU intensive games putting the GS40 to the test such as Total War: Rome II and Company of Heroes 2; these games allow the GTX 970M to flex its graphical muscles.
If we could change anything about the MSI GS40 6QE Phantom, it would be the inclusion of a fully RGB keyboard. I did reach out to MSI about this and their response was that a single colour keyboard was what the people wanted; RGB might have increased the costs a little so it’s easy to see why MSI went singular, but any extra customisable features are good right?
Overall the MSI GS40 6QE due to its gorgeous aesthetic and decent performance deserves our gold award today; it was close, but it fully deserves it! It also receives the editors choice award because let’s be honest, I would buy this for doing work on the go with a hint of gaming on the side; because I’m pro like that! This dinky, but delightful, gaming notebook is available from a wide variety of retailers in the UK, with a slightly different, but virtually identical model being available in the US. Click below if you want to check the latest price from Amazon, or of course, buy one!
Huge thanks to MSI for sending in the GS40 6QE Phantom in for review.
– Small and stylish
– Very lightweight; weighs just 1.7KG
– Decent performance for a 14″ gaming notebook
– Good pre-installed software package which includes Dragon Gaming Centre & MSI True Colour
– Reasonable price
– Centre plate needs more support; too much pressure makes it bend around the keyboard/trackpad area
– Would be better with an RGB keyboard; EVERYTHING is better with RGB!
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