MSI Computex 2010: The GT660 gaming laptop continued

We might not be that keen on the visual design of the speakers, but hardware wise they're great, manufactred by Dynaudio, a Danish professional audio company. MSI states these are "Theatre Class Speakers" with a small sub buried underneath. There's none of the arguably more valuable THX certification like the FX600 and FX700 offer though, but any improvement in the tins we usually get in notebooks is always a good thing.

In terms of internal hardware, expect Core i7 family CPUs: the model shown had the usual high-end i7-720QM with H55 chipset and three DDR3 DIMM slots for up to 6GB of memory. The CPU gets MSI's own Turbo Drive Engine which overclocks the chip in addition to its own TurboBoost technology and it can be enabled at the touch of a button above the keyboard.

Computex 2010 Preview: MSI MSI Computex 2010: The GT660 gaming laptop continued Computex 2010 Preview: MSI MSI Computex 2010: The GT660 gaming laptop continued
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The GT660 ship with a 500GB 2.5in SATA drive but has the space for a second (although there's no RAID capability in the Intel H55M chipset), and additional connections include a "HD" Webcam, USB 3, HDMI, d-sub, eSATA, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0EDR. Blu-ray is an optional extra. What you might have noticed is the four 3.5mm audio jacks on the side, but unfortunately these can't be converted to output 7.1 surround sound: only 2.1 is supported.

Crucially for a gaming laptop, the graphics option: it is entirely limited to Nvidia. It will firstly launch with a GeForce GTX 285M with 1GB GDDR3 memory, then with Fermi options available at a later date. Critically, there's no Optimus Technology included, which is an absolutely show stopper for us. We asked about higher performance ATI Radeon options like the mobile HD 5870, and were told they just didn't fit the budget either.

Computex 2010 Preview: MSI MSI Computex 2010: The GT660 gaming laptop continued Computex 2010 Preview: MSI MSI Computex 2010: The GT660 gaming laptop continued
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The nine cell battery should provide a few minutes more battery life for the high-end hardware, so you can run an extra 30 feet to the next plug socket between respawns. Less jestfully though, MSI didn't comment on the battery life, and nine cell is at least an upgrade from the six cell models often seen in laptops.

Finally, one of the more curious features is a function button to manually turn the fan UP to make the underside cooler. We couldn't quite grasp why at first: why would anyone want to be deafened by little fans? MSI pointed out that the additional cooling meant people could sit the laptop, well, actually on their laps without losing the ability to have children or having the Windows 7 key sticker permanently tattooed into their leg.

The GT660 should be available sometime after Computex in June and retail for £1,499 in the UK.
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